On August 25, 2022, Digital HR hosted a digital symposium where many important industry professionals expressed their perspectives on the importance of employer branding, the era of resignation, how hiring methods have evolved all around the world, how people now perceive their work, and much more.
Organizations had to modify their working styles overnight during the pandemic. Everyone around the world was struggling as they navigated unfamiliar ground. While much has changed in the last two years, businesses are still attempting to adapt to make working for their firm more enjoyable.
The pandemic brought in the great era of resignation, as everyone’s attention moved to their well-being rather than that of the firm for which they worked. As employees returned to work, employers had to reconsider their rules and consider how they could improve the workplace. The Digital HR Symposium delved into these new aspects, providing HR professionals with new perspectives on hybrid employment, the importance of employee branding, and the Great Resignation Era. Continue reading as we go into great detail regarding the subject!
Mr. Yogesh Sharma, Global Leader – Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding , kicks off the symposium with a quick introduction to the topic. He discusses how HR has evolved dramatically in recent years and how employees have reacted to the changes. He also says that during the onset of the pandemic, there was talk of impending layoffs in practically every sector, but that 6 – 8 months later, companies were battling to retain employees and hire new people due to the great era of resignation. He also describes seeing attrition rates jump from 10% to a startling 30-40% in industries where this was not predicted! He then turned the conversation over to the other speakers, asking them how they coped with the Great Resignation Era, the importance of employer branding and how it has aided them, and how they managed attrition in their organizations. He also inquired about the types of trends they anticipate in the future and how we can prepare for them.
Smrita Dubey, Chief People Officer – Infocepts, mentioned an MIT research in which over 24 million people quit their jobs in three months. Across the board, there was attrition. Regardless of size or industry. This occurred as a result of a significant shift in which people began working remotely and discovered that with technology, they could still deliver a lot and add value from home. However, this presented difficulties because businesses were not prepared for it. It was challenging to switch between working and interacting online and physically attending the office. She is a firm believer that people quit because of culture, supervisors, and the environment, as well as a failure to see their careers progress over time. We must focus on providing our employees with a CAREER rather than just a JOB as part of employer branding. Only then will this come down because we see the necessity for evolution in this domain.
Mr. Abhijit Puri, Senior Director – Cuelogic Technologies an LTI Company global operations and talent transformation responded to a question posed by the moderator – about attrition and backfilling, everyone has battled a little. How has employer branding helped him attract greater talent than competitors, its importance, and how can you differentiate yourself from the competition?
During the pandemic, everyone began to look within and prioritize their health, family, and other vital areas of their lives over a 9 – 5 job. This provided everyone with a fresh perspective on the working class, making them reconsider what was important. Their employment, their income, or the firm for which they worked. As a result of the impact on imports/export, there was also a surge in business growth. As India has evolved into a digital hub, people have more options to work around the world. Because of improved connectivity in various remote areas, we can now work from any place. As a result, a larger challenge arose. Salary ranges differ from place to place. Anyone, regardless of location, can now work for any company. This upended the system, and a new challenge arose: What could be done differently to retain/attract new talent? He believes in promoting a dream or a career rather than a job. How would their life be different with a 9-5 job, or how will their job be different from others? Making them consider the big picture aids in the recruitment of new talent.
Dr. Pratima Sheorey – Former Director of SCMHRD, Founder and Director eVyaas Learning Pvt Ltd., said she understands the psychology of students as she has spent her entire career working with them. How do you see attrition, talent, and how to retain it as an academy? What is the most important to the students at an institute? What’s the name of the company, what salary packages are available, and what position are they looking to fill?
Dr. Pratima Sheorey responded by saying that the brand mattered. The compensation package, the CTC, and everything are important to the students so good employer branding is crucial. She argues that today’s students aren’t truly students. The students who enroll in top business schools are highly diverse. They’re a little older, have work experience, and for them, the brand and package are important. The brand is important, and legacy brands tend to carry a bit more weight. During the Great Resignation, their college faced a different problem: more firms and fewer pupils.
Manashi Kumar, Head of Talent Acquisition – Benett Coleman Co. Ltd, expanded on what Dr. Pratima and Mr. Abhijit Puri mentioned about people reflecting on their lives and taking a break as a result of the pandemic. Because of the uncertainty, they were even encouraged to speak up. People are considering the whole rewards. One is compensation, and the second is what aspects comprise the intangible, which has become especially essential for young people. People are now aligning their values with the values of the organization and there to come to the total incentives, which is what HR needs to rethink and rework. She considers the resignation era to be a fantastic movement.
She said, “Thankfully, her company did not have to deal with the high turnover rate that other industries were experiencing.” Her company’s attrition rate increased from 2% to 9%, but they were still dissatisfied. So the issue for them is to find the appropriate people. Attrition and retention are the same things. So they’re reflecting on their employee engagement journey, looking at a flexible/broad-based talent continuum, and creating new hooks. She is more concerned with the talent spectrum. Thus, balancing a flexible workforce is critical. They are constantly striving to keep things authentic and compelling by providing stories about the brand and making things authentic.
The presenters were then asked a similar question on the differences in hiring tactics in India and elsewhere. When we hire external talent, we adhere to a strict protocol. In contrast, people from various backgrounds are hired for various roles in other countries. Do you believe the gig economy is affecting the entire talent landscape owing to talent scarcity and how we now approach new talent as talent preparation is also evolving?
Dr. Pratima Sheorey answered, saying that when it comes to the gig economy, people are now more committed to their professional development within the organization; this is a shift in thinking. Regarding the gig economy, some companies prefer full-time employees, while others are content with employees who work for other organizations. Work-life balance is important, and they should do what they want. They seek equilibrium. Before COVID, the employment fabric was shifting, and the transformation was hastening.
Smrita Dubey reacted to the question by stating that grasping concepts is more crucial nowadays. Understanding the customer and the customer’s customer is essential since only then can value be created. Infocepts provides employees with the ability to choose their professional path by informing them of the options available. So, if someone wishes to shift their domain, they can do so by learning new skills. Employers have ceased pegging individuals for them to select how they want to work, therefore the sector is modernizing.
Mr. Abhijit Puri then emphasized two critical points:
- We become what we hire. If you want to grow smarter, you must surround yourself with smarter people so that you may focus on other things.
- When hiring, companies look for a can-do and a will-do mindset. Covid brought about several positive developments in the working economy. Trying to extract as much as possible from every resource, a necessary change has now occurred, resulting in a win-win situation. In today’s economy, many gender biases have vanished, and more women are encouraged to enter the workforce.
Manashi Kumar then expressed her views on how even in the gig economy, employees expect the same or similar benefits as a full-time employee and that’s an area that employers need to navigate in.
The speakers then came together to express their views on how they think they can better the hiring process. Flexibility is here to stay, and the hybrid model is something they’re looking for as it’s a learning process, where employers and employees are navigating their way through unknown or trendy waters.
As an employer, what’s the best thing that we’ve done? The moderator asked. How has your way of communication changed?
Mr. Abhijit Puri responded by saying we must be aware of the choices we make. Employee Value Proposition or EVP begins when the employee walks into the office during the time of an interview. He believes in making the employee feel a part of the team as opposed to attracting them to high-tech, or swanky offices. Employers need to be proactive instead of just reactive and analyze a situation before it’s too late such as an employee’s resignation.
Manashi Kumar said that with the pandemic, the workforce had to go digital, and in a time when the attention span is getting shorter, what they must navigate with when you work is the fairness portion between employees who work from the office and those who work in a hybrid model. How would you re-architect the roles? Due to the pandemic, organizations realized that certain work can be done from home instead of the office from a talent perspective.
Mr. Yogesh Sharma, the Moderator, then asked Smrita Dubey and Dr. Pratima Sheorey to provide their thoughts on EVP or Employer Value Proposition.
Smrita Dubey stated that an organization’s EVP is highly personal. As an organization, it is critical to first consider the values that you and your firm desire. Because knowing that allows you to focus more on the advantages you want your employees to have, and so on. It is vital to concentrate on where we wish to go.
According to Dr. Pratima Sheorey, today’s audience is more comfortable texting or meeting online than meeting in person, hence today’s youth is very different. HR is now aided by technology. Most firms have chat forums, which is a must. She believes that the HR community is very involved and that the students benefited greatly from the great resignation era. There has been a shift in how companies approach colleges for recruitment.
To summarise, the symposium was a huge success, with many different perspectives expressed on how hiring strategies have changed over the last 2-3 years, how digital marketing has affected the hiring process, how they are changing their hiring practices, and how the focus for employees and employers has changed. Building a brand takes time, effort, and the ability to grasp the big picture.