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2017 human capital trends revealed

May 02. 2017
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By The Nation

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In Thailand, digital human resources, talent acquisition, leadership and career and learning have emerged as the top-three human capital trends for 2017, according to Deloitte’s latest human capital trends report, “Rewriting the rules of the digital age”.

The study is in its fifth year. With more than 10,000 HR and business leaders in 140 countries weighing in, this is Deloitte’s largest and most extensive “Global Human Capital Trends” survey to date.

There were 42 respondents in Thailand. The result shows that employment sectors in Thailand prioritise digital HR (98 per cent), talent acquisition (95 per cent), leadership and careers and learning (both 93 per cent).

Respondents in Southeast Asia said the top three human capital trends for 2017 are talent acquisition (91 per cent), organisation of the future (90 per cent) and careers and learning (59 per cent). 

Global respondents prioritise organisation of the future (88 per cent).

“We live in a digital first world and the impact of that is being felt by organisations here in Southeast Asia including Thailand. HR professionals and business leaders are trying to make meaning of the ever accelerating digital challenges and manifestations,” said Subhasakdi Krishnamra, managing partner, Deloitte Thailand and Talent Leader Deloitte Southeast Asia

As organisations become more digital, leaders should consider disruptive technologies for every aspect of their human capital needs. Deloitte finds that 56 per cent of companies are redesigning their HR programmes to leverage digital and mobile tools, and 33 per cent are already using some form of artificial intelligence applications to deliver HR solutions.

“HR and other business leaders tell us that they are being asked to create a digital workplace in order to become an organisation of the future,” said Subhasakdi. “To rewrite the rules on a broad scale, HR should play a leading role in helping the company redesign the organisation by bringing digital technologies to both the workforce and to the HR organisation itself.”

Deloitte found that the HR function is in the middle of a wide-ranging identity shift. To position themselves effectively as a key business advisor to the organisation, it is important for HR to focus on service delivery efficiency and excellence in talent programmes, as well as the entire design of work using a digital lens.

The latest global survey reveals that leaders are turning to new organisation models, which highlight the networked nature of today’s world of work. However, as business productivity often fails to keep pace with technological progress, Deloitte finds that HR is struggling to keep up, with only 35 per cent of HR professionals rating their capabilities as good or excellent.

“As technology, artificial intelligence, and robotics transform business models and work, companies should start to rethink their management practices and organizational models,” said Subhasakdi. “The future of work is driving the development of a set of new rules that organisations should follow if they want to remain competitive.”

Leadership continues to be a key priority for organisations. With the transition into digitalisation, high-performing leaders today need different skills and expertise than in generations past, yet most organisations have not moved rapidly enough to develop digital leaders, promote young leaders, and build new leadership models.

The results from Southeast Asia show that even though 87 per cent of the respondents feel that digital and transformational leadership is important, only 5 per cent have a strong digital leadership development programme and 12 per cent of the respondents indicated that they did not have any significant program in place.

“The demands on leadership have increased remarkably in a relatively short period of time. Leaders are now being asked to lead within the context of digital disruption, changing employee demographics, and changing contours of the external geo-political world. Leaders now have to change across three dimensions - cognitive, behavioural and emotional - often with very little support within their respective organizations,” said Subhasakdi .

“Technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate and these innovations have completely transformed the way we live, work and communicate. Ultimately, the digital world of work has changed the rules of business. Organizations should shift their entire mindset and behaviors to ensure they can lead, organise, motivate, manage and engage the 21st century workforce, or risk being left behind.”

Twenty-two per cent of respondents were from large companies (more than 10,000 employees), 29 per cent from medium-sized companies (1,000-10,000 employees) and 49 per cent from small companies (fewer than 1,000 employees).

Respondents from the Americas accounted for 31 per cent of the total; Europe, Middle East and Africa contributed 51 per cent and Asia Pacific 18 per cent. 

Respondents represented a broad cross-section of industries, including financial services; consumer business; technology, media and telecommunications; and manufacturing. 

Sixty-three per cent of the respondents were HR professionals, with other business executives comprising 37 per cent. 

C-level executives accounted for 30 per cent (more than 3,100) of the respondents.

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