The pandemic has caused major disruptions to all industries, including the automobile industry. HR leaders are the pillars that keep employees aligned with the company goals. As the industry gets ready for life in the post-pandemic world, HR leaders have to adopt policies that will finely balance business objectives with employee well-being.
Jyoti Singh, Human Resource Head at Honda Cars India, speaks to us about how the pandemic has impacted HR in the Automobile industry, how the industry is adapting through innovative HR practices and the outlook for jobs in the future.
How has the pandemic impacted HR practices in the Automobile industry?
The Automobile industry until the time the pandemic hit was deeply rooted in the brick and mortar concept for the workplace. The pandemic actually forced open the flexibility of the workplace and other non-manufacturing related activities, such as skill development, performance management, hiring & selection, talent development, budgeting & control, virtual reviews & management meetings.
Though these concepts are not new to the world, the auto-sector never got serious about doing non-core activities remotely. The pandemic forced them to adapt to the available technology and this happened really fast and very well.
How can the Automobile industry adapt to changes in the market through HR policies?
This is the time to think and develop more agile HR practices and policies. So HR can leverage adoption to change through the use of technology. Mobile-based (Micro-Learning), virtual connects (meetings/webinars, interviews) have a long way to go. The industry is getting a sense of the benefits from this adoption, as it is more cost-effective and is a faster approach. Travelling is no longer necessary and physical presence is now replaced with virtual availability. HR managers need to create flexible systems.
What is the outlook for jobs in the Automobile industry for the coming years?
The industry is showing growth signs and jobs will grow at the entry-level, but there will be consolidation at the mid and senior levels. Seasonal jobs will increase and HR will invest in building talent that can be developed for more than one roles. This will be a slow, but gradual change as there will be caution in any fixed cost increase.
How is the Automobile industry leveraging innovation in its HR practices?
Innovation is always a game-changer if it is connected to a purpose. In HR practices, there have been more gradual changes than big innovations. In the Auto sector, HR is always more cautious to adapt to change than any other sector. However, the pandemic has caused a real push. I am positive this is a time when we will see HR driving the People Practices along with the Profitability matrix for organizations.