Article: Aegis: Utilizing diversity to gain competitive edge

Talent Acquisition

Aegis: Utilizing diversity to gain competitive edge

According to Aegis, a diverse workforce offers creativity, competitive advantage, enhanced customer satisfaction and increase in organization flexibility.
Aegis: Utilizing diversity to gain competitive edge
 

By adopting six streams of diversity, Aegis endeavoured to craft a work atmosphere that would provide everyone an equal access to progress, development and opportunities.

 

The 4th edition of the People Matters TA League Annual Conference 2016, in an effort to find and recognise companies that have excelled in the various different aspects that constitute talent acquisition, awarded 5 organizations for their various best practices. The TA League Awards 2016 saw more than 200 applications, out of which 5 won across five different categories. A four-month process, it consisted a total 15 applications from companies across industries being short listed, out of which 3 in each of the 5 categories were short listed by a 6-member Jury. The shortlisted 15 finalists in the five categories presented their company’s Best Practices as a case for selection to the jury on the eve of the Awards ceremony, followed by the Q&A session. After intense deliberation and debate, the jury members finally decided on the winners within each category.  Here we present a brief snapshot of Aegis, the company which won TA League Award for having the best recruitment model in reaching out to a diverse talent pipeline. 

Aegis as a company has understood that to remain relevant in this economy, a diverse work culture is the key to be successful. 

Business Challenge 

With the expansion of the company across 9 countries and 43 global locations, it was essential for Aegis to leverage the potential of the diverse resource base. With a widespread customer base, the company realised it can serve its customers in different markets through a diverse workforce that would help in creating more creative solutions, enable enhanced customer satisfaction along with making it easier for the company to adapt to new markets.  The company reached out to the talent with diverse perspectives and approaches but soon realised that the bigger challenge of diverse hiring apart from the numbers was about understanding individual differences in the workforce and utilizing the same for overall growth. For this, it became imperative for the company to institutionalize a talent acquisition method that would ensure that diverse hiring was done across all levels of the company. And for this, a proper diversity framework would help the company gain support from all the stakeholders and prove to be a competitive advantage as well. 

Solution 

Aegis decided to establish a comprehensive framework that ensured that recruiters reached out to a diverse talent pool. Calling it as ‘Six Dimensional Diversity Framework’, it included reaching out to people with disabilities, women, socially and economically disadvantaged people, culturally and linguistically diverse people, people of different age groups and indigenous people. For example it was mandated that 95 per cent of total workforce in any country should be indigenous. By adopting six streams of diversity, Aegis endeavored to craft a work atmosphere that would provide everyone with equal access to progress, development and opportunities. This was supported by the creation of an organization-wide structure wherein the Global CEO & Executive Director, Mr. Sandip Sen is the Executive Sponsor and the Global Chief People Officer (CPO), Mr. S. M. Gupta were the Organization Change Leaders towards the diversity movement along with nominations of ‘Diversity Managers’ across corporate and business/country levels for leading diversity related interventions. 

Aegis also trained its workforce, through internal and external training & sensitization programs, on how to actually be an inclusive workforce.  The company also implemented progressive policies like Equal Employment Opportunity, Prevention of Gender Harassment, Maternity Benefit Schemes, Policy on Affirmative Action and Conflict of Interest Management that helped employees realize the commitment of the company towards a truly diverse and inclusive workplace. The company also measures these different facets of diversity through defined indicators in their monthly Global Diversity Tracker.

Impact

Through an inclusive workplace, the company was able to leverage the potential of a global team of people rich in diverse experiences, aptitude, talent, ideas and philosophies. Aegis’s overall Global Employee Engagement score consistently improved from 65 per cent in 2011 to 78 per cent in 2014 and 80 per cent in 2015. With zero man-days lost on account of industrial relations issues in countries having highly unionized workforce, such as Australia & Argentina, the program benefitted the company in various ways. Career opportunities for more than 1200 people from diverse groups through internal recruitment program were created. Aegis also had a drop of about 18 per cent in labour litigation cases and a reduction of 23 per cent in costs associated with attrition and absenteeism. The program has helped in improving the corporate culture, gaining competitive advantage in labour markets and in gaining insights into consumer markets. 

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Topics: Talent Acquisition, Diversity

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