Article: DS Group's approach to talent acquisition

Talent Management

DS Group's approach to talent acquisition

Simin Askari, DS Group's Senior VP, HR and Business Excellence, reveals their talent acquisition strategy, blending tradition, technology, and a focus on values.
DS Group's approach to talent acquisition

In the fiercely competitive fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market, attracting and retaining top talent is an ongoing challenge. Simin Askari, DS Group's Senior VP, HR and Business Excellence, DS Group, an Indian FMCG conglomerate, emphasises that while skills and experience are undoubtedly important, the company places a premium on aligning candidates with its core values and culture. This helps to build a workforce that is not only highly capable but also deeply committed to the company’s long-term goals.

Askari shares her thoughts on how DS Group fostered an environment where creativity, innovation, and personal growth are nurtured.

Here are the excerpts from the interview.

What are your core approaches to attracting top talent, and how do you ensure DS Group stands out to potential employees?

For nearly a century, DS Group has been a leading force in the consumer goods industry. Our employees are our greatest asset. We offer more than just a job and cultivate a fulfilling career path. Our dedication to product longevity and supreme quality resonates with prospective employees seeking a meaningful contribution. We foster an environment that nurtures creativity, innovation, and personal growth. Robust training programs, mentorship initiatives, and opportunities for advancement empower our employees to reach their full potential and thrive in this dynamic industry.

We are not just a company, but a legacy – a testament to the power of innovation and integrity. As we continue to redefine industry boundaries, we invite passionate individuals to join us on this extraordinary journey. We look for people who are aligned with the ethos and culture of the organisation.

Could you describe two specific strategies you use to attract top talent? How does DS Group communicate its unique value proposition to stand out from other FMCG companies?

We seamlessly blend tradition with cutting-edge ideas. This ensures every employee, regardless of their position, feels a sense of belonging and contributes to the success. Our inclusive culture fosters collaboration, creativity, and excellence, allowing everyone to bring their unique talents and perspectives to the table.

We believe in the power of talent to drive success. That's why we go beyond just skills and qualifications. Our selection process ensures we find the perfect fit for each role, someone who shares our culture and values. But we don't stop there. We recognise the potential of high-achievers who aren't actively looking for a new job. By proactively contacting these "passive candidates," we offer them exciting opportunities to grow and contribute to our dynamic environment.

Our idea isn't just about filling positions; it's about attracting the best and creating a path to success for them. We seamlessly integrate time-tested traditions with cutting-edge innovation, fostering an environment where talent thrives and aspirations are achieved.

How does DS Group leverage tech to enhance employee skills once they're on boarded? Can you share some specific examples?

DS Group combines technology and talent to achieve remarkable results. We're using cutting-edge tech to empower our employees and help them succeed. DS Group has revolutionised employee training. Our Learning Management portal, DiSha, is an AI and ML-enabled platform, where employees get hyper-personalised learning journeys curated to overcome any skill gaps.

We utilise AI to understand the strengths and growth areas of new joiners. This paves the way for a personalised training plan that maximises your potential and aligns with your career aspirations.

Our focus to learning goes beyond the digital. Through our self-service portal and regular training sessions, employees stay up-to-date on industry trends and new technologies. We also offer hands-on training sessions that promote collaboration and knowledge sharing.

What are the biggest difficulties in recruiting for your sector, and how have you successfully addressed them? What are DS Group's most successful strategies for digital talent sourcing?

A dearth of readily qualified candidates is one of the core recruitment challenges in the FMCG sector. We have started recruiting individuals with strong aptitude and then provide them with targeted training programs to hone the skills necessary for success within our organisation. 

We offer competitive compensation and benefits, leveraging market insights to ensure employee value. Additionally, we've addressed attrition, particularly in sales, with a revised variable pay structure and targeted interventions.

In the digital age, DS Group leads talent sourcing with technology, solidifying our reputation as an employer of choice. We're redefining talent acquisition, setting new standards, and inspiring others. 

How do you align your talent acquisition strategy with the overall business goals of DS Group?

Our recruitment process transcends mere skill assessment, prioritising the alignment of candidates' drive and thought processes with the company's vision and objectives.

Vision Alignment Over Skillset: In a landscape where talent acquisition often revolves around technical proficiency, DS Group distinguishes itself by placing greater emphasis on the alignment of values and vision. For us, selecting candidates who resonate with our organisational ethos and share our commitment to excellence is paramount. Through meticulous screening and assessment, we identify individuals whose aspirations and motivations align seamlessly with the overarching goals of DS Group, ensuring a harmonious integration within our dynamic workforce.

Comprehensive Training for Collective Success: Once selected, candidates undergo comprehensive training programs meticulously tailored to equip them with the skills, knowledge, and mindset necessary to contribute meaningfully towards our shared objectives. By investing in our employees' development and fostering a culture of continuous learning, we empower them to realize their full potential and actively participate in the realization of DS Group's strategic goals.

For us, talent acquisition isn't just about filling positions; it's about forging meaningful connections and nurturing a collective sense of purpose and belonging. By prioritising vision alignment over mere skillsets, we ensure that every member of our team is fully invested in the journey towards achieving our common shared goals. 

What's one emerging hiring trend you anticipate will significantly disrupt the FMCG sector this year? How is DS Group preparing to adapt?

With consumer awareness around sustainability and ethical sourcing reaching unprecedented heights, FMCG companies are under increasing pressure to align their operations with these values. 

Our proactive approach to sustainability aligns seamlessly with this emerging hiring trend, positioning us as a leader in the movement towards a more equitable and environmentally conscious future. Our tagline, 'Create which is worth creating,' reflects our unwavering commitment to ethical practices and social responsibility, guiding every decision we make.

Furthermore, DS Group's ongoing initiatives in social and economic upliftment underscore our dedication to creating positive change within our communities. Through strategic investments in sustainable supply chain management, eco-friendly product development, and ethical business practices, we are paving the way for a brighter, more sustainable future for generations to come.

Through cutting-edge research and development initiatives, we are poised to lead the charge toward a more sustainable and ethical future, setting new standards of excellence for the industry as a whole.

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Topics: Talent Management, Talent Acquisition, Strategic HR, #HRCommunity

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