Santanu Ghoshal, Vice President-Human Resource, Schaeffler India discusses with Careers360 on bridging the industry-academia gap to fill the skill gap...
Q. How technology interventions have impacted the hiring trends, could you share some of the new practices being involved?
A. Technology application is getting more widely used in the entire value chain of selection process. Although core companies are not one of the early adaptors, they started realising the benefit and quickly embracing the change. Many of these applications are becoming far more intuitive than just a process enabler. Right from getting accurate profile to doing a verification check, HR managers are relying more and more on technology. How our HR team is keeping connect with prospective talent pool, will play a critical attraction driver. In the coming 3-4 quarters, when economy and talent market is in full swing, we will always be benefited, if we can combine right strategy of technology adoption and right talent relationship management.
Application of data mining and artificial intelligence is a key enabler today for better decision making. It is a two-way process. Candidates can also easily access the company’s information and get reviews and credentials. In Schaeffler India, we started working with couple of such tools and our digital team is focusing on our branding strategy. We foresee that digitalisation will play a critical role in coming days.
Q. Many of the reports have highlighted that around 60-70% percent of engineering graduates are unemployable, what are the reasons according to you?
A. We seem to be living in a paradoxical situation where our colleges churning out huge quantity of engineers but industry is struggling to get right talent. There is disparity in the skills and knowledge imparted in colleges and the skills demanded in the industry. A carefully designed and well-planned education system is critical to developing the required human capital. Students also should be exposure soft skills to be successful in industry. Also, with the rapidly changing technological environment, a revamp of the teaching and learning processes in engineering colleges is required. Our educational institutions and curriculum play a very important role in creating employable engineering graduates. We also require close collaboration between the corporate sector and engineering institutions to fill the skill gap.
Q. What would be your suggestions to bridge the industry-academia gap so that it’s a win-win situation for both?
A. There is a need for aligning the curriculum with the industry needs. Also, the companies should step in and provide a platform for students to gain practical knowledge on the subjects of interest. At Schaeffler India, we have initiated ‘Open inspiration’ program to offer an innovation platform for engineering students across cities. The program which started the screening processes last year was concluded early this year with selected teams/students showcasing their innovative ideas and products focussed on developing sustainable solutions for a better tomorrow.
Q. Kindly share some of the best HR practices to adhere to for creating a happy workplace for employees?
A. We, at Schaeffler strive to build a culture that inspires people to ideate and implement. We have the concept where someone can work on new ideas without a pressure on return on investment. We encourage our employees to experiment and learn from their experience.
We also have an excellent talent management system which has a strong emphasis on employee development part as well as annual goal achievement. Currently, we are working on creating a tool which allows managers to give real time performance feedback. We are also looking at improving the maturity level of our performance management system. This should act as an enabler towards creating a performance culture, higher engagement level and constructive and continuous feedback culture towards developing our people and thus creating a happy workplace for them.