Siddhartha Gupta has been the CEO of Mercer | Mettl since 2019. In a career spanning two decades, he has held key leadership positions at global IT (Information Technology) companies such as HP and SAP (Systems Applications Products), where he has been instrumental in building several business verticals from scratch and scaling them. As CEO, Siddhartha envisions elevating Mercer | Mettl to becoming the largest assessment entity globally.
Siddhartha holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from Xavier Institute of Management. He is an enthusiast of travel and cycling and likes to read.
In this exclusive interview, Siddhartha talks about how corporate India is evolving regarding talent management, what caused this shift and what does the future of hiring looks like.
What are the factors that have caused a swift change in our workplaces?
The global and the Indian economy underwent a never-before churn due to the trio of the Pandemic (now morphing into an endemic), the ‘Great Resignation’ and the ‘Digitalization Process.’ This led to an evolution in work and workplaces. For the first time, talent could flow beyond borders without physically moving. Hence, talent is now flowing to the highest bidder i.e., highest in terms of emoluments, learning and promise. As a response, the talent acquisition and management strategy of corporate India has changed.
And how has the approach to talent management and acquisition changed?
Now, key theme for talent identification is turning out to be specificity i.e., focusing on the right profile, identifying skills for agile work specifically in a remote-hybrid work scenario and retention strategies. This is now done through assessment tools, AI (Artificial Intelligence), and data analytics.
The reason is that talent identification and selection in a remote world moved from pedigree to potential. Thus, the evaluation of skills for jobs has become the most relevant problem.
So, there has been a gradual increase in awareness of the importance of talent identification, systematic efforts to identify HIPO, succession planning and leadership development. The focus is to develop a sustainable talent pipeline in view of the Great Resignation. Additionally, corporate India is focusing on developing the ability to ensure higher engagement and acceptance of these processes from the employer-employee. Moving forward, the aim should be to rebuild an entire ecosystem that understands the importance of sustainable talent management process and role of objective assessments in it.
2022 is turning out to be the year of data-driven talent management.
Amidst the chaos lies an opportunity for businesses to capitalize, to re-structure and re-position themselves? As our corporate landscape undergoes a transformation, what problem are you solving in the market?
Most organizations were caught unprepared but are now recalibrating to make the most of the new realities. We are engaged with organizations in a range of sizes to help them with early and experienced hiring.
We have a close relationship with more than 1200 tech colleges and more than 500 B schools across India. We have implemented some of the most effective pre-hiring commitments and hiring mandates for companies to meet their immediate talent needs.
Moreover, we have over a decade of experience in advising customers on the skills needed for a job to be done well. By using our knowledge and experience, we opened on top of the funnel for all our clients. In a remote world, if candidates are high in their ability to perform significant matters, they can hire from anywhere and make them work anywhere.
Beyond simply hiring, we are the most trusted partner to organizations to develop talent. We have designed data-backed systems to identify HIPO's using our virtual AC/DC and fast track them for growth.
How do you differentiate yourself from other players in the market?
Our in-house research team helps enable tool creation, standardization, and revisions in a much quicker manner compared to other players who have their research teams based overseas. Our platform can host a large test takers’ population simultaneously. We are the key player in proctoring.
How is your journey shaping up to be, moving forward?
I think moving forward change will be the only constant in the world's digital economies. Technology has provided a new motto: learn, unlearn, relearn and the perpetual need for certification to gain new skills sets for both employer-employees. But what to learn and how to learn? The answer to these questions lies in assessments. Genuine, meaningful assessments should be the basis for our vision, digital infrastructure development and talent management process. This is precisely where we fit in. We have the wherewithal to lead and implement this vision. We aim to be a pioneer in creating customized learning and skilling plans to keep up with constant technological changes in the economy for our youth.