Best People Practices – Part 4: Employer Branding Initiatives
Mahindra also started a unique challenge called Farmkshetra for B.Tech students who are expected to come up with innovative solutions for farm mechanization
The war for talent continues unabated and hence the need to attract and retain talent is a key business imperative. The employer brand will help organizations to distinguish themselves, promote their strengths and values, making them an employer of choice in times of recession and boom. Effective employer branding can bring tangible benefits to the organization, including an increase in the pool of potential workers, greater commitment among employees and a decrease in payroll costs.
In this category, we assess employer brand strategies, roles of leaders in reinforcing employer brand and how employees experience employer brand throughout their life cycle. The sole featured organization in this category is Mahindra & Mahindra Automotive & Farm Equipment Sectors.
If there was an employer brand story, then it would have to be that of Mahindra. Though Mahindra was a well-known brand in India, people still associated it with the core activity of manufacturing. The Group had diversified into finance, retail, information technology etc and there were challenges in making people see the brand in a new light. When the Group conducted a field research, it found out that most of its target customers had a strong desire to “shape their own destinies”. Since most of the businesses, through their products and services, empower people and help them to succeed, the idea suited the big brand. They seemed to prefer companies that “empowered them to help themselves”. ‘Rise then’ became the creative expression of this big idea.
The company then turned its attention to create the Employee Value Proposition. For Mahindra AFS, it was a relation built on two questions: How can people contribute to create the brand experience? and How organization can contribute to provide brand experiences to people? The EVP statement stands as ‘Challenge Conventions, Bringing Alternative Thinking at Workplace, and Drive Positive Change in the lives of our Customers, Recognition for Outperformance, Empowering Environment and Abundant Learning Opportunities’. Before communicating to the employee, an independent audit was conducted to understand the current state and gaps in employee offerings and touch-points. Once the EVP was created and its message sent out internally, the second step was to provide a “WOW experience” for the candidate. To provide consistent recruitment experience across Mahindra AFS, managers were trained on competency based interviewing (CBI) approach.
In order to establish Mahindra AFS as a preferred employer of choice, a look-in and look-out approach was undertaken. In the look-out approach, Mahindra is launched as an employer brand, social media is leveraged extensively to anchor the brand in chosen campuses and participating in a T-school ranking with an analytical based approach. They started an innovative program called ‘Mahindra Igniters Day’ where its entry-level engineering trainee scheme is positioned itself as a brand. In the look-in approach, the existing processes are examined and corrective actions are envisaged.
Mahindra also started a unique challenge called Farmkshetra for B.Tech students who are expected to come up with innovative solutions for farm mechanization. Farmkshetra is a design challenge of making Farm Equipment’s with unique technologies and specifications. Through Farmkshetra, agri-enthusiasts get a chance to display their unique skills in farm mechanization phase and at the same time help Mahindra to identify the right talent who can fit their requirement and hence can be offered a chance to make a career with the company. Most of the bright students are offered an internship with the company as well.
Another brand initiative that Mahindra undertook was to begin Mahindra Auto Quotient. Auto Quotient (AQ), India’s first auto-centric quiz, aimed at creating a strong auto-passionate com-munity among engineering and B-school students and position Mahindra as an employer of choice for auto-enthusiasts. The winners of regional finals are offered placement offer. The winners and runners-up teams win Mahindra Reva e2O and Centuro respectively.