Q&A with HR Tech Influencer Ram Charan


Ram Charan
Business advisor, author and speaker


What area of the HR function will be most impacted by emerging technologies, and why?

In this age of transparency in which people have instant access to information, HR’s greatest need is to enable each employee to know his or her potential and to help the person achieve it at the right speed with the right experiences.  Technology will permit HR to extend its obsession to have the right people in the right jobs at all times. It will allow the employee experience to be personalized, just as Amazon personalizes the consumer experience, so an individual’s fit with the job can be continually upgraded as the world changes. A great fit releases human energy and delivers superior results against competition.

What is the single most dramatic shift you see happening in the HR tech space today?

The biggest shift I see is the use of technology in recruiting.  New algorithmic technologies have been developed to screen candidates.  This is especially helpful to companies such as call centers or big box retailers that have to recruit thousands or even hundreds of people a year.  Algorithms can screen for applicants that have the right values and cultural fit, or ferret out which candidates are likely to stay longer. These screening algorithms will improve as they incorporate feedback from the field regarding the candidate’s success or failure in the job.

How is HR technology changing the way people work?

HR technology plays a key role in getting work done by autonomous teams.  It can create a continuously updated “people diary” that goes beyond traditional data on a person’s educational background, jobs chronology, and accomplishments to track data on what skills and traits the person has developed in each job and how the person’s newly developed skills and traits could be leveraged.  This technology can then help team leaders find people from across the organization to build the right composition of their teams.