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Zappychats S1E2 with Sheetal Shah: What Skills Organizations Look for in Today’s Digital World


Welcome to the first season of Zappychats, an exclusive HR video podcast where HR leaders talk about all things recruitment, HRtech and more. Videos are published weekly on ,Zappyhire LinkedIn and this blog.

In the second episode Sheetal Shah – Chief People Officer, Schindler India & South Asia talks about the skills organizations must look for in today’s digital and remote world.

Watch the first part of the episode below or read the transcript.

Renjith KK: Hello! Welcome to another episode of Zappychats, an exclusive HR vodcast and a knowledge sharing session with leaders from diverse domains. I’m Renjith, your host for the show.

Today we have with us a seasoned HR leader who believes that talent is the key for business success and also strives to make human capital fit for the future. I’d like to welcome Sheetal Shah – Chief People Officer at Schindler India & South Asia. She has been with Schindler since 2011. In her two decade long career in human resources, she has associated with companies like Hindustan Unilever, Reliance Retail, Avaya Global Connect and more. She was listed among the top 100 HRs under 40 in 2018 and holds a Masters from human resource management from the University of Leeds.

Sheetal Shah: Hi Renjith.

Renjith KK: Sheetal, the HR Business Partner concept was ideated by Dave Ulrich in the early ‘90s. Is HR Business Partner a thing of the past or is it still relevant? What should they focus on moving forward.

Sheetal Shah: Thank you for speaking about Dave Ulrich. I started my career in HR because of the one book I read by him. I read a lot of what he says and I strongly believe and follow what he says. I may be borrowing some of his thinking as I share my thoughts over here. I am greatly influenced by things he has said.

If we were to look at HR Business Partnering, in Schindler or other industries, the entire concept has dramatically evolved. Whether we want to call it transform or disrupted, the whole role has evolved so much. I have seen it personally at Schindler.

I joined Schindler to establish and set up HR Business Partnering. When I started from there to now, when I see the role has evolved so much. It started with making sure we had presence in different locations. When employees has queries or when they had grievances, resolving conflicts between managers and employees, it was just focused on HR – it was more HR for HR as Dave Ulrich puts it. We were focused on what employees need.

When I see now, especially in the last 6-8 months, I would really go by Dave Ulrich speals – he says ‘What can HR give to an employee’. Very beautifully he says, ‘An organization that wins in the marketplace is what the HR’s purpose should be’.

When I look at the Schindler People strategy, we speak about how HR is supposed to support the business by supporting its people. That concept was revolving around hiring best practices, etc. In fact a couple of weeks back the entire HR team got together and we were thinking about our strategy. We realized we want to add value to our customers. We want to be able to create value for our company. It’s not like we make a HR strategy and follow best practices.

The idea is as HRs how are we creating value we need for the business. Our job as HR Business Partners is not about the content. It is about the content that is relevant to the context we are working in.

I would say HR has become more about delivering value to multiple stakeholders keeping the most relevant context in mind.

Renjith KK: Just as Dave Ulrich mentioned, HR BP is less about HR and more about adding value to the business. What a noble thought! This is the foundation of HR Business Partnering. Thank you for sharing.

Zappychats is an initiative by Zappyhire!

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