Shashank Bhushan is the Vice President-HR and was recently elevated to the role of the CEO, BMC software India. With a career spanning over 24 years, Shashank has been with BMC since November 2010. Prior to joining BMC Software, he was Vice President – HR at IBM India in Bangalore. Previously, he has worked with ITC Infotech, Kvarener Process BPL Ltd. BMC India delivers 3/4th of product engineering for its global products and in his additional role as the CEO for BMC, India, he has the responsibility to drive both Engineering and Back Office Operations of BMC to drive efficiency and enhance the value from India.
In an exclusive interaction with SCIKEY, Shashank talks about current significant challenges in Talent Acquisition what methods they execute at BMC India to reduce solve these challenges.
Challenges in attracting talent:
For us at BMC, attracting talent is not a challenge as we get a lot of attention from candidates. We are ranked as one of the best places to work in India, therefore, BMC has a strong brand presence with top talent aspiring to work with us. We are seen as a great employer and our work culture is one of the main aspects that does attract people to want to come and work for us.
The Current Significant Challenges in Talent Acquisition
- Tailored Resumes:
The resumes these days are tailormade based on the knowledge of the keywords used by recruiters on the search engines as well as based on the job description published out. This causes a lot of junk trickling into the search process. The real content in the resumes and their relevance is gathered only after the recruiters spend time in filtering through these resumes which unfortunately takes up a large chunk of the recruiter’s bandwidth.
- Skill Relevance:
Hiring for new technologies becomes difficult due to the lack of people with the depth of knowledge. At the same time, technology evolution is occurring very fast and the people are jumping on to learning the newer technologies at the same rate. This tends to put a significant stress on the availability of the relevant skill because by the time candidates have some hands-on experience on one technology, some new technology replaces it and the talent keeps changing the knowledge base to the newer one.
- Long Notice Period:
Service-based companies have longer notice periods of about 2-3 months. The candidate does not take more than 2-3 weeks to off load his/her work and hence is in a waiting period of almost more than 2 months before the start of the next employment. This waiting period leaves the employee in a state of minimized engagement as there is no new work assigned on account of the job change. This phase of transition of an employee can prove to be challenging as the candidate gets a window to shop for better opportunities.
Methods to reduce/solve talent acquisition, engagement management problems:
- Administering online tests to candidates:One of the ways to overcome the challenges of relevant skill association is to get candidates to do customised tests. It is important to be aware that candidates today are spoilt for choice when it comes to picking jobs. So when these tests are sent, not everyone is willing to do them therefore those who don’t find the time to respond to the test are the likely candidates who wouldn’t eventually show up. This method does help in sifting through skill sets to better align with the role requirement, as well as weeding out resumes that are tailored to suite the recruiter’s eyes. Implementation of this method has also brought about a significant reduction in the man hours that the technical panel members spent on the evaluation process.
- Using the 9 Box talent segmentation:At BMC, we use the 9 Box to segment the talent and drive actions, which is literally an offering customized for the employees. There could be top talents working in the same technology or area of work but may have completely different drivers for their careers. For example, one employee may entirely be driven by the passion and where the industry is leading him, while the other may be driven by financial well-being, or someone whose driver is an entrepreneurial setup, or a consulting role vs a developmental role. These factors are segmented in 9 different boxes and based on these boxes the employees are treated accordingly.
- Technology intervention for leveraging data:The amount of data generated in the process of hiring candidates or using the 9 Box is enormous. “A technology intervention to make sense of this data is extremely important for retention, succession planning and for future skill development.” Thus, it is crucial to put systems in place to help with gathering and leveraging the relevant data.
- Aligning HR with business goals:Sometimes, the HR departments can get mired into thinking that they have an isolated existence simply to implement policies and processes. They tend to forget that they are all meant to facilitate the business. It’s essential to align HR with the objectives of the company to generate value.
- Inclusion and personal connection with the candidate before joining:The challenge of the long notice period is dealt with by recruiters and the hiring managers working closely.
Sometimes, it’s about sharing company information and at other times just checking in with the candidate on how he/she is doing. Creating this personal connection becomes essential in gauging the engagement level of the candidate. Picking up the early indicators and observing if the engagement level is dropping is vital, without which the recruiter may be set back by 2-3 months if the candidate does not convert. Likewise, the recruiter can either address the drop-in the engagement level by swiftly involving the hiring manger or have an alternative plan in place while there is still time on hand.
Behavioural assessment within talent acquisition:
In order to go beyond skill matching and delve into behavioural matching with the role, it is important to involve the necessary methodological assessment within the interview process itself. The managerial evaluation abilities at BMC have been put in place through an evolution of genuine assessment as opposed to the assertion of methods that have been inherited from seniors. Managers trained on behaviour-based interview skills conduct detailed interviews and assess the different sections of the skill set along with the behavioural traits that are considered best to carry into the related role that the interview is conducted for. The cognitive measurement tools such as MBTI are also used for more senior hires sometimes to help build a development plan early in the employment.
Expected technology advancements in talent acquisition:
Talent acquisition technical solutions haven’t particularly come forth in the market yet to help garner stronger insights. There have been several conversations around talent acquisition technology, however there is no confirmation about these providing the aid to bring about a more precise hit ratio. The expectation of HR today is to have screening mechanisms that help to screen better from the databases. Technologies that reduce the time consumption of the screening process would definitely be a welcome incorporation. For example, an upgraded bot with cognitive abilities that allow it to learn what kind of candidates suit better for a given profile. This would make things much easier for the recruiters. The current day experimentation with AI and video interviews do give additional strength to the necessary cognitive and behavioural aspects of the interviews, but, the full time implementation of these technologies is something that needs to be observed in terms of how it actually plays out in the future.
It is imperative in today’s time that the HR understands business objectives to build a team that will work towards the company’s goals. A HR person should be able to understand the business such that they can even make a sales call if needed. 25 years back the HR function didn’t have a seat at the table, today they have it by default. Most of the HR personnel start feeling that their jobs are all about human sentiments. While that is true, it does need to translate into something more tangible as well. Be it a fun engagement event or a CSR one, or for that matter a training program, the HR personnel needs to be asking the question as to how would each of them help the business outcomes.
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