Coronavirus has fundamentally changed day-to-day business operations on the part of both employees and employers. Young workers have experienced a greater rise in unemployment during the lockdown. However, we have come a long way since then and learned from our experiences.
In an interview for the T-School Digital Index Survey, Jasneet Kaur, CHRO, BharatPe, tells us more. Excerpts:
DQ: The pandemic has already affected many jobs, and careers. How do you see this crisis and how will a candidate become resilient in this situation?
Jasneet Kaur: This has been a fairly unpredictable year and an extremely challenging one for businesses, across industries. Businesses had to rehash priorities, revisit budgets and most importantly, totally change the way they operate. It has been also been a challenging year from a People standpoint.
Work from home has become a norm across industries. There have been some tough decisions that had to be taken-including paycuts, layoffs and hiring freeze across companies. I see this crisis as an opportunity for professionals to reassess priorities, deep-dive on their short-term as well as long term goals, and learn a new skill or two, so as to be better prepared for the fluid environment.
Resilience is a skill that is becoming increasingly important and more so in the current scenario. My advice to candidates will be simply to be prepared to unlearn and relearn.
DQ: What is the best approach for a fresh graduate or a graduate to prepare for a challenging time ahead?
Jasneet: A fresh graduate or someone who is preparing for the challenging times ahead should be open to gather exposure on the ground. On-the-job experience in a fast-paced company or being a team member in a strategic project has huge value in today’s times. Companies value employees who have practical experience. If one can gather experience in more than one industry, it is even better.
At BharatPe, we are committed to provide an opportunity to young talent to harness their skills. Earlier this year, we launched first-of-its-kind of program called BharatX designed for the development and experimentation of radical ideas to solve the next set of merchant and business problems with innovative product solutions.
The BH1 2020 internship program invited participation from premium colleges across the globe to work in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Human-Computer Interaction, Econometrics, Data Science, etc. The idea was to rewire the DNA in financial services, by going beyond the current ecosystem. We will be launching similar programs in the future with the objective of giving exposure to graduates to enhance their skill-set.
DQ: How do you build a strong employer brand?
Jasneet: A strong employer brand can be built via two key stakeholders- existing and former employees. I believe that existing employees are the key brand ambassadors for an organization. They are the flag-bearers who can push information around the attractiveness of a brand.
It is important to share such information with the external world and showcase how a brand is not just offering a job but building a career. Also, to build a strong employer brand, it is important to showcase the key values. Leadership should take the lead and share success stories around this from time to time. Success, no matter how small it is, needs to be celebrated.
Another important component for building a strong employer brand is former employees. If a company is able to leave a positive impact on the lives of its ex-employees, I believe half of the task is done. Like it or not, ex-employees are also mouthpieces of your culture and the value you bring to their CV. Hence, it’s important to nurture them.
DQ: How do you expand the candidate reach and build a recruitment strategy?
Jasneet: I believe that the era of only offline-led recruitment is over. The need of the hour is to have an omnichannel approach to recruitment that also leverages the digital channels well. In today’s times, building a strong employer brand digitally can be the game changer for companies. To expand reach, one can build a strong alumni community, run employee specific campaigns as well as publish success stories of employees.
DQ: What challenges do you face in attracting the right job candidates?
Jasneet: Honestly speaking, we do not face much challenge in attracting the right candidate. The primary reason for this is that professionals are now keen to take the risk and be a part of a young startup like ours. We are in the fintech space that is always buzzing and hence, experienced professionals as well as freshers are willing to join us and be a part of the journey as we build BharatPe. The agility and pace of business growth at BharatPe makes it even simpler.
DQ: What are the skills are you looking for when hiring new employees, which often can be discovered in the first interview?
Jasneet: First and foremost, it is about culture and fitment in the organization. Also, for a fast-paced and growing brand like ours, it is important to employees are open to the concept of unlearning and relearning. Agility is another skill that we look for as it is critical for an evolving brand like ours.
DQ: Do you provide skilling programs and certification to find the best match for a profile?
Jasneet: No, we do not provide skilling programs as of now. We are a fairly young organization and are currently focusing on getting the right talent on board and we believe that the everyday growth of business is the best learning ground. We may look at providing structured off-the-job programs at a later stage.