Companies with diverse & inclusive leaders will emerge as winners: Umesh Ramakrishnan, Kingsley Gate Partners

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Updated: August 25, 2021 12:27 PM

'What started as a substitute in March 2020 has become the norm. Video interviewing is here to stay even after we achieve herd immunity.'

jobs, hiring trends, remote hiring, Video interviewing, HireLogic, Zoom, Teams, Skype, Webex, Umesh Ramakrishnan, Kingsley Gate PartnersOrganizations need to start looking into using video interviewing software, not just video conferencing software.

With the country getting ready to tackle the third wave of the pandemic, organisations are fast adopting hybrid business models that are more inclusive of their workforce—and this spills over to the hiring process as well. Remote hiring via video has transformed recruiting and onboarding. Initially, video was used because of government mandated lockdowns and, therefore, there was no alternative; but as the pandemic continued, more companies became comfortable with both remote interviewing and hiring without actually physically meeting the person. Unfortunately though, for most of the pandemic, we were forced to use video conferencing tools like Zoom, Teams, Skype or Webex to interview, and although we may have become more comfortable with the concept of remote hiring, these tools have felt like a poor substitute for in-person interviewing.

Fortunately for us, new technology has emerged that has introduced platforms like HireLogic (you’ll read more on that later), that have been built from the ground up purely for the purpose of remote hiring. This platform allows the hiring team to first build a position profile that is specifically designed for remote hiring, and then hold your hand through virtual interviews ensuring that the process is no longer a substitute for in-person processes, but an actual improvement on it. The best part of the platform is how it is designed to make hiring decisions that takes into account the recommendations of all the interviewers and helps them collectively make a structured, unbiased decision. This platform dramatically mitigates the risk of a bad hire, saving organisations significant time and money. In an exclusive conversation with the Financial Express Online Umesh Ramakrishnan, Senior Partner and Co-CEO, Kingsley Gate Partners talked about C-Suite Hiring Trends and Role of Technology in Remote Hiring. Excerpts:

What are the biggest trends emerging in C-suite hiring in India?

With the technology impact increasing across all industries, organizations are addressing security issues resulting from increased technology use. As a result, we are seeing an increased demand for security personnel. Although there haven’t been any high profile ransomware attacks in India compared to the west, some companies are getting ahead of it by hiring executives who have had experience with such attacks.

In addition, diversity will not be a mere wish but a must. Companies that adopt diverse and inclusive leaders, who are flexible, agile, and embrace change, will emerge as the winners. This is being brought about by both media and activist investors.

Which sectors have seen a rise in executive hiring?

Healthcare, Online Retail and Technology.

What kind of skills or roles are in demand?

Chief Information Security Officer: The role of the chief information security has evolved dramatically. Data protection has become a priority with people working remotely or as a part of a more hybrid business model.

The CFO will continue to be a Hot Job in 2021. The need for a combination of operational and financial leadership is paramount. As geographical regions get more parochial and there is a backlash to globalization, financial officers with a more regional focus have begun to get more recruiter calls.

jobs, hiring trends, remote hiring, Video interviewing, HireLogic, Zoom, Teams, Skype, Webex, Umesh Ramakrishnan, Kingsley Gate PartnersUmesh Ramakrishnan, Senior Partner and Co-CEO, Kingsley Gate Partners

CHROs have been called the frontline workers of the global humanitarian crisis. While the earlier role of the CHRO oversaw all aspects of human resource management and operations for an organization, the pandemic has evolved the role to a more strategic, empathetic, adaptive, and futuristic position.

There is also an added focus on ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance), particularly in healthcare and wellness, food and agriculture, energy, and sustainability verticals. Such efforts to increase awareness have resulted in new titles like “global head of ESG” and “chief sustainability officer”—who need to be more empathetic, technically versed, self-aware, inclusive, and display a high degree of emotional intelligence.

Any specific leadership skills for a post-COVID-19 workplace?

Agility. Tech know-how. Adaptive. Empathetic. Strategic. Inclusive. Experience with having dealt with natural calamities, geo-political disturbances, etc., as they are better suited to deal with the after effects of the pandemic.

The new leaders in this post-pandemic world need to be: (look at order below)

– Empathetic
– Fast and Agile
– Energetic and Passionate
– Flexible
– Inclusive

What role is technology playing in remote hiring?

What started as a substitute in March 2020 has become the norm. Video interviewing is here to stay even after we achieve herd immunity. The reason being is that people have realized that not only is it cost-effective and efficient, but it is also effective. It is no longer a substitute; it is actually better than the in-person interview. Finalists will still take place in person, but with most of the interviews being conducted before the finalist is identified, video interviewing will remain the most efficient and effective way of getting to those finalist candidates.

How is your company aiding its client in executive search as companies transform to remote hiring?

Organizations need to start looking into using video interviewing software, not just video conferencing software. The difference is that on the interviewer side, you are going to have questions, ratings, and the ability to get transcripts of your interview so that you are thorough and efficient. Using video interviewing software, you can bring together all hiring stakeholders to make an objective hiring decision digitally, especially in a world where even the leaders who make that decision may not be in the same physical room. However, it is simple to pull them all together into a digital room. We have spun off a video interviewing software company -HireLogic – that will permit companies around the world to do all of the above.

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