Article: Top talent is scarce: Yashwant Mahadik


Top talent is scarce: Yashwant Mahadik

Yashwant Mahadik, Vice President & Head - HR, India and Indian Sub-continent, Philips

The entry level skills that we look for, across all our recruits, include functional skills and behavioral competencies. The functional skills requirement includes acquired knowledge, technical skills and deep domain expertise, through past experience and roles performed (if any), educational background and learning from the culture and leaders worked with. Further, behavioral competencies seek to ensure whether the desired Philips behaviors have been exhibited in the past and checks candidates’ fitment with the Philips culture and behaviors, which is defined in Philips as eager to win, taking ownership and team-up to excel.

We use a combination of channels to source candidates for our different requirements, including recruitment agencies/consultants/walk-in interviews/campus placements/word-of-mouth referrals, etc. However, the focus is on our internal job postings and employee referrals. We also target top colleges and MBA students (both Engineering and MBA) for inflow into specific leadership programs across levels at Philips. We have also started sourcing candidates from online sources such as LinkedIn.

On whether or not we find the required skills in the applicants, the answer is yes and no. Philips operates in four different sectors in India- lighting, consumer lifestyle, healthcare and research and innovation (software and product development). Each sector has its unique demands of skills in new hires. It therefore becomes difficult to find top talent especially in highly advanced areas like lighting design, healthcare informatics, etc.

Thus, we use trainings, learning and development interventions depending on the skill gaps identified for each employee in his/her development plan. Typically, new hires are provided with an overview and orientation of the organization and a more detailed induction into their roles. Online certifications are available for employees to build upon existing skills and knowledge base (for building domain expertise and leadership competencies). The onus of training and learning needs lies on the employee, while the organization provides the required infrastructure and the support required for the same.

Trainings and learning opportunities in Philips are available in multiple formats, including online, classroom, on-the-job, etc, and there is a robust learning calendar made available for all employees in the beginning of the year complete with the schedule of trainings planned for the whole year. Employees are encouraged to enroll into trainings, which are most suitable to them. Specific learning and development events are organized to develop people on the jobs and in pools.

An induction at the time of joining is carried out at three different levels:

a) Global Philips induction, to understand the details of the global organization, its businesses around various geographies, etc. with focus on Philips in India

b) Sector induction, to help understand the businesses particular to the sector that the new joinee will be joining in

c) On-the-job training, an introduction to the role by the hiring manager and the team followed by an initial phase where the new joining will shadow a team mate to bridge the skill gap

The above are carried out by in-house trainers who have a high understanding of the business and the ability to impart adequate knowledge on the area of expertise. These sessions also give a chance to the new hire to connect with senior leadership and network within the team.

Once the induction period of getting to know the organization is over, the new recruits are free to enroll into the regular training programs of Philips, which are delivered by external and internal trainers. The training programs, which are delivered through an external trainer, are always customized to the Philips context. We leverage the training skill and domain expertise of the external trainers whom we partner with, also making sure that all trainings imparted are part of the Philips culture.

Further, we follow a measure of effectiveness called the Net Promoter Score to assess the effectiveness of all trainings undergone by the employees.

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Topics: Skilling, C-Suite

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