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Faces of HR: Setting the HR agenda with General Electric’s Vikram Cardozo



Gathering 50 top regional chief HR and senior business leaders at a three-day business retreat forum, the exclusive HR Innovation Leaders' Summit will happen from September 9-11. Get involved.

Vikram Cardozo, Global Talent Acquisition Leader, General Electric breaks down the HR challenges in the region and shares the priorities that he has set for his team with Priya Veeriah.

Q With your vast regional experience, how do you think the HR environments differ in Singapore, Japan, Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai?

The HR agenda for most places is very similar but operates in a localised manner as the HR functions bring a different capability, mindset and approach.

Singapore –  A regional hub with a stable environment and a focus on high execution and innovation. There is a strong desire for independence with the capability to support while being largely process-driven.

Japan – A retracting environment that desires stability with high relationship and harmony focus, underpinned by strong process discipline.

Kuala Lumpur – A growing economy but is hampered by political transition and uncertainty with a high relationship focus over task and significant desire for coaching and guidance.

Shanghai – An established regional/nascent global hub with a ‘MNCs vs local’ tension/talent war. There is a relationship focus with high task orientation and creative solutioning vs process discipline.

Q What kind of support do you get from your senior management for HR?

Senior management helps to drive the culture of the company and ensure the ‘people agenda’ is in the front and centre for the business. They understand that quality of people defines both short and long term outcomes. As a result we get a good balance of empowerment, independence and support to try new things on one hand, as well as the willingness for them to partner with us on the people leadership element when needed, without making it a totally uphill battle.

Q How would you describe your HR team?

An integrated team that has evolved over time to be seen as trusted advisors who think progressively to shape the company culture and achieve overall business outcomes. They are balanced strategic and operational business partners, who champion talent agenda and drive change.

Q What is your main focus for your HR team now and how do you think this will change in the next two years?

#1 Organisational transformation: Building resilience, purpose and process rigour

#2 Engagement, retention and development (building the next generation leaders)

#3 Re-defining and strengthening the organisation culture

#4 Execution.

Over the next two years, with the aggressive change agenda a bit more behind us, I’d see a significantly more progressive HR agenda:

  • The uberisation of the talent landscape resulting in a more flex-based approach, and leaders progressively playing a much more engaged role as owners of their talent based on a high technology approach.
  • A huge culture focus with a significantly enhanced people-leader role… with inspiration and trust being differentiators. Leaders who have this will win the battle in a transitionary talent environment.
  • A stronger data-and-analytics-driven HR agenda

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