Sonali Chowdhry on HR Digitization- Tech based HR & Talent Trends -2024 

Officenet HR Solution Software delivers world-class Cloud and On Premise HR cum Payroll Solutions to leading Organizations on a PAN India basis. With 15 Years of a rich experience, Officenet assist HR teams to bring about both transactional and transformational change within their Companies.
Sonali Chaudhary on HR Digitization- Tech based HR & Talent Trends -2024 

At Officenet, Sonali Chowdhry is the CEO and Lead Services. She has worked for top Human Capital Management solution companies for around 20 years, moving up from technical-functional duties to leadership positions in HRTech solutions.


In her present position, she oversees Officenet’s “entire” services, managing a robust staff of close to 50 workers that were assembled from the ground up.

In addition, she has won numerous leadership honors for spearheading Officenet’s successful ascent to greater heights in the present.


Q- How do you see HR Digitization in 2024?

In 2024, HR digitization is probably even more ingrained in organizational procedures thanks to technological breakthroughs that make HR administration more effective and efficient. The following are some possible developments:

AI-powered Recruitment: HR departments may now further streamline the hiring process thanks to the advancement of AI algorithms. This involves using chatbots for first interviews with candidates as well as AI-driven resume screening and talent sourcing.

Data Analytics for Decision-Making: HR department is depending more and more on data analytics to help them make educated decisions. Predictive analytics models support personnel retention tactics, workforce planning, and the identification of skills gaps within the company.


Employee Experience Platforms: These platforms have developed over time to offer individualized experiences for workers, ranging from tools for career development to help with onboarding. These platforms might make use of AI to customize recommendations and material according to the tastes and objectives of each individual employee.

Tools for Supporting Remote Work: HR digitization is focused on offering tools and resources to facilitate remote collaboration, communication, and productivity in light of the growing popularity of remote and hybrid work arrangements. These could include online performance management programs, remote training options, and virtual team-building exercises.


Ongoing Education and Growth: With the advent of digital learning platforms, a vast array of on-demand courses, microlearning modules, and customized growth pathways are now available. These systems use artificial intelligence (AI) to make appropriate learning recommendations based on the abilities, interests, and career goals of their employees.


HR Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: Chatbots and virtual assistants are becoming standard in HR departments, offering employees immediate assistance with typical questions like policy information, time-off requests, and benefits registration.


In general, 2024 will witness an increase in HR digitalization’s automation, personalization, and agility as companies try to optimize their HR processes and enhance everyone’s working environment in an increasingly digital workplace—much like officenet does.

Q- How Officenet is helping organization in entire HR function’s Digitization?

Officenet and many other integrated HCM management platforms are important tools for businesses looking to modernize their HR departments. Here’s how Officenet could help:


Centralized HR Data: Officenet acts as a single point of contact for all HR-related data, such as payroll information, employee profiles, performance reviews, and benefits administration. The centralization of HR operations guarantees uniformity and expedites the access to data.


Employee Self-Service: Officenet provides employees with access to employee self-service portals where they may view pay stubs, apply for benefits, request time off, and update their personal information. This lessens the administrative load on HR professionals by enabling employees to handle various HR-related responsibilities on their own.


Recruitment and Onboarding: Officenet offers resources to assist with talent acquisition, application gathering, interview scheduling, background check processing, and interview scheduling. Adding applicant tracking systems (ATS) integration can make these procedures even mor e efficient.


Performance Management: Officenet has tools for evaluating employees’ work, creating performance goals, and giving them feedback. A culture of ongoing feedback and development can be promoted by using automated alerts and reminders to assist guarantee that performance reviews are completed on time.

Training and Development: To assist with employee development activities, Officenet offers online courses, training modules, and other tools. By integrating with learning management systems (LMS), businesses may monitor worker development, identify skill shortages, and adjust training initiatives accordingly.


Compliance and Reporting: Officenet offers assistance to firms in adhering to pertinent labor laws, regulations, and industry standards, with a focus on compliance and reporting. Key HR information, such as workforce demographics, turnover rates, and diversity measures, can be obtained through automated reporting functions.


Mobile Accessibility: By allowing employees and HR personnel to access HR-related information and complete tasks while on the go, Officenet’s mobile app improves convenience and flexibility.

All things considered, Officenet’s extensive feature set can aid in the digitization of the HR department by streamlining operations, increasing productivity, boosting employee satisfaction, and supporting organizational strategic decision-making.


Q- What were the key motivations or inspirations that led to the creation of Officenet?

Regarding our experience, I must state that when I began working in HR automation 15 years ago, there were very few players in the market. Standard products and solutions were mostly what conventional businesses would do.


At the time, companies would claim to have internal IT teams that allowed them to construct the employee portal for HR, which was a never-ending project that required backend activity and was unnecessary for HR in some way.


But because the HR division realized that the world was changing, it now functions a little differently. Automation began to gain traction, and the HR community—I believe—came to understand the importance of ESS employee self-services in the contemporary workplace.


Whether a company employs ten thousand people or one hundred thousand, it must build a knowledge base. This is the fundamental task for any business, regardless of size, as it allows for the grade-by-grade, level-by-level, and other types of employee engagement.


I deal with a lot of manufacturing firms, and when they saw that everyone contributes, they realized that ESS is essential as well, so why should we do boring, repetitive tasks? Why not help and give the user more power? Allow them to examine their pay stub online, and use a software system to fill out a leave application if he so chooses. Thus, through those meager initiations, we also gained knowledge from a handful of Officenet’s very first clients, including Dabur, Indorama, and Havel.


Eighteen years ago, when we were actually making their websites, they asked me to make an intranet for them. They want to use it to provide their staff with basic services like birthday reminders, brief leave forms, policy documents, and all uploads.


Then the concept emerged, which is when officenet entered the picture, and the adventure has continued ever since. Good work experiences and references have been coming in one after the other, which has allowed the officenet products to grow and improve. However, since it is technology, the technological side of things also advances quickly.


In order to keep Officenet up to date with the newest technology, trends, and industry expectations, we at Officenet have also done our best and will continue to do so. That is the course of my trip, and I have been entirely focused on the home market in India. And now, fifteen years later, I still believe that was a wise choice in light of the expanding economy. I believe that automation is being embraced by the manufacturing sector, and everyone is benefiting from it.


Naturally, we have developed because of the fierce competition in today’s industry, where having an HRM system has become the norm. With a highly motivated and professional team supporting me, I will continue to concentrate on my product office network.


Q-  What are the core Mission Vision and the Values that bringing you from the first client to an award-winning HR tech solution?

Officenet has always kept an eye out for businesses searching for a reliable automation partner and a long-term partnership. who, in the first place, operates with extreme agility and transparency in both our dealings with and implementation of the digitization of the HR department.


Because even basic features like a leave attendance module are now highly sought after and present in practically every business, we have the flexibility to personalize. Even yet, I would argue that, based on my experience working with nearly 500 organizations, no two have exactly the same attendance and leave policies. There are always certain exceptions to the rule that your typical offering cannot meet.


You must possess the flexibility to alter some standards in order to make them unique for that firm. When that occurs, customers perceive value right away, the ROI is realized, and they begin to view you as someone who has added value to their life. Thus, that has, I believe, been our driving force, and we still uphold that as a philosophy with ourselves and the businesses we work with today.

Q-  How do these founding principles continue to shape the company’s mission and offerings in the realm of HCM solutions?

Again, HCM (payroll) is a complex process that involves many other variables and is not merely an automation of a particular wage processing in a manufacturing organization. First of all, it is related to discipline because it will include data from your time office, which is related to the business’s productivity and operation. Due to the fact that all productivity-related incentives, bonuses, and other criteria, including increments and assessments, are connected in some way.


It is therefore the center of any company’s activities and a major expense for a business.For this reason, they ensure that every aspect of the business, including the operational side, has some sort of integration.


Thus, in addition to providing such a solution, we also ensure that the peripheral aspects—from which the data entering the payroll will originate—are thoroughly verified and certified. Assume for the moment that I obtain data from Biometrics via a mobile device or the time office.


Since face recognition is becoming more and more popular, we have also introduced the notion of face recognition to our AI-based mobile leave and attendance system, ensuring double validation. A more recent idea that has gained traction is the idea that there should be widespread communication between units inside a major factory, firm, or campus.


Workers in a plant operation should genuinely transfer within a set amount of time from one gate to their actual area of employment. It is not acceptable for him to mark his time on the main gate and then take an additional hour to get to the production line, where he is expected to be working on that specific day.


So how do you manage that portion of the time? We brought very simple, quick fixes for these items that he needs to punch on his production line as well. This keeps the company’s time intact, reduces time wastage, and preserves the discipline between shift changes.


All of those elements are the data that go into a payroll, and if they are managed or closely watched, the system’s actual output will likewise be highly accurate and efficient.


Payroll, by my definition, encompasses more than just calculating salaries and tax slabs—that is, the real or automatic computation portion—which is, of course, how it was done even fifty years ago. However, utilizing technology for these little components that increase the value of the solution is crucial nowadays.


Q- How has the widespread acceptance of Cloud and On-Premise HR cum Payroll Solutions in leading organizations across India impacted your brand, and what specific advantages do you believe your solutions offer compared to others in the market?

Yes, without a doubt. In fact, these days, the hrms industry is quite competitive, and businesses are testing out various products. If we consider ourselves to be players looking at firms, we find ourselves in this particular place and circumstance. Since many of my clients have been with me for over ten years, it goes without saying that we must constantly improve our technological capabilities. It is imperative that we ensure that the product version upgrade meets their needs as well.


They can thus organize their business functions in accordance with the requirements, but I believe that one advantage we have in our situation is that we have a very flexible model that allows us to execute the product gradually. They can begin with a few modules and work their way up to more advanced versions. Everything interfaces easily with their legacy systems, which may include more complex SAP or Erp systems.


Thus, there are numerous opportunities for officen integration. Additionally, we have ensured that the technological aspect of our mobile app is always being updated, preventing a decline in utilization—even in the case that I operate as a field worker for a corporation.


I ought to be connected to my organization as well. The mobile app should allow me to access the same intranet HRMS. Thus, it ensures that when utilization is high, customers are satisfied. Since he is aware that his expenses are spent wherever he is.


That’s right, he dedicated all of his time and energy to implementing software that is being used to its maximum potential, and in doing so, we believe we have fulfilled our duty as their premier transformation engineer.


They come from a time when there was less discipline and more emphasis on transparency. For example, an employee’s appraisal cycle in a corporation might last three to four months, beginning in March and ending in June. This causes a great deal of demotivation among the users. Everything is moving through the system in a really clear and effective manner because they completed the personnel base and today in a few weeks.


Therefore, those elements let us feel that we can still meet current business needs and trends when we have strong case studies and satisfied reference clients on hand.


Q- Officenet’s overarching vision and strategic approach towards becoming the leading HR Tech solution provider in India, and how does the company plan to leverage its strengths and innovations to achieve this goal in a rapidly evolving HR technology landscape?

Indeed, an organization’s ability to govern itself is one of its stronger points; nowadays, governance is a topic of great importance. In such instance, our program, “officenet,” as I would call it, turns into a facilitator. We support HR facilities for improved governance, particularly for companies with many company locations or plants.


Undoubtedly, the software has benefited, and there is undoubtedly more use of mobile apps as well. They have also benefited from receiving a wealth of pertinent data analytics regarding even basic platform usage.


Consider a travel expenditure module that is genuinely intended to cover field staff members’ out-of-the-office expenses. As a result, there is a financial component to it, and claim settlement occurs quickly and openly. When management requests analytics to determine how much is spent by departments, units, or business units, as well as cost centers. The system processes all of the data in a more organized manner, and they always have access to the financial side of things as well.


Thus, I would argue that the governance side of such software systems, and particularly Office Net given our current location, adds significantly more value to our customers than HR activities do.


Q- In the ever-evolving landscape of HR, driven by advancements in AI, automation, and data analytics, could you elaborate on how Officenet strategically integrates these technologies to empower its clients, ensuring they maintain a distinctive edge in the industry?

Yes, without a doubt, AI is a developing field that we cannot avoid examining. To find out more about this and the potential for the HR tool, we have dedicated a small R&D team to consistently search for prospects within our environment.


Our AI-powered facial recognition leave and attendance solution is now available via the mobile app. Given that Vishal MegaMart is one of our major clients and has an extensive retail network, they have begun to use it. We are working to improve the system in order to achieve better outcomes for AI-based face recognition, and we are receiving really good case answers.


However, the product also has other features and prospects. Let’s also give an example of what we are working on right now: let’s imagine I have a recruitment module in my HRM where I keep an eye out for a specific skill set. Since I conduct a search for a particular skill set, it ought to be able to identify pertinent resumes based on skills.


Up until now, all search engines could only do parameter-based database searches. However, in the future, specific AI-based algorithms will be developed. We are thus conducting some research and development to see how we might include the advantages of this technology into our solution as well.


Q- What strategic initiatives is Officenet pursuing to drive its expansion plans into new markets or sectors, and how does it intend to leverage its current strengths to capitalize on emerging opportunities?

We are looking at expansion plans, and with the knowledge we have gained thus far, we would like to find partners to help us expand into new regions. I believe it is something we are currently thinking about.


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