Unlocking HR Leadership: Aligning People Strategy With Business Goals

Talent acquisition and development are strategic pillars for creating long-term capabilities. As the aerospace and defense sectors evolve, so will talent acquisition, which will become more complex and data-driven.


At the third edition of the BW People CEO CHRO Conclave 2023 on the power of human capital, a panel discussion was held on the topic of HR Leadership Connect: Aligning People Strategy with Business Goals. Several industry experts including Rabeen Singh, CHRO, Tata Advanced Systems; Pankaj Sharma, Senior Vice President, Head Group HR, ANAND Automotive; Shaleen Manik, CHRO, Transsion India (itel, Tecno & Infinix Mobiles); and Radhika Arora, Group CPO, Jakson Group shared their insights and personal experiences. The panel was chaired by Rachna Mukherjee, Former CHRO, Schneider Electric, India and South Asia.

The challenge in aligning the people strategy with the business goals is consistently deploying a human resource (HR) agenda across a business, which is a complex task. To achieve this, the key is to define the HR strategy and involve the business in the process. This involves dialogue and participation, from stakeholders to board members and the ecosystem. To initiate the process, it is essential for the HR teams to understand the customers and their needs in order to serve the stakeholders effectively. 

“In the process of aligning people strategy with the business goals, dialogue and participation of the HR professionals is key. Engaging in discussions while creating initiatives, ensuring that the HR’s have a seat on the table and being a part of the day-to-day execution of the strategy will help smoothen out the process. This approach ensures that the HR strategy is executed effectively, even in complex situations where execution is almost three arms away,” said Pankaj Sharma. 

The ability to hire, retain, train and redeploy will become increasingly difficult, especially post covid. Talent acquisition and development are crucial strategic pillars for creating long-term capability. As the aerospace and defense sectors evolve, so will talent acquisition, which will become more complex and data-driven. The new industry will include specialisation, diversity, inclusion, employer branding and the need for developing talent. As artificial intelligence becomes more prevalent, the need for talent development will increase.

“Using artificial intelligence in talent acquisition and retaining strategies, will help build the skills landscape in India. We are witnessing major transformations in industries such as the Indian aerospace and defence, which will prove to be a remarkable mark in the global sector. Insights are becoming more data driven,” highlighted Rabeen Singh.

In today's rapidly changing business landscape, organisations are increasingly seeking ways to maximise investments and improve performance across departments, including HR. Demonstrating return on investment (ROI) is essential for organisations to support their top line through productivity, efficiency and cost optimisation. To achieve this, HRs should use a data-centric approach, ensuring that leaders and management understand their contributions. By delivering ROI, HR can become a strategic partner and enabler, driving business along with their teams. The HR team is a key aspect of HR and goal responsibility, ensuring that their business and team remains relevant and part of the future unit.

“We need to use certain matrix to make sure that we keep showing our leaders, our business and our management, the contributions that we are doing in terms of supporting the top line and bottom line and there are no ways, means and tools available where we can use data centric approach,” shared Shaleen Manik. 

The CEO and CHRO play a critical role in ensuring the future talent landscape of an organisation. Human capital is the most important resource for any organisation, and it must remain a strategic advantage in this changing landscape. Collaboration between CEO and CHRO is essential to create an ecosystem that aligns employees’ skills with business requirements and future needs. The CEO needs to stop micromanaging talent decisions and let the human resource expert take the decision. HR should be given freedom to operate and align with the business strategy. The people and culture must be aligned to the business strategy, and collaboration between the CHRO and CEO is crucial.

Radhika Arora explained, “HR is not just an administrative function or a hiring partner or a compliance partner. We are much beyond that. We understand business so the CEOs will have to give us that freedom to operate so that we are able to align with the business and thrive to continue.”

The challenge of consistently deploying an HR agenda is complex, requiring a clear strategy and stakeholder involvement. HR should understand customer needs, engage in initiatives and drive strategy execution. Talent acquisition and development are crucial strategic pillars, especially in the evolving aerospace and defense sectors. HR should use a data-centric approach, deliver ROI and collaborate with the CEO and CHRO to align employees with business requirements.

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