As promised, I am back with yet another edition of Talent Tech Talks – the blog series. Since we met last, we have celebrated the most exciting “festival” season of HRTech (Tech HR’18), seen couple of billion dollars getting invested in HR Tech and a part of our fraternity even had a day named for them. (Check out #GlobalTADay – Yes, we share it with the teachers day ?)
While I was discussing the importance of (or lack thereof) this day with one of my colleagues, we jumped into the most debated topic – whether managing talent is a science or an art. And we realised that the past few years we have added more science to this field than ever. And since in my last post (Talent Tech Talk Blog III) I promised to share my experiences with “science” in the world of talent- here are three interesting cases that I have come across in the space of assessing the probability of performance & culture fit. They include my personal experiences and some from my interactions with over 10 CEOs, 30 CHROs and 5 entrepreneurs who I meet on an average every quarter.
Decoding People Profiles: We often argue that managing talent can never be a truly scientific process. After all we are dealing with humans who are completely different from one another. A very powerful book called ‘The Talent Delusion’ full of tremendous insights by TOMAS CHAMORRO, CEO of Hogan Assessments Systems beautifully puts up many scenarios backed with data (though enough naysayers still have their opinions) that establish the fact that even in case of people and their personalities, “scientific” data can be a guiding rail. One merely has to look at the raw data & context of Mckinsey’ s famous research “War for Talent” to believe the premise.
Our first-hand experience at PeopleStrong is no different. Though it took two of my friends Pradnya Parasher, founder of (3 Fish Consulting) and Abhijit Bhaduri one of the most celebrated HR professionals from India to help us embrace it. While Pradnya and 3 Fish Consulting team was a partner in this, Abhijit’s book “Don’t Hire the Best” with its case studies and illustrations comes as handy reckoner. One of the very visible results that we experienced was how our early attrition (some HR leaders call it the wrong hire) went down by over 66%. A more culturally aligned leadership team has been an add on!
Solving the Great Indian Talent Conundrum: The Job talent mismatch has been one of the biggest challenges we as a nation have faced in the recent times. Wheebox:- With its proprietary products like WEST (Wheebox Skill & Employability test) & India Skills Report is trying to solve this problem through the scientific lens at freshers & early professional job-data and roles. With advanced & proprietary software features like Auto-Proctoring, it has been instrumental in completely automating and scaling the hiring process for freshers/entry level jobs across many industry segments including front-line hiring in BFSI, Retail, IT/ITeS etc.
This has resulted in 2 remarkable things:
Almost removed the interview process for frontline hiring and replaced it with auto proctored assessments
Created a database statewide at a district (county) going granular to even pin code (zip code) level with college and student data clearly stating scores which can be leveraged for employability and bridging the reach gap for corporates and students seeking jobs.
With almost a million student profiles being assessed in partnership with 5200+ professional institutes across India and AICTE, AIU & CII; Nirmal Singh, Founder & CEO, Wheebox acknowledges that they have only touched the tip of the iceberg and much more can be achieved with scientific assessments for world’s biggest demographic dividend (young and diverse workforce).
Digital Learning Centers: I recently met Mohit, founder of JOMBAY (a fast-growing Talent assessment & capability startup) & what impressed me was their company’s focus to turn traditional assessment & learning centers into micro personalized centers through digital aids & processes. They have done phenomenally well to establish how using mobile and new age digital aids can enhance the power of traditional learning systems manifolds.
These are few of the many instances from the assessment market which are revolutionizing the way we manage Talent. These players are growing at a very fast pace and are attempting to grab market share. My sense says the next big story in this space will come from a player which will ace either of the three opportunities 1) “Learning “or 2) Government projects” and 3)” Finding markets” outside India as that will give them necessary validity and commercial leverage to scale. I am eagerly waiting for that day.
Since we are discussing assessments which also deals with limitation and imperfections we can sum it up from the great text of Bhagwad Gita (18:48)
saha-jaṁ karma kaunteya sa-doṣham api na tyajet sarvārambhā hi doṣheṇa dhūmenāgnir ivāvṛitāḥ
“One should not abandon duties born of one’s nature, even if one sees defects in them, indeed, all endeavors are veiled by some evil, as fire is by smoke”
P.S. I hope you found this series and the topics I have included till now relevant. Coming right up are some interesting insights from the world of “Jobs”.