1. Prithvi Shergill: Ex CHRO at HCL, CBO at KPI Soft
2 .Prabakaran Murugaiah: Founder & CEO TechFetch.com
3. Rajesh Ahuja- Global Head Talent Acquisition, Infosys
He started the discussion with Prithvi and asked how he would see the Global complexities of workforce planning including the landscape of 2020 and get views on what is this new identification of trust deficit in the corporate relationship
Prithvi called out three themes that stand out
1. The need to conserve cash to survive
2. The need to start cost optimization and reduce in cost especially in technology space
3. On how workforce planning need to start all over again on how is it going to look like in the future because all what was done does not hold good now in the situation.
The productivity and the good old metric of utilization so to how one can actually deliver sitting elsewhere in virtual teams would be a topic to ponder. The most important thing here would be how one would be with people during such times of the pandemic will certainly go a long way/
Ashish went on to Praba to understand the state of hiring in the US market and what are the adjustment suppliers would make in the interest of seizing the opportunity or to stay relevant.
Praba metaphorically tells that this stage is like restarting the engine. He explains the engine has now paused and we got to refill it with necessary oil and we should use this time to do that. He explained this when he started Techfetch. The initial months did not go well as they did not realize that the recession was going on during 2007-2008. So they invested that time in building the brand and worked towards bettering the product and that resulted in 1000 customers in the next few months.
During this time there has been decrease by 95% in terms of opportunities. Currently we have remote onboarding and the requirement that was approved long back has been put to hold as well. The consulting and contracting industry will clearly be the ones to be hit, but on the other side they are the ones to rebound back so we will also be able to predict when the market is going to reopen. The market will open up by the third quarter. Now that it has been all opening up and right now we are at 10% but in the next couple of days it would go up to 30-40% in the first stage mostly throughout this year and hopefully by early next year things should pick up to about to 80%
The tech industry would be the first one to rebound mainly because of the way of work they can continue with. Even the layoffs were not too high when compared to the other industries.
Now speaking of the change in expectations, scenarios like when the organization works with multiple vendors to close positions instead would prefer identifying vendors who are known to supply specific set of skills going forward, the shift such as trying to get as many resumes as possible to close certain positions would change to getting high quality profiles and getting to interview only three candidates and closing the position. Such would be the approach. All the digital transformation is going to be the key which require more SAAS tools. 90% will be in hiring new technologies and legacy applications can see only 10% of being picked.
When he was asked about how smaller staffing organizations would be effected
Praba said it would be a disruptive change. This was supposed to happen 2-3 years ago. As this is predominantly tied up with relationship and people because one is not bringing a commodity but bringing people. Tier 4 staffing organizations may not be able to add value but if they have four recruiters and doing a two million dollar business like a specific skill eg workday, then there are chances for them to survive is higher because they would have been experts in picking up the best people with that particular skill. Those not adopting digital transformation to provide the service he says that it would be a tough luck going forward.
Moving on Ashish wanted to understand from Rajesh what as per him would be the key focus that corporates should transform to and the immediate priorities from the Talent Acquisition stand point
Rajesh gets a valid point that even before the covid there was already a transformation in terms of agile workforce, skill shortage and work places in the future and now it’s going to accelerate all the three dimensions at a fast pace.
From a TA perspective there would be 3 areas of change:
- Fast in internal hiring approach, probably the best talent for your needs would be picked internally
- In these, there would a fair amount of destruction and requirement of new skill….at an individual level and people should focus on relevant skills and on corporate level look for talent internally and provide them an opportunity
- Will the talent supply and talent pool become really global? Yes indeed considering the work from home etc.
If most of the workforce is going go remote then working it not a surprise that the talent pool getting global because anyone contribute sitting in any part of the world. So if these virtual then even the hiring, onboarding would go virtual. During this phase especially it is a great time to look internally for all the Leaders to reflect upon that particular function. Say for example for Talen Acquisition Leaders would have been busy hiring all through but clearly this is the time where one could think of going digital and relook at the entire process that could all get better and make your employer brand stand out.
Further on Ashish was curious to find out from Prithvi if TA function and career and roles in TA would be as sort after like before
To this, Prithvi had an interesting thought process, he said the way to look at it is see if recruitment managers would be seen as career managers. If it is seen just as closing the numbers by filling the position than half them would not have even have the job. The point is where you want to be and doing what. On the other hand, for the candidates it would never be like a face to face interview, shaking hands, getting the new hires on boarded. Because none of these could be done risking anybody’s life.
Getting deeper into the subject Ashish went on to ask Praba what according to him would be the new Tech find for the Technocrat.
Prabakaran mentioned the typical scenario in the Tech industry of how People, Process and Technology come together and going forward more prominence would be given to Technology. He gives statistics on how only 50% of the job seekers post their profiles and rest don’t and 87% of the jobs are not posted by recruiters who need to fill up the position. Now clearly instances such as these are behavioral problems and Technology alone can solve this and the game changer would be Technology Process and People where Technology is given more importance.
Anyone not having the digital mindset going forward it would clearly be a tough game for them to survive.
Gig economy has grown at a 37-38% but for some reason the service organization hasn’t really tested waters in the gig economy. What could have been the mindset in not adopting? This was asked to Rajesh to get his perspectives
To this, he felt it was not clearly that the service organizations don’t use gig or freelancers, in fact the contract employees was some form of gig where it started off with. It just does not get published in the right way, and also in the new digital world / digital marketing all of these does come under gig but it is still not as pervasive as the world made it out to be few years earlier. In the new age economy of ubers and food deliveries gig is more prominent. But especially now in the changing times with all the work from home and people would have more time to do gigs on the site. But the challenges in the services is on the compliance and security because eventually a piece of work would be on contract and high level of sensitivity on data security would be the hindrance especially when you tend to trust people with sensitive information where you have not even on boarded them and at the end of the day everyone intends to provide consistency to clients and that really doesn’t happen with the gig. But there are a lot more activities and platform coming up in the market and it is a good time to experiment. He exclaims that it would certainly be an AHA moment that you have on -demand talent not in a very structured format. Eventually the commercial models will evolve and he says this is something that we all have to wait for.