Assessing blue-collar workforce before hiring can help e-commerce firms tide over festive demand

Updated: Oct 28, 2019 7:39 PM

By accessing the aid of leading talent assessment firms, new-age Indian e-commerce businesses can ensure that fresh blue-collar hires carry credibility, trustworthiness, and good behaviour along with the ability to fulfil the job roles on offer.

Companies need to keep in mind that the demand for blue-worker candidates increases across all quarters.
  • By Siddhartha Gupta

The festive season brings along with it an upsurge in economic activity. The sudden spurt in demand driven by increased consumer spending puts increased stress on various aspects of business operations such as supply chain and logistics, delivery personnel and support functions, additional indirect jobs created at seller locations for packaging and warehouse management, among others. 

To resolve this exigency, various e-commerce businesses turn to flexi-hiring to recruit blue-collar workers. These include delivery boys, customer services, security guards, drivers, and maintenance workers. Such hiring is to be made quickly and at scale during periods of frenzied consumer behaviour and business activity. 

It becomes all the more necessary to ensure that the potential hires do not exhibit undesirable personality traits or “dark traits”. These include opportunism, self-obsession, insensitivity, impulsiveness, and temperament while dealing with customers. Organizations don’t want to end up at the receiving end of bad customer feedback, online and word-of-mouth review and recommendations. As blue-collar workers are the customer-facing a lot, their behaviour and attitude can make or mar business for organizations.  As per research conducted by Mettl & SHRM, the high-pressure work environment – especially during festive seasons – makes workplaces more prone to triggering such traits in the workforce. Naturally, it behoves the senior management to ascertain that the candidates are assessed based on relevant metrics to mitigate the risk of hiring potential defaulters. 

What can the HR do for efficient flexi-hiring

Rising to the occasion, leading talent assessment platforms are offering innovative, tech-led services including dark personality assessments as well as personality and psychological assessments to enable recruiters to hire suitable workers. In a series of positive trends shaping global industries, the increasing adoption of such technology by various e-commerce organizations comes as a major source of relief when it comes to making the service delivery and business cycle safer.  

Also read: Flipkart’s loss for wholesale arm nearly doubles even as it continues to invest for e-commerce supremacy

Moreover, since businesses look to fulfil blue-collar job vacancies in a state of haste during or in preparation for the festive period, they usually need to train the recruits in the necessary skills on the fly. For instance, delivery personnel is required to be able to use a smartphone, digital apps, and technology with ease. As this requirement recurs every year, companies can maintain a list of passive candidates who have experience and expertise in understanding how their industry works. 

Finally, since this incumbency is sudden and seasonal, it becomes critical for e-commerce companies to have plans and strategies in place for post-festive laying-off and exits of the hired blue-collar workers. Empowering them in the use of technology and helping them gain competency, for instance, can enable them to land new jobs quickly. Companies need to keep in mind that the demand for blue-worker candidates increases across all quarters which means that they need to offer a competitive salary range to acquire the best candidates for the next iteration.  

As India immerses into the festive season, industry players across sectors are strengthening their service delivery by hiring additional staff to sail over the waves of frenetic economic activity. By accessing the aid of leading talent assessment firms, new-age Indian e-commerce businesses can ensure that fresh blue-collar hires carry credibility, trustworthiness, and good behaviour along with the ability to fulfil the job roles on offer. On the back of candidate/employee assessment technology, they can manage the present short-term staffing requirements while reducing the risk of incurring untoward outcomes both at present and in the future.

(Siddhartha Gupta is the CEO at Mercer|Mettl. Views expressed are the author’s own.)

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