The Most Underestimated Domain – HR – Sailesh Hota, XLRI Jamshedpur

When I was a toddler, my parents always told everyone “humara beta heera hai”. Almost 24 years later, I got into trouble for that when I found out that MBA colleges don’t really like GEMs. I am sure everyone who is prepping to bell the CAT would agree with that. After completing 2 months of PGDHRM, I think I would like to help out future aspirants, to the best of my abilities, make an informed decision about their future prospects.

28 months of pointless work experience in semiconductors, 3 exams and 6 rejects later, I stood with an acceptance letter from XLRI in my hand (well, it was actually a phone). My dream had been realised partially, like most arranged marriages. Yes, I had gotten into one of the top 5 colleges, but it wasn’t what I exactly wanted. Was I willing to join the Dark side and sacrifice Operations to become an HR? Answering yes to my own question, I wandered off into Mordor like Frodo without a clue.

Unseen picture of Mount Doom

My dear aspirants, if you think HRM is all about Rangolis, office picnics, engagement activities and ethnic days, then you would be absolutely right! But only if this was a stand-up comedy video.

Most of the HR activity we see day-to-day is front-end work which is highly visible. Here’s some of the background work that HR Managers actually do which contribute to the growth of any organization:

1. Talent Management: Staffing, recruiting and retention are very important activities to ensure the work quality and high productivity of any company is maintained. Compensation and benefits are a major motivation for everyone. And you could get into that field. Bonus point: Friends come to you for job referrals. So, you can take revenge from Rakesh for stealing your girlfriend in 6th standard.

2. HR Strategy: These days, HR roles are shifting from employee well being to internal strategizing. Unless HR Policies are aligned with the business strategies of the organization, there won’t be any exponential growth of the company.

3. Industrial Relations / Legal Compliance: An important part of HR Management is learning about the law. Labour laws are the backbone of any good manufacturing company. If you love conflict resolution and love the law, this is an area to look at. Personally, I am loving this right now.

4. HR Analytics: As the whole world shifts towards smart work, so do we. HR analytics is very important for predicting employee productivity, future salaries, trends in job shift and a lot of many things. You get to play with big data (actually medium-sized data) and make a contribution to the future of the company.

These are just to name a few. Apart from that, I see people going for technical consulting roles and general management roles from HRM because at the end of the day if you have the desired competencies then everything boils down to people management. That’s the reason IIM Indore has also joined the bandwagon of late. If you are clear about doing finance or marketing then great! But if you are a little unsure about your goals and you get a chance to pursue HR, do not reject it outright. Talk to students, alumni, faculties and then make an informed decision. Also, it helps when you get more time to party than Finance and Marketing folks! (Please assume smiley here.)

Hope this helps. 🙂

Sailesh Hota

SabHotaHai. Dog person. Hate CATs. 710 in GMAT. 97.46 in XAT 2018. Stand-up comedian, IT professional, NITTian and lazius maximus. Worked for 28 months in semiconductors before calling it quits. Feel free to reach out to me on any platform.




I totally empathize! It’s so surprising when you get to know what kind of subjects you will actually be studying as a part of HR.