We need to go be­yond typ­i­cal ca­reer tracks to pro­mote op­por­tu­ni­ties

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­ac­tion with Dataquest, Aadesh Goyal, Global Head, Hu­man Re­sources, Tata Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, shared his views on why hir­ing right will be crit­i­cal for tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies and how his com­pany is geared up to at­tract, re­tain and de­velop the

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—AADESH GOYAL, Global Head, Hu­man Re­sources, Tata Com­mu­ni­ca­tions

How do you see the tal­ent de­mands chang­ing for tech com­pa­nies in 2017? With the chang­ing premise of tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments, it has be­come im­per­a­tive for em­ploy­ers to scout for tech­ni­cal ex­perts. The fo­cus is on find­ing peo­ple who are con­sis­tently de­vel­op­ing and com­mer­cial­iz­ing new tech­nolo­gies to en­hance the per­for­mance needs of their or­ga­ni­za­tions in a dy­namic en­vi­ron­ment. This has led to a need for con­stant skill upgra­da­tion on the part of job-seek­ers.

By 2020, mil­len­nial will form 50% of the global work­force. As more mil­len­nial start to ex­pect cu­rated, per­son­al­ized, val­ues-driven, dig­i­tal ex­pe­ri­ences, there will be a crit­i­cal shift from us­ing a po­si­tion-cen­tric hir­ing ap­proach to a per­son-cen­tric one. With the rise in de­mand for nextgen­er­a­tion niche tech­nol­ogy skills, the stage is set to cre­ate a can­di­date-driven mar­ket. A com­bi­na­tion of th­ese trends is re­shap­ing our tal­ent land­scape as the best can­di­dates are now viewed same as the best cus­tomers of the busi­ness. At Tata Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, how are you re­defin­ing HR strate­gies to match the chang­ing skill re­quire­ments? At Tata Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, we are al­ways on the look­out for sharp minds with a cre­ative bend to be able to chal­lenge the sta­tus quo. New ideas with ex­cel­lent ex­e­cu­tion abil­i­ties are al­ways wel­come. We are look­ing for peo­ple who are will­ing to col­lab­o­rate and in­no­vate across in­dus­tries and seg­ments. We are in­dus­try ag­nos­tic and we are con­stantly on the look­out for folks who are will­ing to ex­per­i­ment and take own­er­ship.

We work hard to cre­ate a cul­ture that is wel­com­ing and flex­i­ble for every­one. Ev­ery­thing from team bond­ing ses­sions to ‘bring your kid to work day’ and com­pany sports day help em­ploy­ees get in­volved and en­gage with our com­pany cul­ture. To help main­tain a healthy work-life bal­ance, we have in­sti­tuted flex­i­ble and re­mote work­ing pro­grams to pro­vide gen­er­ous ex­tra ben­e­fits. The area that we are most proud of is our em­pha­sis on de­vel­op­ment. At any com­pany, de­vel­op­ment is the key but in a com­pany as di­verse in its op­er­a­tions as Tata Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and one with an av­er­age age of 35, we need to go be­yond typ­i­cal ca­reer tracks in or­der to pro­mote op­por­tu­ni­ties for any­one to show their bril­liance, en­trepreneur­ship and im­pact on the busi­ness. Can you give spe­cific in­sights on some of the key em­ployee engagements and tal­ent de­vel­op­ment prac­tices at your or­ga­ni­za­tion? The fo­cus on let­ting in­di­vid­u­als make an im­pact on their own terms be­gins with Shape the Fu­ture, our com­pany wide ini­tia­tive to in­spire and nur­ture in­no­va­tion within the com­pany. It’s a crowd-sourced pro­gram to iden­tify busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties that will add to the top line in the fu­ture. We in­vite our em­ploy­ees to sub­mit ideas that have the po­ten­tial to be­come a $200 mn busi­ness within 10 years and im­pact sev­eral mil­lion peo­ple. We then se­lect the best ones and coach the teams to im­ple­ment them.

In early 2014, Tata Com­mu­ni­ca­tions launched a unique ini­tia­tive for fos­ter­ing in­no­va­tion called Moon­walk. This pro­gram en­cour­ages em­ploy­ees to iden­tify ar­eas of in­ter­est, to learn about them through a cre­ative process and to share the find­ings with every­one in the or­ga­ni­za­tion. The core idea of Moon­walk is to make peo­ple cu­ri­ous, and make peo­ple want to learn all over again. The brief to the teams is clear: in­vest four months in ex­plor­ing the sub­ject – con­duct ex­ten­sive re­search, meet in­dus­try ex­perts, talk to aca­demics and come back with a re­port you can share with the com­pany. Moon­walks in­spire new ideas within the com­pany and help our teams take ex­ist­ing projects in ex­cit­ing new di­rec­tions.

—AADESH GOYAL Global Head, Hu­man Re­sources, Tata Com­mu­ni­ca­tions

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