The State of the HR Profession in 2017: Out-of-the-box ideas

In the second part of our State of the HR Profession in 2017 report, we look at some out-of-the-box ideas proposed by senior HR leaders that could make the field become more strategic and business-focused.

Lim Zhi Rong

Regional HR Business Partner


Formal job descriptions (JDs) are fast-becoming a relic of the past, and it might be time that we – as a profession – let them take the last steps toward extinction or at least reduce the number of JDs we should have!

The JDs certainly served a purpose previously. Having a detailed set of objectives for every role, and a clear set of selection criteria for recruiting candidates helped to create organisational continuity through inevitable staff changes. 

The problem is they have become too prescriptive. Hiring managers spend time to write JDs, we then send them to the rewards team to confirm the grading and fine-tune. The pace of organisational transformation is so fast that the written JD could be outdated just six months later.

My former organisation Temasek Holdings, had moved a long way toward reducing the number of JDs, particularly for junior to mid-management positions. Recruitment teams know what a strong associate looks and are empowered to leverage data and to have broad conversations with candidates.


Tarun Gulrajani

Head of HR

Rehau Asia-Pacific

Employees today are suffering from an information tsumami!

The millennial generation in particular wants information when and where they want to consume it. In such an environment, does anyone really have time to attend a two-day skills development course? And do businesses really want to be spending so much on traditional learning and development?

Micro-learning is an increasingly viable alternative, and one that could save HR money while delivering stronger participation and knowledge retention rates.

This is not e-learning, where training is still a matter of hours. Rather, micro-learning is about training by the minute, with small, bite-sized modules that can be accessed to while on a cab ride, during the daily commute, or wherever the user has spare time.

It is not appropriate for every type of training – no one would want their heart surgeon to have been trained via a mobile phone app – but there are many aspects of a company’s training that could be moved to the micro-learning model.

Analysing the Workday advantage

Sandeep Aggarwal, Chief Financial Officer of Aon-Hewitt Asia-Pacific, shares his thoughts on the Workday finance and HR analytics platform. He says the cloud-based system is intuitive and easy-to-use, but still provides powerful insights across the functions.

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