Mint ST : 2019-02-11

LONG STORY : 13 : 9

LONG STORY

Life 09 BUSINESS OF LIFE BUSINESS OF MONDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2019 NEW DELHI How to ace disasters and keep alive the joie de vivre of a trip Supriya Sehgal country, Sukhija is used to blurred boundaries between work and relaxation. The same goes for Jain, CEO and co-founder of an international contemporary interior design studio, Bent Chair. Despite work hours spilling on to meals and families, the duo manage to take four holidays in a year, each a week long to re-energize. While their first trip together in 2015 was to Hong Kong, Jain likes to remember Europe as the mega-holiday that got them addicted to travelling together as a couple, who are engaged and plan on getting married this year. It’s no surprise that it came with a disaster story. Jain was travelling from Hong Kong and Sukhija was to join her in Italy. Sukhija asked his house help to ready his suitcase—he packed everything for a beach holiday, complete with flip flops and shorts. “We arrived in a freezing Italy and when Priyank opened his bag, we couldn’t help but double up laughing. It was a long trip of three weeks and the first thing we had to do was shop for weather-appropriate clothes,” says Jain giggling. The trip was full of new experiences, so the little shopping speed breaker was soon forgotten. In fact, that has been the tenor of most of their trips since then. Both Jain and Sukhija find themselves drawn to cities but seldom find themselves museum-hopping or queuing up for sights. Their trips are generally food-centric. “The last time we went to London, we ended up going to the same restaurant every single day for four days,” remembers Jain. If it’s not food, their trips are place to unwind with new music, undiscovered deejays and a giant party where no night looks the same. Sukhija’s preference for music-heavy destinations, including festivals, has added a new dimension to their travels in recent times. The Tomorrowland UNITE Spain in Santa Coloma de Gramenet in Spain is a favourite. But it’s food that really makes a destination tick for both. “Luckily, we tend to have the same opinion on dishes and restaurants, so it’s always our safe theme to go with,” says Sukhija. As a couple, they have never worked to travel, instead fitting their travel around work. Last-minute bookings, unplanned days and half-done itineraries make room for surprises during the trip. And even though their phones ping with work messages frequently, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have fun. The next destination that makes an excellent culinary case for itself? “Has to be Japan,” both Jain and Sukhija agree. They’re sure of the cuisines they want to try, the cities they want to explore and the restaurants they want to book. The only thing that is left to see is what travel disaster comes with this. L eaving your well-packed bags at home when you’re heading for an international trip can either be a deal-breaking romantic holiday, or an incredible memory that tickles you through life. Fortunately for Natasha Jain, 30, and Priyank Sukhija, 39, its a favourite travel story. Over years of counting miles together, Jain and Sukhija have managed to turn around every possible situation that could have spelt doom into memories that trigger loud embarrassed laughs. If you are wondering what happened to the luggage and if they did get on the flight, the answer is “yes”. Their friends brought the luggage just in time. As CEO and MD of First Fiddle F&B Pvt. Ltd, the brand behind a dozen restaurants and pubs in the Travel Tip: Let spontaneity fuel your adventure spirit. Leave something to chance without planning. It might be the best part of your trip. Life TRAVEL FOR TWO Priyank Sukhija and Natasha Jain fit their travel around work. Travel for Two is a series in which couples walk us through their favourite trips, measuring their travels in most memorable moments and not miles. about sampling beaches across the world, their two favourite destinations being Koh Samui and Ibiza. Jain and Sukhija have returned to Koh Samui and Ibiza repeatedly. Koh Samui’s endless golden ribbons of sand are ideal to view surreal sunsets that jolt you from a relaxed stupor. On the other hand, Ibiza is anything but the perfect The new ‘millennial’ rules for recruiters TALKING POINT SAMEER CHADHA Write to us at [email protected] From social media to AI— a lot more has found its way into the hiring conversation Sohini Sen O [email protected] ne of the major factors influencing the way millennials work, play and live is the fact that they have grown up in an age where everything is instant and online. “Their affinity towards technology, flexibility on how and where they work, search for purpose and work-life balance, means employers must have a fresh perspective for attracting them,” says Abhijeet Mukherjee, CEO of employment website Monster.com (APAC and Gulf). The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018 found that attracting and retaining millennials and Gen Z respondents begins with financial rewards and workplace culture; it is enhanced when businesses and their senior management teams are in diverse roles, and when the workplace offers higher degrees of flexibility. “Given that millennials are now present across businesses, how talent is being acquired has been impacted in the last few years,” says Mukherjee. The people who have been bringing them to the workforce—the recruiters—have been reinventing their game plans. QUALITY GENERATION Millennials have work traits that are different from previous generations. Organizations have to use varied approaches to reach out to this age group, so presence on social media plays a key role here. Companies understand the need for visibility on platforms where the target talent spends quality time. Companies also need to exhibit the experiential and cultural aspect of the workplace along with the opportunity, and social media is one of the best platform to highlight this. “The recruitment process has seen a shift from hiring talent with adequate capability in volumes to hiring fewer but more skilled talent. This shift from volume to quality results in a shift in recruitment process as well, and technology plays a critical role in making this happen,” explains Chetan Yadav, chief people officer at Tally Solutions, an enterprise resource planning software provider. So when you are forming a recruitment team to hire millennials, its important for members to have an open mind. “It also helps if the team has members belonging to the millennial generation; it creates a positive image of the organization. Prospective millennial employees are receptive to the company as they can relate to the recruiting team and feel that they would be able to work with them,” says Poornima Gupta, associate professor, human resource and organizational behaviour, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurugram. The recruitment team of organizations need to be trained, especially when it comes to handling millennial talent. Focus on developing a good attitude. The present generation scans the net for jobs. Thus companies have to keep their profiles updated and build a brand image online as a great place to work. “Social media is also useful to keep track of what the industry trend is, what skills are hot, who are the competitors hiring, etc. It is, empowering for the talent and enabling for the recruiter,” adds Verma. Technology also enables these recruiters to understand the candidate experience. For example, Glassdoor reviews give JSW Group an idea of the areas they need to work on. “We understood that the feedback time after an interview was too much. We are now working at plugging that gap so that they can not only get feedback on time, but also track what stage of the recruitment process they are in. Our job site will show candidates if they are in phase 1 or 2 or almost at the final leg of the interview process,” explains Gautam Chainani, group president, HR at JSW Group. Using Artificial Intelligence to predict attrition can also help, since that helps JSW plan the manpower requirement at any point. Despite all this, however, Chainani believes that the human touch still counts at the end. Therefore, recruiters must be trained to handle questions and explain the requirements and expectations to candidates. “From our experience, millennials want to know about the learning opportunities, office environment, continuing education programme, etc. They want to learn fast and move fast, so, in a way, companies shouldn’t just employ them, but through their learning and development programmes, make them employable as well,” Chainani adds. Always remember that the millennial candidate will use social media to cross-check. Just stating one or two value propositions will not be convincing. As Kohli puts it, making your present employees—even the candidates who come for an interview—your brand ambassadors, letting them spread a good word about the hiring process can do wonders for the company. Avoid being an awful interviewer T he recent accusation by Uk-based Olivia Bland (via Twitter, right) about intimidation in an interview by the CEO of Web Applications, UK, has rocked the world of recruiters. The 2hour interview left her feeling upset. She was eventually offered the job, which she refused because the interviewer “tried his best to intimidate and assert power over a young woman, who continues to push even when he can see that he’s making somebody uncomfortable to the point of tears”. It has made people conducting interviews wonder where to draw the line between “checking if the candidate can handle tough situations” and “harassment”. In an age, then, when the interview experience also influences the employer’s brand image, how can you make sure it goes smoothly? “The interviewer should have the emotional intelligence to handle the candidates. Many a times, interviewers from Generation X (born between 19611986) think that they know best what they need from a candidate. They do not have the sensitivity to handle the everwidening generation gap,” says Poornima Gupta, associate professor, human resource and organizational behaviour, Great Lakes Institute of Management. “The need to check for a candidate’s ability to handle adverse situations is genuine, but to ensure this line is not crossed, a) assess the comfort level of the candidate before going for the stress interview; b) look for verbal and visual cues to see if the candidate is getting agitated and change track and; c) get a neutral party to conduct such pressure tests in an interview rather than a prominent person of the organization,” says Gupta. Interviewers should be trained. There should be workshops to sensitize them to the needs and expectations of millennials so that they are better equipped to handle the candidates. In a world where everything is instant, learn to have patience when it comes to your career LEARNING GENERATION While it has often been said that millennials snack on jobs, they seem to be searching for more than just a good pay cheque. According to Sandeep Kohli, partner and talent leader, EY India, gone are the days when a business management graduate would be hired and then allocated a location for their role. “Now the candidate wants to know exactly what they will have to do, where their career paths will go, what are the benefits, and, most importantly, what are the learning opportunities. They are not afraid to ask questions, and, thus, the recruiters must know exactly what they are hiring for,” he adds. Millennials need instant feedback and will often resort to proactively asking the interviewer, “how did I do?”, either right after the interview or within a couple of days. The recruitment team should be prepared for answering,” advises Gupta. INTERNET GENERATION to video recordings and Skype interviews. This, according to Nisha Verma, chief human resource officer of Welspun, reduces the cycle time and cost. “The rate at which technology is hitting the market, adoption can become a challenge. The existing millennial employees at Welspun, therefore, have often stepped up and helped us, even in the recruitment process,” she says. Millennials also grew up in the internet age. So,the way they look at technology is different from the baby boomers, or Generation X. The experience of hiring itself has changed with the involvement of technology. For home textile manufacturer Welspun India, around 70% of positions are now filled without involving a recruiter till the last stage, thanks

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