Vinnie Raviraj, Senior Director HR & Talent Acquisition at SRG Asia Pacific

“The true essence of inclusion and empowerment are merely superficial and not prevalent in the actual workforce,” Vinnie Raviraj, Senior Director HR & Talent Acquisition at SRG Asia Pacific

Vinnie’s career highlights and passion for Talent extends with 20 years of her work experience, being part of well established, large, multinational and global organizations. Her work scope over the years in Malaysia and ASIA has uniquely positioned her as one of the SME for TALENT / HR, amongst corporate Malaysia. With a strong interest in Global Business Services (GBS), Vinnie is currently appointed into SRG as the Senior Director – HR TA where her major focus comprises organization redesign and culture transformation of the organization’s holistic Talent / Employee matters and strategic expansion.

 

Vinnie Raviraj, in her interview with SCIKEY, speaks on how empowerment has acquired a different meaning in today’s age and the importance of mental health concerning employees. She also elaborates on the growth of the BPO sector and the expansion of outsourcing markets within South East Asia, primarily Malaysia.

 

With an extensive years of experience of over 20 years in the Talent arena, what according to you are some essentials that are not spoken about enough in the industry? 
With Hi tech booming and new digital version bringing us at Ind 4.0, I think too much talk or focus has been positioned on Hi Tech and its disruption. How much focus is Hi touch matters with people given great importance. We have highly evolved and will continue to be in the hi-tech world, we greatly speak of the newest technologies, gadgets and apps but no one is really talking about policies that evolves people. Author Brigette Hyacinth couldn’t have said better, It’s time to put the “Human” in Human Resource. 

 


For example, My recent involvement in Mental Wellbeing at a mainstream event in Malaysia @ the 1st Mental health Experiential Conference 2019, was a wakeup call. It was discovered that every 1 out 3 Malaysian adults reported, experienced mental health problems, let alone the under reported cases. 250 of Malaysia’s population attempt suicide every day and mostly are categories of employees. It’s the least spoken or dealt with despite the seriousness of the issue and essential to discuss at boardrooms levels for more meaningful work policies and desired workplace.

 

The other noteworthy area is Inclusion. While some minor segments have seen the light at the end of the tunnel there are still predominant issues related to this matter. Empowerment for one has so much hype but in reality, lack of empowerment and greatly submissive behaviours amongst employees are still existent, prolonged since the Industrial era.

 

This has caused organisations to be left behind. Companies need to realise, words don’t change a culture, but action does, and such actions starts from the top. Leadership plays an integral role as one that points the company in the right direction, sets the tone, establishes expectations and lead by example, will make a phenomenal game changer.

 

How do companies deal with talent acquisition in an era that is moving towards the gig economy? 
We move with the change. As a matter of fact, most of the jobs in the BPO sector, about 80% of the employment-force predominantly the ones that makes the most bucks / revenue for the organisation are on gig contracts. With Outsourcing market and global economy coming to play, it has shifted the outlook of jobs today, be it operational or functional, forcing more skills from newer markets empowering gig jobs. Thankfully for the BPO industry at least, this is now no longer a new norm and it is well embraced by the talent market. Also, where we see change in rapid speed, this functions as an advantage besides allowing talents, be it local or foreign to seek newer opportunities and diverse their skills without having to succumb to one position “life-long” or long term, per say. With AI coming in place inevitably the gig jobs are also aiding the process of accelerating skills and forcing talents to level up or level out. As long as the company promises new learnings, skills and continues opportunity it becomes a marketing value strategy for Talent Acquisition.

 

With over 11 years of experience in Talent strategy within the Contact Center BPO sector, how is the talent acquisition developing strategy in BPO outsourcing industry is different from other sectors. 
Keeping in mind BPO is a business practice in which a company’s non-core skills are transferred to a 3rd party either for economic or skilled labour purposes. Being a 3rd party the revenue source is volatile.

BPO industry is tuned towards Partnership collaboration that includes hiring. This creates a tedious talent selection process from screening for eligibility, to technical communication assessment, followed by HR / Ops Client interviews. Each set of clients have their own set of rules and agenda while looking for the best and worthwhile talent. 



Secondly, with the manifold growth in the BPO industry, which is known for its prefix cost, mass hiring month to month to meet business demands are no longer an amazement. Furthermore, noticeable attrition compared to other sectors is a norm in this business line. Besides churning a constant pool of fresh applicant and having an inventory of ready to hire pool, there is also a need to nurture or up skill existing employees who are keen to pursue a stable career. Skill base assessments for newbies to ensure accurate profiling and Structured internal programs within the Centre of Excellence is necessary if not crucial for capability building within the existing workforce for continues accessibility of talent pool 



To add, Malaysia being a SEA hub and now popular amongst the other region, certainly and strategically demands a blend of local and expatriate talent pool, thus creating a multi cultured diversity. This forces the TA model to be creative for optimum outreach of talents through various hiring channel. Also, understanding the nuances of the native country and its marketing and advertising portals, Campus placement opportunities, Referral programs, direct applications and the famous Social media outreach. 



Such complexity has also enabled the recruiters of BPO sector to be dynamic, highly competent, flexible, yet on their feet despite being in varied time zones. While leveraging on technology, using the newest hiring platforms, creating applicant tracking systems, all at the same time had force permitted the BPO industry to be continuously incessantly creative to connect with talents all around the world. As the TAT for hiring is certainly short, there is no luxury of being relaxed. In-line with the aforementioned, the team of recruiters are selected for greater business values and long-term placement. As a crucial enabler, the BPO industry needs experienced crew of Recruiters, weeding out the common rabble. As the saying goes “Best things comes with a Price.



The talent retention rate has been dropping, do you think this can be changed with better talent acquisition strategies? If yes, how? 
After crossing 3 generations in world of business, we’ve observed, 1st ) The Industrial revolution ( a workforce that focuses on survival, that boss is always right. Loyalty was utmost, not career or bigger salaries because opportunities were less. They are pretty much the grandparents of today’s workforce, 2nd ) is the Information revolution ( the existence of IT companies. The workforce here went for standard of living not survival. They went for lifestyle, bigger houses, cars and salaries. Here they had more options so people would leave for newer jobs), then came the 3rd ) Social / digital revolution (here the Information revolution is engulfed, today information is at your fingertips and no longer a hidden knowledge. We can learn almost anything on the net.) So today ‘s workforce in the social or digital revolution wants quality of life. They don’t care about survival or lifestyle because their grandparent and parents took care of that. This workforce looks for quality of life as in quality at workplace, quality of job and reward, quality of environment, quality of opportunity and development. Unless we do not have a mechanism of that we will always grapple with attrition. 



To share my personal experience working for the BPO company where the company suffered a flabbergasting attrition. At best 14% and worst 22% a month. This accounts to a 100% of fresh resources every 6 months. After 2 years, the attrition had stabilised and dropped to 8% a month. All we did is, changed the quality of the organisation holistically aka CULTURE that consist of quality at workplace, people policies, engagement, leadership style, jobs and reward, environment, opportunity and development . Thus, Making A Difference to the organization and its people and creating a natural strength for attrition control.



Please share your ideas on Gender diversity when hiring talent and how to maintain a balance as you’re also actively involved in the development and growth of “Return mothers/Female talents” together with the Ministry of Human Resource TalentCorp Malaysia
As one of returnee mother myself, I have been blessed with opportunity to work with organisations that not only empowers women to develop their careers but supported my journey in championing women related activities. I have seen the worst, best and evolvement of this transition. For example, our organisation today consists of various clients from ISP, Retail, Insurance etc, one of the clients is a key market player for baby products specifically dairy items. As you can imagine, the primary customers here are mothers. To support these sectors of mothers, we are to produce the right and worthwhile skill of talent whose skills and experience are not merely gained through workforce but through life changing experience. It is in this instance Returning mothers or job shifters who experienced in childbirth and /or raising children would exactly comprehend the job role whilst keeping Customer experience at par if not raising the bar.

Just as science reveals nature’s diversity, company’s today reveal their own nature by the inclusivity and diversity they foster. On the broader gamut of this subject, one’s marital status, religion, preferences or gender are the least of the priority more than a talents’ capability. Added with inclusivity and civility at work, this advertently has become a natural cause of diverse gender balance and any other concerns have become insignificant to none. As our hiring and people model today emphasises on such aptitude without prejudice, skills supersedes everything, thus everyone are treated in fairness and given similar opportunities without discrimination.


About SCIKEY:

 

SCIKEY Talent Commerce Platform is a Managed Talent Marketplace that enables employers globally, to build manage productive teams. With its online platform powered by AI platform-enabled services, Intelligent Automation and patented “SCIKEY MindMatch” algorithm; it simplifies how businesses contract or employ the best quality talent anywhere, while focusing on leveraging the talent mindset (psyche) as their prime competitive advantage.


SCIKEY’s mission is to provide the best cost, plenty of choices unmatched convenience to the employers across the globe, in employing or contracting the best quality talent On Premise, Offshore as well as in a Remote engagement.


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