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“AI will not replace HR,” says Darwinbox’s Chaitanya Peddi, on the role of HR tech in the new

“With offices re-opening, it clearly looks like we’re going to see a hybrid work culture,” says Chaitanya Peddi, Co-founder and Product Head at Darwinbox — one of the leading providers of cloud-based Human Resources Management Software (HRMS).

During a fireside chat on Day 2 of YourStory’s Future of Work 2021, Chaitanya shared the three fundamental types of jobs in every company in terms of productivity along with the remote working scheme. These include:

“The creative jobs, who can be productive at home; other jobs, who are at least saving on commute by working from home; and the third kind, who were adversely impacted since their work demanded them to go to their office spaces,” Chaitanya said.

Over the last year, organisations have come to realise which jobs are more productive at the office and home. Many of them are taking a call on creating a hybrid workplace based on the nature of the jobs. There has been a major shift in thinking and more flexibility with organisations, he said.

He added that offices are beyond workspaces and have a major culture development role. “They facilitate connections, empower learning, and foster an unscripted and innovative collaboration,” he said.

Mobile-first HR technology

Future of Work 2021

A screengrab from the session

The boundaries between productivity and engagement tools are coming closer, and more people are seeing them together, he said. Darwinbox solves for such engagement and productivity.

In fact, smartphones and telecom players have solved multiple challenges along the way, he said, adding that HR tech on smartphones can also increase efficiency, where a lot of processes can be automated and data can be made transparent.

“We’re focussed on solving issues for the millennials and Gen Z. Everyone wants a great user experience. Gone are the days when you can give something unintuitive, clunky, and expect people to adopt it without saying anything,” says Chaitanya.

With people wanting to solve as much as possible from their smartphones, applications should be light, smooth, fast, and intuitive, as today’s generation will not going to approve of backward technology.

Collaboration between generations

Collaboration in the company is basically having an alignment at all levels, Chaitanya said. He added, “This way, we can ensure that everyone is connected to the vision and mission of achieving the same goals. The pandemic has over-stressed on communicating more with the new generation.”

“There is a need to be more transparent when there are so many generations within an organisation. Through the technology providing engagement platforms, it is easier to align these different levels, and help them be aware of their performance,” he said.

Seamless integration of the different systems allows people to work more efficiently, with all the data already updated and tracked by the different departments. He said true democratisation of data will bring the true objectivity of the system.

Will AI replace HR?

“Definitely not going to happen,” said Chaitanya.

Although AI is useful in automating a lot of transactional work, and it can free up the bandwidth for other strategic tasks, Chaitanya claimed it won’t replace people, but it can liberate them.

HR, as a function, is accountable to solve some of the major challenges within the organisation — starting from hiring the right people to helping employees feel comfortable in the workspace.

Chaitanya explained that HR plays a crucial role in being aware of anything and everything happening within the company. Therefore, replacing them seems a little far-fetched. However, digital literacy is a must-have with evolving technology, he added.

Sharing a piece of advice for young entrepreneurs pursuing HR tech, Chaitanya said, “While you may think you are at the top of the pyramid as a founder, over the time, you will realise that it isn’t about yourself, but about great people to help you build your story.”

“At the end of the day, you are doing something meaningful and creating wealth, and it is okay to give up some of the functions on that journey and let others also help you on the way,” he added.

A big shout out to our Future of Work 2021 Co-presenting Sponsors Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Unique Solutions; Digital Excellence Partner, Google Cloud; Associate Sponsor HP and Intel; and Sponsors: Atlassian, Freight Tiger, Archon I Cohesity, TeamViewer, and Pocket Aces.

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