Currently heading Talent acquisition function for Velocity Technology Solutions, India, a US based Cloud company which is an AWS Premier Consulting Partner. Meenakshi has worked with organizations in the niche domain for more than 18 years now. She has a strong background in designing implementing Talent Acquisition Strategies for niche skills niche hiring across geographies. Meenkashi is also an active participant of the DI and Women group at Velocity Technology. She believes in enhancing a candidate experience which results in nurturing a great company culture. Very Passionate about Employer branding building a strong employer candidate experience.
In an exclusive interaction with SCIKEY, Ms. Meenakshi Pande Kogje, Head of Talent Acquisition at Velocity Technology Solutions speaks about remote work management, applicant hiring processes being used amidst the pandemic and factors needed to build a good employer brand strategy.
How is Velocity Technology understanding the impact of remote work and helping employees adapt to this new normal?
We were prepared well in advance and always had our business continuity plans in place.
When the news of the pandemic started coming in, we had a team that kept track of it. Based on the news, we notified our employees, working globally, of the possibility that our physical offices may close down. In mid-March, the management team announced that we would be working remotely across all locations.
Remote working wasn’t new to us as we had a flexible work-life balance, even before the pandemic was upon us. However, before employees could begin operating remotely in full force, we ensured that everything was under control. The employee portal has been the most significant source of information for all our employees these past few months. Employees were kept updated with real-time data on Covid-19 that was made available on our intranet. We ensured that they had access to articles that spoke on remote working to help them further.
Even now, as our employees work from home, we try to optimize their calendar and ensure that a healthy work-life balance is maintained.
Our business leaders, too, took steps to lighten things up by conducting monthly calls to initiate communications where we discussed customer success stories, cheered for our hardworking team members.
What are some of the new talent acquisition processes that you are deploying at Velocity Technology Solutions?
In the new normal or remote working, we are conducting hiring processes through a cloud-based platform. For video interviews, we make use of Zoom. Velocity being a cloud-based company, we ensured that all data was available to us virtually. Therefore, right from the initial stages of screening of the candidate to the interview was conducted digitally. In the last three to four months, we have completed virtual onboarding as well.
What are the soft skills in demand more than ever due to the current change in work dynamics? Why?
In the last couple of months, skills of ‘unlearning’ and ‘relearning’ have become crucial. It is similar to upskilling, it is advantageous for both the employee and the employer. Other skills, such as excellent communication, motivation, and creativity, are equally essential, but being able to unlearn or relearn is the need of the hour. Earlier, there were a lot of candidates that never acquired additional skills. However, with changing times, people are exploring new skills to get themselves trained and certified.
Adding new skills also adds value to a candidate’s profile. Employers prefer multi-skilled employees, as they do not need to invest time in training them. Since Velocity functions in a niche market, we cannot conduct mass hiring. Getting the right fit as per our culture and technology is more important than merely adding employees. Hence, quality is more important than quantity.
What are the factors that are needed to be considered while building an employer brand strategy?
The first step is to analyze the company culture. We conducted surveys, face-to-face, and virtual meetings at all levels to identify employees’ likes, dislikes, and factors they found to be motivated by the company. Our emphasis is on building a value-based company. Therefore, we make regular checks with employees to understand their experience at work. Next, we try to leverage all our social media channels. We track reviews and ratings on Glassdoor, our retention rates, sources of hiring, employee satisfaction surveys, and even anonymous surveys.
While hiring, we believe that word of mouth travels faster than any other form of communication. We have a very healthy referral policy in place. Therefore, almost 45% of our employees have joined in through referrals. We also have a merit-based selection process, which is free of bias and other external factors.
To strengthen diversity at work rope in other LGBTQ members, we are planning to work with pride group – pune. We will conduct sessions and circulate employment opportunities to them. All this will be done after ensuring that we have policies that will make them feel comfortable and inclusive at work. We also have the Diversity and Inclusion at Velocity (DNIV) Group.
Planning activities to develop a powerful, inclusive, and meaningful program to support the development and advancement of women at Velocity and in our communities.
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