While mass electrification of four-wheeler passenger vehicles will take some more years, it has picked up pace in the two-wheeler and three-wheeler space. According to Indranil Ghosh, vice-president & business head at TeamLease Services, this has led to a new phenomenon of increased hiring of freshers, across the spectrum.
They don’t ‘need’ experienced talent
“The data we have received from clients we are working with in the automotive space shows that electric vehicle (EV) start-ups (especially in the two-wheeler space) are hiring a lot of freshers, not because they cannot afford experienced talent but because they don’t need experienced talent,” Ghosh shared with FE.
The reason, he added, is that the kind of knowledge and experience a person has gathered working for years at a conventional petrol two-wheeler company might not be needed at an electric two-wheeler company. “A lot of female hiring is also happening inside the factory,” Ghosh said.
“We have observed that about 80% of the new staff two-wheeler EV start-ups are hiring is freshers, and only 20% are experienced employees,” he added.
Trend is seen across functions
This phenomenon is being seen not only in the area of manufacturing (assembly line), but also in after-sales operations. “The target buyer of electric two-wheeler companies is slightly different, and so a salesperson who has gained experience at a conventional petrol two-wheeler company might not always be needed at an electric two-wheeler company,” Ghosh said.
This 80:20 (fresher-to-experienced hiring) ratio extends even to two-wheeler servicing. “Electric two-wheelers are not as complex as petrol two-wheelers—there are not as many moving parts—and therefore the start-ups in this area don’t have to rely on very experienced persons to service their products,” he added.
Cutting costs, or corners?
One might argue that this trend (of hiring more freshers) could be because electric two-wheeler start-ups don’t have deep pockets (as they rely primarily on funding), but Ghosh added that the salary difference between freshers and a couple of years’ experienced people isn’t substantial.
“By cutting (salary) costs, EV start-ups cannot afford to cut corners,” Ghosh said. “They cannot take a chance in terms of quality. I am sure they are doing a reasonably good job and are happy with that—both in terms of employee management and the end-product.”
The end-reason (for hiring more freshers as compared to experienced employees), Ghosh added, is that if EV start-ups hire more experienced persons, “they may have to first make them unlearn something and then reskill them, and so hiring a fresher may be a better proposition in such a scenario.”