In an increasingly tech-centric environment, employee expectations are changing rapidly. Talent management, as a result, is now completely different from what it was just a few years ago.
So how does an organisation transform its talent strategy to thrive in the digital age? This was the focus of the latest edition of Talent Talks, Shine.com’s marquee event that witnesses the confluence of renowned human resource HR leaders.
Aptly titled Talent Re-imagination, the 5th edition of Talent Talks was held at Radisson MIDC, Mumbai, on January 24.
The event was attended by HR professionals from front-running organisations including Poonam Ajgaonkar (HR Director, India – Experian), Saleel Panse (Head TA- Mondelez), Sudarsana Sanyal (AVP – Learning &Development-TATA Projects Ltd.), Tanaz Mulla (Head Corporate HR- Trent Limited) and Subhajit Sengupta (Head HR EPC – Stelmec Ltd.).
The agenda of the event was to discuss and find answers to some of the most pressing questions that HR professionals face today like how to redesign the hiring process to drive candidate decisions? How does the gig economy impact the recruitment of critical talent? How to create influential employer branding? How to measure talent performance along with digital strategy?
And finally, how does one create a liquid talent model to fuel digital strategy?
An insightful discussion ensued and culminated with individual conclusions by each of the panellists in terms of what they would like to start, stop and continue in their capacities as HR professionals.
Speaking on the topic, Poonam Ajgaonkar, HR Director, India Experian, said, “Organisations can look at casual dress codes which go well with the millennial population that makes up a majority of our workforce. For high-quality branding, organisations can also look at partnering with celebrities. It is also very important to create employee friendly policies over and above the regular insurance and hospitalisation benefits.
“One example is an open-door policy wherein employees can speak openly not only to their managers but managers across teams and departments. In doing 80, organisations can make employees feel heard.
“Several companies are now also focusing on employee wellness by hiring in-house nutritionists and creating healthy menus in the cafeterias.
“Companies must also offer parental leaves, bereavement leaves and even exploratory leaves for those who move cities to join their team. Finally, companies must focus on inclusion in terms of gender, cultures, sexual orientation along with salary standardization for all groups.”
It was further mentioned that organisations need to stop extravagant external branding if they are not focusing on satisfying the internal teams. If employees are already happy, people will look forward to join the organisation.
Speaking on redesigning recruitment to attract talent, Saleel Panse, Head TA – Mondelez, said, “Human resource leaders will need to start increasing the human touch because that is the only way we can show empathy to candidates. Additionally, companies can use surveys in the candidate market to assess where they stand as a place to work. We also need to start imbibing transparency in our recruitment process.
“We must share feedback with candidates after interviews, give out exact information about job roles and also highlight the positives and negatives about the organisation at large.
“In terms of stopping, we need to do away with the term ‘rejected’. Instead, we must say that the candidate was not suitable for this particular role. We must also stop ignoring our own employees in the pursuit of attracting outside talent. Our existing employees are our best ambassadors, and we must remember this.”
He added, “We must continue offering information about career progression and differentiating between talent acquisition processes for different levels. Finally, we should continue to be passionate about recruiting talent as this will have a hugely positive impact on candidate decisions.”
Subhajit Sengupta, Head HR EPC – Stelmec Ltd, spoke about changing interview processes to impact candidate decisions. He said, “We must start having a better connection with the talent. Human touch jis important. That being said, technology has allowed companies to remove the initial screening process by humans.
“Automated questionnaires go out to candidates so the first round of the interview is complete even before candidate visits the office. HR professionals can then focus on value-added tasks which include adding the human touch to the entire recruitment process.
“We must also ensure the lateral movement of talent and educate employees on how they will move up the ladder gradually. Let’s start talking practically with the candidates and show them their future at the organishine! sation. Further, itis important to give feedback to people about how their interview went and highlight which are the aspects they need to improve on.”
IMPACT OF THE GIG ECONOMY
The conversation then moved on to concentrate on the gig economy that is gaining massive scale in India. Commenting on this Tanaz Mulla, Head Corporate HR – Trent Limited, said, “Digitalisation is changing the nature of jobs and we are quickly unbundling job roles. We might give one part of a specific job role to a gig worker as this will better suit the organisation.
“But this does not mean that we are unbundling an employee. While we will offer one part of the employee’s job to a gig worker, we will ensure that we then upskill the existing employee to boost his career progression. We need to ask ourselves, in this scenario, is our organisation ready to be a part of the gig economy? To answer this question, we need to understand what gig workers need – instant gratification, purpose, and substantial contribution to the Organisation.”
Tanaz’s group members explained what companies need to start and stop doing. “Organisations must accept that the gig economy will affect them and they will eventually become a part of it. They must start accepting and embracing this fact and understand that the gig economy and recruitment of talent in this sector is critical.
“Also, they should start understanding the business context of gig professionals while identifying which roles can be given out to gig Workers. As a result of embracing gig workers, some roles within the organisation will also become redundant. Organisations must also start automating these roles as soon as possible.”
Moreover, companies need to stop laying down ineffective policies that won’t be able to attract or retain gig workers such as fixed timings, fixed hours or a fixed place of work, he added. “The concept of the Workplace must change. It must shed off the rigidity and take in more flexible plans. Gig workers want to work from anywhere, anytime. Let them work in the way that they are most effective.”
Speaking on the event, Neha Kaul, Marketing Head, Shine.com, said, “We are delighted to have hosted yet another successful edition of Shine Talent Talks herein Mumbai. We would like to extend our deep gratitude to everyone present here who helped us make this event an informative and engaging one.
As each edition continues to witness more enthusiastic participation than the previous one, it gives us a greater impetus to continue hosting the event at a grander scale. The innovative format leads to the most insightful, in-depth panel discussions each time, and we are proud to be at the helm of an event that facilitates such conversations, helping the human resource and recruitment domain pave its way forward.”
FACILITATING LIQUID TALENT MODELS
The group members discussing liquid talent models with Sudarsana Sanyal, AVP – Learning & Development – Tata Projects Ltd., presented brief yet insightful conclusions.
“Liquid talent models essentially involve an agile way of working. Organisations can identify resources and give them suitable opportunities.
“For this, we must start creating platforms for the workforce where they can mention their core skills and passions so that managers can identify potential talent and nurture them. This can also be used to identify low performers and train them accordingly. We must also start accepting people as a whole and humanise the job. For this, we will need to further train and educate our managers at higher levels. Organisations need to stop firing for a lack of skill and performance. Instead, we should identify the right jobs for candidates to improve on their performances. In terms of continuing, organisations should take the path of career guidance, reskilling, cross-skilling and upskilling their employees,” the group concluded.
On this note, the discussions came to an end. The delegates were so absorbed in the topic that many of them engaged in discussion seven after the event concluded. Yet again, Shine Talent Talks unlocked new dimensions and possibilities for the hiring landscape, facilitating further growth and success for recruiters across the country.