By Emma Okonji
Strategic Business Solutions Engineer at Oracle, Mike Rob Bothma, has said the global COVId-19 pandemic brought increasingly difficult financial decisions into focus for many organisations.
According to him, the situation calls for organisational realigning, stretching and strategically redeploying human resources, alongside cost containment initiatives.
According to him, staff have been redeployed into new areas to meet the critical business priorities often at short notice and under pressure.
“A recent example we heard of has been happening in hospitals. Nurses who do not normally work in intensive care wards have been trained to work in these new wards, as they became the key care priority during the COVID-19 crisis,” Bothma said.
He explained that by repurposing human resources and retraining, business priorities could be met while ensuring critical skills and experience built up over time within an organisation is not lost.
This human capital, he said, may be required now, or it may be needed in the future. Repurposing can provide resource flexibility and agility to companies managing cost. It can deepen and enlarge a company’s skill inventory, as well as securing ongoing employment for affected staff.
According to Bothma, repurposing considerations may involve: Senior executives and Human Resources (HR) reviewing the strategic resourcing requirements of the organisation; Ensuring all key roles have comprehensive succession plans in place; Identifying work priorities and key roles; Assessing the work being performed; Understanding and assessing individual skills set; Management of the individual impact of change; Reskilling or upskilling; and Measuring and monitoring the implementation and impact.
Addressing the need for repurposing and retraining talent at speed, Bothma said: “Organisations, which normally operate in highly volatile situations may already be well-versed and experienced in repurposing and redeploying their workforce to maximum effect.
“They have learned that to be successful takes structure, focus and an integrated HR platform. For many other organisations, however, this quick shift has been incredibly challenging as their usual stability has been undermined by the pandemic.
“Central to being able to quickly reposition human resources is being able to capture the current level of skills and experience of your workforce in the area of the level of proficiency and aptitude.
“Once captured, the data needs to be easy to access, analyse and model. This can then be profiled against the critical roles where, ideally duration and location have also been confirmed.”
He said using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) embedded in HCM platform allows organisations to run multiple scenarios and assess the potential employee fit and development requirements.