For Cadila Healthcare, ‘global level of quality standards’ at all levels of management and 17,000 employees is their oath and commitment. Cadila Healthcare’s 50% plus top-line comes from global business and exports. They are not only expanding their trajectories globally in terms of consumers, but also increasing their employee base.
Global expansion resulting in increasing employees has made Cadila Healthcare to focus on the culture. Although they have been partially successful in developing a people-centric culture, the bottleneck they faced was intuitive judgement. The questions were what should be their 'Make Vs Buy' strategy? Should the company have different processes for make and/or buy? Insignificant role- based process and systems and talent assessment processes had impacted the company results. Pharmaceuticals sector is extremely focused on global quality standards and adheres to the regulators' guidelines like the USFDA, MHRA, EDQM, PMDA, and others. Orientation of workforce towards quality and compliance are imperatives for growth. The need of the hour was to hire people who were behaviourally aligned – being compliant, impeccable with general process adherence and also that of Cadila Healthcare’s processes, and enterprising mindset. If the problem persisted, then it would impact their quality, resulting in stunted growth, hurdles to be faced while expansion and tapping of different new markets, along with high level of attrition.
The chosen approach
The approach is completely scientific. The HR processes were aligned with their vision of becoming a truly research driven company by 2020. So, scientific assessment methodologies were inducted in the recruitment process—having an incorporated assessment centre. This made Cadila Healthcare one of the first pharma companies which does 100% hiring through basis assessment centres. At Level 3 (DGM) and above, the company has been hiring people basis in-person assessment centre by Hay Group accredited assessors since 2014. And, for the level 1 and level 3 (sr. manager) it’s been done by online assessment centre from Mettl.
This provided them with filtering. Domain is the first filter, cognitive abilities and behavioral assessments are the second filters. With more than 4000 candidates already been assessed, the company has partnered with Nirma University and has involved internal technical experts – professors who created questions after reviewing latest curriculum and guidelines from LSSSDC (Life Science Sector Skill Council). Only recommended candidates are called for the interview. However, the firm didn’t curtail their recruitment SLAs. Cadila Healthcare has not roped in any external hiring consultants for about two years. In what they call a landscaping approach – all positions (level 3 and above) have been mapped by collecting data from job portals, social media, interviewing existing employees, and some paid assignments. The company has an extensive mapping of organograms with names and tittles of all major pharma companies. This database is richer than that of many placement consultants, and is refreshed every 3 months. The company’s HR team sources candidates through LinkedIn, and recruitment team has fixed daily call targets. Doing away with intuitive judgment, the company identified their total interviewers pool, zeroing on STAR technique, evaluated various methodologies of interviewing skills, partnered with DDI to train, and certify final interviewer in batches.
Cadila Healthcare realised the need to create revolutionary career page to engage and educate prospective employees, since the company rigorously calculates manpower cost to business turnover ratio (MPCBT Ratio). A live career page is launched—a one-stop window not only to know about organisation HR philosophies including processes and policies. HR Analytics Function has also been created as data needs to be analyzed, and the company takes regular advice from IIM Ahmedabad professors in terms of next practices and IO psychology. It was easy to get the business buy-in as the company worked across boundaries and co-created processes and systems. Quality of hiring index improved and helped to manage the transition.
The new approach has helped Cadila Healthcare to improve their quality of hiring, recruitment SLAs with business, higher productivity due to quality hire, achievement of business target, fulfillment of new positions by gauging org fit-job fit and location fit. Assessment centre has also used for all deployment of DGM and above levels. All internally identified positions are published to all employees. Interested employees can apply keeping the line managers and HR in loop. Shortlisted employees undergo assessment. The company used this process to source internally cluster head positions (level 4) and senior VP (Level 5) managing a JV relationship amongst other internal sourcing.