When it comes to hiring talent, the key challenge is to first define the profile and then actually get the right person says Mahindra Auto’s HR head | The Financial Express

To hire the right talent, important to first define the profile and then find the right person says Mahindra Auto’s HR Head

Rajeshwar Tripathi, Chief Human Resource Officer, Auto & Farm Sectors, Mahindra & Mahindra shares his views on what the company looks for when hiring new talent, challenges, maintaining a fair sense of compensation and how the company retains talent.

To hire the right talent, important to first define the profile and then find the right person says Mahindra Auto’s HR Head

What are the key general skills that you look to hire freshers?

Our hiring approach at the entry-level is focussed more on attitude as well in addition to core skills/domain fundamentals. In certain functions, soft skill parameters like communication and presentability do become important.

What skills and qualities do you look for in employees on the shop floor?

At Mahindra Automotive and Farm Sectors (AFS), our focus is on quality and to deliver a first-time-right product. In this context, the employees on the shop floor are expected to primarily exhibit the following skills and qualities:

  • Knowledge of Products & Processes
  • Understanding of Quality management systems
  • People Skills
  • Problem-solving abilities

When hiring new talent, which are the various streams of qualification that can apply to your company?

There is no one education qualification that is universally applicable to the entire organisation. It is very specific to the function and more specifically the role for which the hiring is being done. Further, there are roles like data analytics where educational qualifications can be more broad-based.

Within the engineering domain, the intake of electronics and IT/digital has gone up significantly in recent times.

What are the challenges you face when hiring new talent?

When it comes to hiring talent, the key challenge is to first define the profile and then actually get the right person. In terms of compensation, managing the fine balance between attracting the best and being fair to the existing set of people is one of the biggest challenges in today’s environment.

Assessing the culture fit is increasingly becoming a challenge because of a higher churn in recent years, in general in the country and across industries.

Do you think there is a gap between academia and industry? How can this be bridged?

We do see areas of a gap, especially in the functions where the expertise comes more out of the application of knowledge and also a multi-disciplinary approach. In our view, this can be bridged through strengthening partnerships with the institutions to enhance the exposure to the faculty members and not only to the students through internships, etc as per the current practice.

Periodic refinements in the academic curriculum would also go a long way. Having said the above, nothing can beat the fundamentals minus which it becomes extremely difficult and expensive to train and build capabilities.

What are you doing to attract, train and retain young professionals?

We have been an employer of choice for job aspirants and therefore attraction is not such a big challenge. The issue is of assessment of the right fit, which we believe is the essence of retention. For young professionals, what matters is the career and growth opportunities in the organisation which is our pitch for retention.

Our training philosophy of providing the right ecosystem of blended learning of exposure, education, and experience has worked well for us.

What is your hiring target for FY2023?

It’s difficult to assign a particular number for the year. We have a very dynamic resource planning process that unfolds through the year depending on the business growth and execution of the plans. 

Is there a possibility for engineering professionals working in different segments like two-wheeler, and component makers to switch to passenger / commercial vehicle manufacturing companies or vice versa?

With more than 50 percent of lateral hiring from outside the industry, hiring of engineering professionals within the various segments of the same industry is very much possible, if the skill required to perform the role is met.

Are there any additional training programs or courses that you have incorporated to upskill your existing workforce?

We have invested heavily in Learning Platform to improve and curate customised learning journeys for our employees to make them relevant to either the current or future roles.  

Are fiscal incentives the only way to motivate employees? 

Our employee engagement and motivation efforts are very holistic in approach incorporating multiple facets of individual drivers.

What are the policies laid down to ensure work-life balance for your employees?

We have multiple people practices like Flexi working, health and wellness policy, etc to ensure a healthy work-life balance.

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