Gaming is amongst the top booming industries, and therein, riddled with talent challenges. Akanksha Awasthi, Head of HR, Delta Tech Gaming Pvt. Ltd. throws some useful insights on the kind of opportunities and challenges that companies in this industry face in getting the skills they want and in retaining the top talent.
Emerging trends in business and HR
During the pandemic and the lockdown, there arose a dire need for socialising because everyone was in panic mode with this first-time pandemic experience. As watching TV and listening to music might have become boring, gaming was new to people and gave a real-time experience of socialising with people. “Play with you, anywhere in the world”, was the message as gaming was made available and accessible to people through a complete digitisation of the product. “In earlier times one could not imagine physical meetings or sports like cricket going online. But due to digitisation , new job requirements such as new platforms, mobile applications, graphic design, URC, digital marketing, etc. are emerging, which require people to think in a virtual way”, shares Akanksha. This is changing the talent and hiring landscape.
The hiring landscape
Hiring is the most crucial agenda for any organisation, especially when people are at the centre of business. “We need best employees which can help us grow”, reiterates Akanksha. However, a tech talent pool is not easy to find. Delta Tech Gaming uses a mix of recruiting agencies, platforms like LinkedIn, and upcoming mobile apps similar to Facebook and Instagram, which have a good pool of social channels. Such channels help employers get to know the person by messaging the candidate, having a chat, and thereby understanding whether he or she is really interested. Another hiring factor for building a start-up is to hire the right people, and this begins with having the right job descriptions in place. A well-defined job description will help ask the right questions i.e. what will a person do, what will be achieved, the objective of hiring, etc. This will help hire the right person, especially in today’s environment where people have lot of choices and there is high demand for tech talent. Also, it is essential to move hiring platforms online as needed. After the pandemic, digitisation has propelled growth, and a digital-first experience will help attract, engage and retain the right tech talent.
It’s about a holistic employee experience
Akanksha believes that attracting and retaining employees is not always about the package, but about other things that go hand-in-hand. She elaborates, “In recent times, we have given emotional and financial support to our existing employees through certain policies. We have tied up with a financial agency and people can avail financial funds such as 50% salary advance through a mobile app, without a long process and without any approvals etc”. Sometimes, when employees need help, the organisations offers it immediately without question, providing great emotional support. Another important agenda for Delta Tech Gaming is wellness. From programs for calorie-counting and step-counting to a special mental health assistance program where people can anonymously book an appointment directly with a psychiatric practitioner, to installing air purifiers at work, many initiatives exist. For promoting physical health, the company offers vaccination drives for employees and their families, health camps with full body check-ups followed by doctor consultations, nutrition talks and 1-0-1 personalized consultations, physiotherapy talks, life insurance, health insurance, covid insurance etc. to provide financial and emotional support. “This makes employees feel that the organisation is with them and cares about them and their families”, shares Akanksha. The beauty is that no one is left out, because both in-person and virtual sessions are interactive and encourage questions. The overall HR policy and process are aligned with this employee-friendly philosophy. For example, the rewards and recognition framework is designed such that the programs motivate all kinds of people, from average performers to high performers.
This great experience is not just reserved for existing employees, but for new joiners and candidates too. Hiring assessments happen through gaming interactions and not just interviews. These games are developed by techies and HR, and are aimed to analyse the right attitude and right aptitude in an engaging manner. “The person is taking the test and enjoying the game, while the employer simultaneously is assessing”, says Akanksha. New joiners are given healthy and eco-friendly designed welcome kits with brass water bottles with cork lids. All things which help build the culture and taking care of people.
With such advancements, it is evident how the role of HR has changed and continues to evolve. Akanksha believes that HR today is about ‘what extra are you giving to an employee for the person to stick with you? She says, “I advise my team not just to complete the task, but to make it better in terms of experience – experience for self as well as experience for employee”. This is communicated to employees through trainings both ways i.e. for employers and for employees. “If anybody is good at coding, then only he or she can take care of the tech part. We need to convey the need of HR to deal with humans i.e. expertise in dealing with people”, she believes. HR is about understanding with empathy as to why a particular action is happening. To achieve this, HR must promote employee sensitivity and build an employee-friendly work culture. For example, respect for work life balance is ensured with proper practices and by setting examples of a great culture. To emerge as someone who really cares for employees, a lot of effort are required. “We treat our employees as a second family, every Friday we have a healthy snacks party”, quips Akanksha.
Adding a fun element to culture- curation is definitely a step towards making the employee-centric culture sustainable!