Article: "At BookMyShow, formal procedures don't overpower free thinking"

Leadership

"At BookMyShow, formal procedures don't overpower free thinking"

BookMyShow's Shamita Ghosh who is the GM-HR tells us about the open culture, learning and development initiatives, hiring trends for startups in an interaction with People Matters. Read on to know more.
"At BookMyShow, formal procedures don't overpower free thinking"

Shamita Ghosh is the General Manager – Human Resources, BookMyShow India’s largest online entertainment ticketing brand. Her expertise lies in Training Need Analysis, Performance Management, Compensation and Benefits Management, Talent Management, Employee Engagement and Relationship and Formulating employee friendly HR policies. 

She shares the hiring trends, learning and development initiatives at the company, employee engagement policies, changing tech in HR with People Matters.

What are the hiring trends that you see in the startup industry?

Last few years have seen start-ups emerge as one of the most attractive job sectors. To keep up with its pace of growth, it’s only fitting that newer strategies for hiring are coming to the fore and are being implemented in start-ups which are extremely agile workplaces.  These strategies are contributing in effectively reaching out to the best talent in the market and thereby, recruit an employee who displays a high value-add potential. 

Companies these days can be seen increasingly focusing on promoting their work culture to attract the best talent as it acts as a major differentiator and is a highly valued factor among job seekers. Many social media platforms are becoming the go-to sources for potential employees to get an understanding of the organization’s culture, thus making this medium an essential tool for showcasing the right aspects to attract talent. 

Also, the traditional hiring practices are now evolving and becoming more job specific and analytical. A lot of emphasis is being laid upon the candidates’ behavioural traits and attitude apart from the functional knowledge and expertise. 

We believe that Assessment Centres will play a vital role in determining the right candidate fit in the future. These are driven by expert psychologists and behavioural analysts who assess the candidates on several relevant factors including their problem-solving abilities and leadership qualities and accordingly generate indicative reports which suggest whether or not the person is suitable for the respective role/position. 

While technology is changing the way we work, what do you think will change? What kind of strategies will be required when it comes to hiring the right talent for technology business?

Technology, in various forms, is such an inherent part of everyone’s lives today which has led to a surge in the number of people looking to build their careers in the tech domain. This is why it’s important that while hiring the right talent for technology, one needs to go beyond the job descriptions and specifications and strive to gain a deeper understanding of whether the candidate can successfully adapt and thrive in the organization’s culture. This stands true for other verticals as well. The ultimate aim should be to select the person whose skills, knowledge and attitude best fit their organization’s unique requirements and culture. The basic criteria including relevant work experience, qualifications, etc. which need to be fulfilled are useful for screening the candidates, however, managers and recruiters sometimes tend to be stiff in this regard, thus losing out on potential hires who may not necessarily meet the screening requirements, but are equipped with the right attitude and traits to excel in a conducive environment which will ensure their gradual, but consistent growth and success. 

Consistency in performance is extremely crucial to be able to make an impact to any business and it requires people who are diligent, sincere and persistent. Conscious efforts are required to be implemented by organizations to check the various behavioural and attitudinal aspects of the candidate’s personality thereby leading them to understand whether or not the person will add value to the team and facilitate its continuous growth. These are not easily identifiable but these behaviours can be effectively brought out and observed in a simulated environment rather than a formal, controlled one such as the traditional interviews. Interviews are formal in nature and the candidates these days exactly know how they are supposed to behave and answer in order to create a great first impression. Also, there are some candidates who might not be comfortable in such a pressurized environment and might falter, thus making one believe that he/she is not the right person for the job. However, it will be easier to observe the true nature of these candidates in a more relaxed situational environment wherein the candidates are driven to react to a situation in a more natural manner thus allowing them to be themselves.  Assessment centres are increasingly used these days to select the right talent which helps in determining whether the candidate possesses similar values to that of the organization and the ideal behavioural traits required to consistently contribute to the goals of the team. 

Psychometric Tests, Behavioural Assessments, Situational Judgement tests, Group discussions, etc. are used to assess the logical reasoning, problem solving, decision making capabilities of the candidates apart from their personality characteristics and attitudinal aspects. For technology roles, there are also further technical assessments done to assess their expertise in their respective work domain which also acts as a differentiator in determining the right talent to be hired. 

Employer Branding strategies also prove to be effective to maximize the reach of employers to all potential hires in the market thus attracting them to join them for better work prospects. The branding is usually done on social media platforms and job portals where the information is visible to not only job seekers but even others who are looking for more fulfilling prospects.  

According to a recently published report by McKinsey, more than 800 million jobs will be lost by 2030 due to automation, while new skilled jobs will be created. In this transition years, how must organizations prepare for this, and how must they prepare employees in coping with this change? 

Technology and Automation taking over certain jobs within specific industry sectors seems like an inevitable future, however, these will also give birth to several new job categories which will require human intervention. This is relevant for most industries where there is scope for reducing manpower costs and improve productivity output through the use of bots, drones or automated processes, etc. This transition phase, whenever it occurs, will be a difficult one for employees as well as organizations to cope with. However, this change can be managed effectively through gradual but regular interventions targeted at smoothening this period of transition and make the employees look at the positive side of things. Hope and Optimism play a vital role in maintaining confidence levels of employees and these can be reinforced through change agents identified within the organization. These change agents can be people from the management who possess the ability to influence the team and enjoy a good rapport with employees. They act as catalysts in the company and through well planned and structured initiatives, they can eventually help in cultivating an atmosphere of positivity and optimism which is necessary to manage and cope with an inevitable, discomforting change such as this. Also, alternate job roles that can be created in the automation age can be pre-conceived and established, fulfilling the future needs of the organization and employing a relevant workforce in the new era. 

Organizations should also focus on upskilling employees at regular intervals keeping in mind the company’s long term vision. This would be vital in case automation introduces any kind of redundancies within the system making it easier for employers to utilise the upgraded skills of the employees. 

What are the unique employee-friendly and employee enablement initiatives/policies followed at BookMyShow?

At BookMyShow we emphasize tremendously on ensuring that employees are equipped with the required resources which act as enablers, facilitating their excellent performance at work. Enabling employees to continuously remain focused on innovation and performance includes creating an environment which contributes in successfully helping them to accomplish their responsibilities. We have observed that rigid work timings, dress code among others are some of the factors that can be a deterrent in this day and age which is why at BookMyShow, formal procedures do not overpower innovation and free thinking.     

Culture plays a major role in unlocking their potential and does impact their performance in an influential way. We are extremely value driven and our core values form the bedrock of our existence as an organization. We keep it very relevant and contextual, so that employees can relate to them and effectively imbibe them. As an organization we aim to remain employee friendly and curate policies and benefits package which is tailored to allow flexibility and freedom to employees which is necessary for them put in their best at work. Apart from this, there are various initiatives at BookMyShow for employee enablement such as recreational facilities like Yoga and Indoor Games, Training and Team Building programs, Hobby and Interest Groups within the organization which are facilitated by the company by partially funding their activities, etc. These enable employees to have a holistic experience at work and develop into well-rounded individuals, something that we have always strived towards achieving. 

What is BookMyShow’s strategy towards Learning & Development across all verticals and levels?

Our L&D strategy is aimed at equipping employees with the required as well as additional or new skills and competencies needed for them to excel in their performance at work and there are several interventions which are planned through the year to effectively address these needs.  

BookMyShow is a rapidly growing organization with a young and dynamic workforce. It is therefore important to ensure that in this rapidly changing environment, the skills of employees are constantly upgraded and enhanced to meet the demands of the business. Apart from formal classroom training programs which are customized to address the specific training needs of employees, there are alternate methods used such as experiential learning interventions. Team building activities, simulations, board games activities, etc. are engaging and experiential in nature and have a definite impact on the capability of employees. In order to get employees to be receptive to learning, we emphasize a lot on cultivating a culture that encourages constant growth and learning. This is done by sharing useful insights with the organization on a weekly basis through interesting articles and is called ‘Weekly Dose of Learning’. This allows people to break away from their work for a few minutes and expose their mind to some great insights which make them smarter and more effective in their work. There is a ‘Leadership Talk Series’ organized periodically within the organization wherein a prominent leader from the industry is invited to BookMyShow to share their perspective on a specific subject of relevance. These sessions are webcasted across the entire organization to ensure total accessibility to learning. We also accommodate external learning opportunities in our L&D calendar wherein employees can choose to attend relevant conferences, seminars, management development programs which develop them into strong, informed professionals.

The analysis of training needs is done through a skill matrix developed for teams which indicate the gap in the skill levels of employees which need to be bridged. These also help in building the required skill levels required by employees to be effective in their future roles. The effectiveness of these L&D initiatives is measured through an impact analysis which is driven through concrete feedback obtained from the managers on the improvement in the employee performance and assessments/tests conducted before and after the training is imparted to gauge the rise in skill/competency levels. 

Topics: Leadership, Learning & Development, Culture

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