Our team spoke with HR professional Mr. Roshan Rawal (HR, Indusa). He has been with the firm for more than 6 years and has rich experience in HRIS, HR Policies, Culture Building, Performance Management, Employee Integration, Employee Value Proposition, Software Talent Acquisition, Training and Development.
CONNECT: Tell us about your experience in the industry over the years.
ROSHAN: I have been associated with the IT and software service industry for almost a decade now. If you see from the year 2002-2003 till date there have been many ups and downs, the major setback being in the year 2008-2009 when the whole world was gripped in recession. Our industry also suffered. A majority of our clients of Indian IT services are American companies, Fortune 500 companies, and since they were not doing well naturally we also suffered. But fortunately, since 2014 there has been an steady growth with of course some periodic ups and downs. Especially in the last 6-8 months, the euphoria I see in my company is amazing. I am seeing growth that I have not witnessed in the last 10 years and I know many other companies who are as bullish in terms of business. They need more people, they are expanding, doing well. Healthy merger and acquisitions are happening, so as of now picture is rosy. And seeing the penetration of mobile, internet, digital and social media I see very positive times in the coming years.
CONNECT: What are the expectations you have from new job seekers in your industry?
ROSHAN: Well, its bit complex but if you see any employer in IT, traditional or consulting, the company would look for 2-3 very basic traits which any applicant should have.
1. Sincerity: Towards the organization and their own careers
2. Knowledge and Skills: Of whatever job/task is assigned to them.
3. Positive Attitude: To learn new things, creativity and readiness to face competition and challenges.
Nowadays every company is facing unforeseen challenges and everything is going digital.
Let me give an example. A few years ago, we never thought that we would buy diapers online. The usage of diapers is hardly 10-15 years old in India. We would generally buy it from a medical store or some local store. But today I know a person who orders it from Flipkart. So, due to this change in consumer behaviour everyone has to make changes or else they will perish.
CONNECT: Do you do a background check of a new applicant through Social Media?
ROSHAN: Yes. Social Media gives the idea of the applicant’s views on various thoughts which may or may not align with the organization’s thoughts. India being a democratic country, these are very sensitive matters and it’s important to assess them. It becomes very important for that person to update their LinkedIn profile in alignment with their actual profile.
CONNECT: Do you see any specific issue with freshers who are coming up for recruitment?
ROSHAN: The problem with the present generation is that they are very easy-going. Getting an Engineering degree or a MBA degree is much easier than it was 10 years back. With this they are also of the notion that they will get their job very easily and life will be “cool”.
But not having a serious approach towards their job and career makes it difficult for us. We have repeatedly come across people who have earned their degrees but then have no clue what they will do after it. Scrutiny becomes very difficult for us as we have to pick up the right candidate from this lot. It’s the same as picking up a needle from a haystack.
CONNECT: Any advice for freshers through which they can improve at a personal level?
ROSHAN: They should be very serious and have a clear cut goal for their career and their actions should also match those goals. Applicants should be completely aware about their field of interest. In spite of having access to information the present generation is still not informed. The young generation has not been able to utilize that power of access to information. It can partly be due to their immaturity or know-how or just a lack of seriousness. Freshers should develop an attitude to be informed and use all available mediums of information to gain knowledge and stay updated.
CONNECT: Do you see any issue with middle management employees in the company?
ROSHAN: All the people in middle management who have work experience of 10-15 years are children of those who have started their careers in early 70’s in private or a government enterprises, where ‘getting a job’ was enough in life and it was easily attainable. They lacked vision of a long term good career in jobs. Due to that, the environment that the middle management people have got in their childhood doesn’t give them any vision; that being a professional and having a degree they should focus on upgrading themselves and keep themselves ready for challenges. At one point of time these people get complacent and do not push themselves to get more competent. The organization suffers as it also lacks a competency level from such employees. They are otherwise doing a very good job but their complacency stops them from attaining new heights in their careers.
This will eventually build pressure in the market as organizations would lack innovation or new ideas. There would be a revolution similar to what happened during the 19th century in USA, when there was an eruption of the idea of an individual career, which will anyways take time in our country. Such ideology of individual careers and also a new political structure in the country which looks promising will help the country to move on the way to becoming a Superpower.
CONNECT: How important is HR as a function for small entrepreneurs?
ROSHAN: Small entrepreneurs have to first build their business to decide what type of culture they want to set in their enterprise. Getting good people is difficult, retaining them is even more difficult but growing with them is the most difficult task. It becomes difficult for these small entrepreneurs to provide increments to employees if they don’t deliver as expected.
Big companies like L&T and TCS faced the same problem when they had to retain employees because such employees become liabilities for the company. At such times the role of HR becomes very important to deal with such issues.
CONNECT: What do you expect from the industry in terms of hiring one year from today?
ROSHAN: The key words are “very short term hiring in talent acquisition” and “project based hiring”. Moreover we will also focus on hiring specialists for short term. This will give freelancers immense opportunities. This is where you may have a very specific requirement for 20-30 days and you can’t afford to hire a full-time professional. I also see dominance of very short lifecycle of employees, specialist, consultants or experts in the industry.
CONNECT: Can you state your any memorable experience as a HR which would stay with you for a very long time?
ROSHAN: We celebrate a family day on Diwali where we invite family members of our employees. They visit the office and see the environment and meet other colleagues. There we often meet family members of our employees especially junior female employees. The kind of respect we get from their family members, especially for HR people is just humbling. They personally come and thank for the opportunity that we have given to their son or daughter and also the help we have extended to them. The real respect and gratitude that you see in their eyes pays off for all our efforts. As President Obama during his recent visit to India had said in his ‘Man Ki Baat’ broadcast, “How do I get energy to do my work? It is a fact that all the complex problems of the world come to my desk, they’re hard to solve and they affect the lives of millions of people associated with them. It gives me immense pleasure to solve such problems to make their lives better. When I go out to campaign or any other official outing I meet so many people and they say things like “…three years ago you did this… and it helped me a lot…” and this gives me energy.’ My work too affects someone’s life and that gives me energy. I come to office every day and get my hands dirty, my CEO gets angry with me for doing few things but I still do those things, because I have conviction that I am doing something right for my employees and the organization. It’s a very enriching journey.
CONNECT: Lastly is HR a female-dominated function?
ROSHAN: Your mother cooks the food at your home but the most famous chef of India is a man. Most cooking shows on television are run by men. So you may draw the same analogy here too.
Every week we connect with one veteran HR professional and get that connect into the corporate world. We talk about trends, expectations and their plans for the future. If you’d like us to ask something specific, drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.