In an exclusive interaction with SCIKEY, Mr. Ankur Tailang, Head of Talent Strategy – GEP Worldwide, speaks about the hiring challenges faced by them in the post-COVID scenario and the various recruitment processes being implemented by the organization to bring in fresh talent.
What are some of the top people challenges that have emerged for you in the COVID-19 times? How are you looking to deal with them?
Covid-19 has brought about a complete shift in the mindset of people in terms of operations, expectations, policies, etc. But the time was less for people to adapt to these changes, finalize and strategize themselves for the next course of action. However, even with less time, people have adapted themselves to these challenges. Some of the recruitment challenges that we faced were honoring the commitment made to the individuals who were offered a job by us. In the last 2-3 months, we have onboarded about 400-500 people, including experienced individuals and fresh campus recruitments. For new recruitment, we had to assess the situation to understand if we must recruit new people or optimize our existing resources.
Internally, a few challenges that we faced were in relation to the business being unable to function as smoothly as it did before the pandemic. When we began working remotely, the challenges were around ways to collaborate as an organization in a way that productivity isn’t impacted. Our IT team had the responsibility to ensure employees could work remotely, which can be a challenge when the number of employees is 2500-5000. The entire recruitment process is revamped. We are looking at online assessment processes moving into virtual platforms like Skype, WebEx, or Microsoft Teams, where interviews can occur. That’s a major shift. We are now getting ready for campus recruitments. Our processes are completely aligned now, and productivity is also on the rise, ensuring that clients are happy.
How different will the talent acquisition roadmap talent requirements post corona from pre-COVID times at GEP Worldwide?
In the pre-COVID scenario, we were in a better situation in terms of hiring as many projects were in the pipeline. Due to COVID-19, talent acquisition has faced an impact, which is now reducing as we have begun hiring again. However, in comparison to last year, we can see a decrease in hiring by 40%. We are now moving into implementing newer forms of technology. Therefore, we are looking for individuals who are well versed with them already.
Besides these, the skill set requirements remain the same as before.
People want to stay back with the company that they were working with already, looking at the current market situation. This can be challenging since we have to look at both the active as well as the passive pool of talent. Many individuals are insecure about looking for a job right now. This is where the recruitment team plays a major role in convincing them to work for us.
The interview process has changed since we now take into account the behavioral aspects of flexibility and adaptability. They are also hired on the basis of the trust factor since a face-to-face interview isn’t possible. Earlier, we were stringent about people relocating to Mumbai or Hyderabad, but now the scenario has changed, expanding the talent pool. Additionally, diversity and inclusion are also something we have been working on. This has two aspects of attracting both the diverse external workforce as also strengthening the internal workforce.
How do you see the future of remote work, and how will HR technologies evolve to understand track the performances of the employees?
Remote working has brought in a few changes. Managers have begun connecting more frequently with their team members to speak one-on-one about their growth perspective. We make our goals clear to individuals right at the beginning. This has an effect on their productivity levels. We have testimonials from clients that speak of how well and on time we have delivered our services. We have our rewards and recognition program. To boost the morale of our employees, we promote and encourage them on our social media platforms. Internally, this ensures that they get visibility, and it encourages other employees to work harder. Externally, it promotes our brand and the culture we follow.
What kind of workplace opportunities does a multi-generation workforce enable at GEP Worldwide?
The current generation of millennials is of individuals who are hungry to learn. This is in contrast to the previous generations who preferred stability. Millennials want a job that presents them with challenges and a dynamic work environment, where they can prove themselves and bring innovation to the organization. Apart from these, remuneration and culture are also aspects of focus for millennials. They don’t look out for stability but rather focus on the growth expected at a workplace as they are ambitious and agile. That is the difference that can be seen between the two generations. However, we try to balance both the new and the older generation as one cannot function without the other.
What are the talent alignment processes that you’re aiming at different demographic geography cohorts?
Culture is one aspect that companies don’t want to get diluted. We are flexible when it comes to operations and how opportunities differ pertaining to the market. Internally, too, we provide a lot of opportunities. Since GEP is into products, strategy consulting, and services, this opens up an umbrella of opportunities for people to work. Some of our employees have gone further in their careers and have taken up bigger roles in India and abroad.
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