Q1: As one of the fastest growing companies in the assessments space in the APAC region, what do you hear as the biggest concern when you speak with customers?
The more interesting conversations I have usually revolve around the matured understanding of moving the organisational bell-curve to the right. While there are some really interesting nuances within that, such as our role in moving Pyschometric as a SaaS, gamification, Machine Learning neuronetworks; I feel these are all means to an end. Nothing is more interesting than when a client understands that the main aim is focused on moving the bell-curve, across the organization, amongst teams and even individually.
Q2: You often talk about the need for speed, and scale in assessments. What could be the reason for that?
With the speed of growth we see in the world today, the tools we create cannot be designed for the privileged few. Accendo’s fight is to move the usage of Psychometrics and Behavioural data analysis further up the funnel - be it a recruitment one, a talent management one or for any other purpose. The aim should always be to gather as much data as possible about the people within the organisation, so greater insights can be derived. So, our thinking and our tools are always designed to break the idea that an organisation has limited budgets allowing only the top 20% to access this. The challenge I put forth is this – What if using that same budget, you can now understand 50% or 70% of your company rather than just 20%? This now allows for us to be creative in how we design our journey to moving the bell-curve. To me, it’s always about eventually moving the bell curve.
Q3: Digital age competencies are totally different from industrial age competencies – your comments on that?
I couldn’t agree with you more. Today, the fastest growing companies are always looking for the greatest talent. The Smart Creatives (and not all millennials are Smart Creatives) are very differently wired. They are changing the rules of engagement, and only those companies that can adapt quickly will survive this revolution. But this is not new. This happened when we moved from the Industrial economy to the knowledge economy as well.We survived it then,I’m sure we just have to proactivelyallowourselves to be immersed in the revolution now, and see how we can all learn from it. Let’s just take one example - the digital mindset is not about working from home, that has been a fallacy that has been debunked. The digital mindset is about collaboration that is not limited by physical space. How are we catering to this?
Q4: What would be your advice for companies on their assessment strategies?
Learn to cut through the noise and get to the substance. I think we must very quickly start understanding assessments like how Branding and Advertising teams look at data. I am not saying it’s time for machines to take over our jobs. At Accendo, we are huge fans and believers of Augmented Intelligence - the balanced and equal measure of man and machine, but that said, companies need to realize that technology is a catalyst to process. Technology will either make a good process better or a bad process worse. Therefore, companies need to ensure that their HR process is right before moving into deploying assessment strategies involving technology.
Q5: Where do you think the APAC market is headed in terms of assessments?
I think there is still much work to be done before we can proudly say we are on the same footing as some of the more mature markets. But that does not mean we have to copy what they are doing:
- The first step is for HR professionals to start talking about the business the same way that CFOs and CEOs talk. Mature HR markets use data to build stories that can win boards over; they speak about how people decisions affect the bottom line business, which is why HR gets a seat at the board. While some companies in the APAC region have started this, most don’t.
- The next thing is also knowing what data is relevant and how that translates to information that can raise the company. APAC seems to have a lot of blind trust in algorithms and data without taking the time to decipher what is actually important.
About, CEO of Accendo, Mr. Sharma K.S.K Lachu
Sharma KSK Lachu spent nearly a decade in Australia before returning to Malaysia in 2008. During his time in Sydney, he worked for some of the largest HR consulting and technology firms and was in charge of state-of-the-art HR technologies and integrations in the space of talent measurement.
In his 14 years of experience in the industry, he has had the opportunity to work on HR technology projects in Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia Indonesia and Thailand.
Since his move back to Malaysia, he has been on a mission to elevate the level playing field of ASEAN companies in the use of strategic HR tech. He graduated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the University Technology of Sydney and has a Level A and B certification from the prestigious British Psychological Society.
Published by: Nikita Madhu in Insights