When Akshaya Mahapatra (38) was on the verge of joining Ahmedabad-based Claris Lifesciences as head of sales, the company flew down his entire family from Mumbai. What followed was a comfortable stay at a plush hotel, interaction with the human resource department, a week-long guided tour of Ahmedabad, explaining the advantages of a mini metro over the bursting-at-the-seams big cities and so on. They said after all, Ahmedabad had to look attractive enough for Mahapatra to move out of Mumbai and settle down in a dry state.
HR managers have coined a term to describe the exercise, specifically aimed at employee welfare in the first year – “controlling infant mortality.” Companies realise that the first year is crucial to prevent attrition, especially among employees from bigger cities, and they are going the extra mile to handle new recruits with caution thus HR departments are getting proactive from the very beginning. Turning the final interview process into a family affair is one such step. “If the wife is happy, worklife is easy,” says an HR manager.
Even at mid-management levels, companies take extra care. At the Ahmedabad-based Claris, for instance, families are involved in the hiring process. Of the total 1,400 employees, about 35% of them hail from outside Gujarat. “Involving families in the hiring process has gone a long way in attracting candidates from metros,” says Shyam Sharma, VP, HRM & corporate communications.