Harshavardhan Kundalkar, Chief People Officer, Daimler Truck Innovation Center India says they are keen about hiring candidates with a problem-solving aptitude and a fire in the belly to make a difference.
What is your hiring target for FY2023?
We are growing at a very fast pace and are aiming to increase our workforce by 35 percent in FY2023. At DTICI, we are building a rich talent pool with the primary purpose of expediting the process of on-road adoption of technology. Our robust hiring numbers further help enhance our technical leadership and partnership with Daimler Truck AG.
What are the key general skills that you look for while hiring freshers?
It’s the passion and can-do attitude that make a candidate stand out. While professional degrees are sacrosanct, we look for people who have a problem-solving aptitude and a fire in the belly to make a difference.
When hiring new talent, which are the various streams of education/qualification that can apply to your company?
We prioritise students who have degrees in control systems, mechanical engineering, computer science, and electronics. These young engineers and interns are on-boarded as Graduate Apprentice Trainees and further trained.
What are the challenges you face when hiring new talent?
The shortage of relevant skills remains the top challenge. Today, demand outstrips supply, and skills are scarce. Another roadblock we face is that while we are an established name in the industry and our expertise in product engineering is well known, it has been observed that for attracting IT talent we need enhanced candidate engagement, especially to help them understand how a modern commercial vehicle is a complex combination of state-of-the-art engineering and modern software.
What are you doing to attract, train and retain young professionals?
The engineering problems that we address and solve at DTICI have proven to be the most crucial factor in attracting talent. We work on the leading edge of engineering and innovate for products that are global in nature, and such opportunities are what engineers are excited to work on. At DTICI, we also give them an opportunity to explore many careers within a career by helping them expand their cross-functional capabilities. We encourage our employees to explore various career options within the company and provide them with the necessary tools and a conducive environment to enhance their skills and capabilities.
What are the policies laid down to ensure work-life balance for your employees?
Our employees are core to everything that we do, and they are our biggest asset. Our policies are designed by keeping our employees at the centre. We ensure both mental and physical wellbeing and provide our employees with various types of leave that cover the majority of the crucial events during a human life cycle. There are programmes where they can avail professional guidance from experts for their mental well-being. At regular intervals, we also organise campaigns/initiatives that facilitate comprehensive wellness for our employees. Additionally, we also have a flexible work policy where we empower & encourage our employees to design their own unique working model along with their teams and managers. This ensures that they are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
How do you ensure retaining your hardworking employees? Is fiscal incentives the only way to motivate employees?
While fiscal incentives are an important aspect to motivate employees, we believe that they are not the only means to achieve this goal. Employees further require an employer that can provide them with a complete package that includes great job content, learning opportunities, and a conducive environment to excel in their jobs. Apart from this, company culture that promotes equity, transparency, and inclusivity also plays a pivotal role.
Are there any additional training programs or courses that you have incorporated to up-skill your existing workforce?
We have invested heavily in on-demand learning through online content as well as specific skills required by employees to scale up in their job and to acquire cross-functional capabilities. We recently launched a bunch of initiatives under our campaign called “Unlock you potential”, aimed at providing our employees with various best in class learning & development opportunities.
Do you think there is a gap between academia and industry? How can this be bridged?
Today, there exists a gap between academia and industry, and it can only be bridged by improved collaboration between them. Platforms must be set up to design course content that is industry relevant and enhanced opportunities need to be created to train the faculty and students to align them to market needs and technology shifts. The entire ecosystem, including academia, industry, and government, needs to work in conjunction to future-proof our workforce.
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