#1 Ask Me Anything: Learning Outdated Skills

ask-me-anything-630x315I am tempted to do a series of “Ask Me Anything”, HR related of course. I am not sure if I will actually receive any questions, but I am going to try anyway. So if you have any questions that you would like me to answer, comment below or ask me on Twitter (@ankitapoddar) and it may (most likely will) find its way into a blogpost.

The idea was inspired by a question that popped up in my LinkedIn inbox from a college junior of mine. What you see below is my actual response that I sent a short while ago. I promise future answers will be better written 🙂

She asked:

“The World Economic Forum (WEF) recently came up with an article on how most freshers seem to be focused on “outdated skills”, and it also had a list of skills that we need to take on. However, since that was more on a global scale and looked more qualitative, I wanted to know from you as to what do you consider the top skills are, in this day and age? What do you look for, as an HR manager? We usually don’t get a peek into this early on, working as Management Trainees”.

Hi! You must forgive the extremely long-drawn response. The world of HR allows you to get away with a lot, which is my biggest disappointment. Essentially, much of what you learn in B-school if you pay close attention is enough to bring you success in the field in India at this point. What HR in the country today needs is critical thinking – the ability to deep dive into the situation, arrive at the right problem statement, look at alternate solutions with clear success measure, do a post mortem to analyze if your recommendations were valid and a sense of experimentation. Unfortunately, this basic skill is lacking in most HR professionals in the field. You will be surprised. I have taken over 20 interviews in the past few weeks and seen this ability mildly demonstrated in four. The sad part is that organizations today do not really expect a lot from the HR function except the bare minimum.  Therefore, if you were to be a good HR person, the above and what they teach you at college is enough. Then of course, validate all you are taught by real life application, white papers, discussions with those passionate about the field, articles etc. The truly great (which I am not at yet), expand their scope by learning basics of data science, R, psychology (I am picking this up), statistics and other areas that supplement HR.

P.S to readers: You may not agree with my responses but you will glimpse my pure raw opinion. I would like to know yours too. I think it will help everyone reading.


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