How does Angel Investing help an HR Professional? Makes You Future Ready

Posted by hrtp0001 on July 2nd, 2019

The World Economic Forum has just released a report that shows 52% of human jobs will get automated by 2025 – which is just 6 years away! Getting more familiar with digital innovation is no longer an option but a necessary requirement for any HR professional who wants to stay ahead of the game. The notion of investment being done only by VC’s/ PE firms/ wealthy individuals is no longer true. Angel Investing allows HR professionals to invest a relatively smaller amount of money in a safe manner and helps them understand how the future is changing.

So how can Angel Investing make you ‘Future Ready’ for the changing landscape?

Learn about the digital landscape

When you start investing you become aware of the wide scope of AI based solutions in the entire employee lifecycle. It is astounding to see the range of innovation around workforce planning, recruitment, talent management, learning & development, employee engagement, career development, pay & benefits, wellness (financial, physical, mental), culture & leadership as well as risk & compliance. This exposure to real products helps HR professionals separate myth from reality about Artificial Intelligence and get the confidence to experiment and engage with machine learning. Most are shocked to see how fast things are changing but subsequently excited about the ability to use them.

Understand the big shift around ‘employee democratization’

Trends such as the gig economy, next gen mindset supported by digital are rapidly changing HR’s role from ‘vertical people management’ to facilitating ‘horizontal distribution of work’. Employees want to be treated as customers and expect a service that is instant, personalized and curated. Most HR professionals are unaware that there is a big range of AI based start-ups that can help them achieve the employee experience that is now expected.

To invest in one start-up often requires looking at several different products and in the process HR professionals become aware of how they can take the lead in enhancing employee engagement, get more strategic with the use of analytics and reduce costs through low cost AI based products.

Impact on organizational design and upskilling

A big part of any HR leader’s role is to help the CEO and business leaders prepare for the changing workplace. Without being exposed to the impact of Digital Disruption it is difficult for them to envisage the large churn of jobs that will happen over the next few years and the rapid upskilling of the workforce that is needed. Organisation structures are no longer going to be vertical or team based – instead ,flexible dispersed teams made of machines, contingent workers and full- time employees will be the norm. Investing in AI based start-ups, understanding market trends around emerging technologies and collaborating with other HR professionals while making investment decisions helps HR professionals understand the full implication of digital disruption and influence the business appropriately.

Managing Ethics and Employee trust

Finally, the impact of AI and Machine learning will be across all parts of the organisation- core products, manufacturing, supply chain, customer interface etc. It will result in organisations holding an enormous amount of data particularly on employees. HR professionals now have an added responsibility to manage the boundary between personal and organisation data and its usage. As an example, an HR leader may introduce an AI based physical product to improve wellness at work. Would it be ethical for the management to use the information on an individual employee’s health to determine his/her suitability for another role? This is a completely new scenario that most HR professionals haven’t faced in the past and could lead of rapid erosion of trust (remember Cambridge Analytica?)  if not managed appropriately. Investing in AI based start-ups enables HR professionals to become aware of the implications of machine learning and handle it proactively.      

There is a lot of information currently circulating about Artificial Intelligence, Robots and new technologies like Blockchain or facial recognition. Angel investing helps HR professionals get a realistic view of these changes and keeps them prepared with practical insights. HR professionals who start engaging with these startups will be able to play an influencing role with business leaders. 

In this article we have discussed how angel investing helps HR professionals get ‘future ready’. Previously, we discussed how angel investing brings financial returns and develops commercial acumen in HR professionals. This is the last article in a series of three. 

The London based HRTP (HR TECH Partnership) is an investment venture in the People Tech space with most of its stakeholders being senior HR directors. It is an early stage investor and focuses on AI based HR start-ups around Talent and Workplace productivity.

To know more about angel funding and how the HR TECH Partnership works visit – www.hrtechpartnership.com or write to invest@hrtechpartnership.com

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