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“Corporate today look for ‘Life-Skills’ more than anything else. That is why HR students should – right from day one – begin by being honest.”

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In a free-wheeling chat, two students of Jaipuria Institute of Management, Lucknow interview Dr. Jaya Chitranshi, Professor of HR. They speak to her about the trends in HR, and what the future holds for them. The two students, Owais Khan and Tuhin Sharma, decided to document their conversation with Dr. Jaya Chitranshi, for the benefit of those who are pursuing HR, as well as aspirants who are preparing for the entrance to Jaipuria Institute of Management.

Owais – Thank you for your time Ma’am.

Professor Chitranshi – (smiles) You are always welcome. Students don’t have to seek my permission for a chat.

Tuhin – Ma’am, there are a lot of reports that HR is the most difficult domain for recruiters, even when they are choosing from the top-most management colleges. Is this correct? If yes, what do the recruiters look for when hiring an HR manager?

Professor Chitranshi – Any recruiters coming to a top B-school like the Jaipuria Institute of Management or the IIMs or ISB, are not really trying to gauge your knowledge; they know that the curriculum and faculty take care of that part. They also know that students of top B-schools like Jaipuria Lucknow are very well groomed and have regular personality development capsules, and have learnt to take that for granted. You see, HR is a domain where a very high level of integrity is needed. Today, the HR department is viewed as a business partner in a company. Therefore, what the corporate is looking for are the ethics, attitude and experience of students. They are looking for ‘life-skills’ more than anything else. That is why HR students should – right from day one – begin by being honest, and be good humans. It is the only way you can be good at your job.

Owais – Yes Ma’am. We often heard you speak about this in class. So, over and above the curriculum at Jaipuria Lucknow, can you guide us on the qualities that newcomers to the HR domain should work on?

Professor Chitranshi – Over and above the ones mentioned above, positive attitude, flexibility and willingness to work on assignments which seem tough are important qualities. Ofcourse, domain knowledge is a must.

Tuhin – Till a few years back, a separate HR department was unheard of, and now it is almost indispensable. In fact, it was looked upon as a comparatively ‘soft’ domain, where women who have family commitments could fit in. How and why is HR becoming increasingly important in organisations?

Professor Chitranshi – A major reason is to be able to measure the value of the ‘hire’. A couple of decades ago, everything was dependent on Certification. Economies and organisations were simpler, and the numbers of higher educational institutions were few and mostly government funded or monitored. Quite a few things happened together. The opening up of the Indian economy coincided with the IT or Knowledge Revolution. The buzzword earlier was ‘production’; now it has become ‘innovation’. Today, certificates are of very little consequence. Organisations are looking for people who are creative, can challenge the status quo and can find new ways of doing things and come up with new products. That is why HR has become so important.

Owais – Thank you Ma’am. That was very insightful. What would be your message to future or aspiring students of Jaipuria Institute of Management who would like to pursue HR?

Professor Chitranshi – Assess yourself well. Don’t join HR because you want to, but because you are built for it. Remember that techniques and strategies taught to you are not the end of the world. Be ready to apply certain basic principles of life, which actually govern the area of HR. Remember that you are dealing with people – be genuine and humane. Only then can you expect them to give you results.

Tuhin – Thank you Ma’am. You are an inspiration for all of us. On my part, I assure you that I will try my best to live up to the expectations of Jaipuria Institute of Management, Lucknow.

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