When a candidate who you have identified potential in, takes her first baby steps as your employee – and you realize she needs 6 months of training before her first deployment – that’s when India’s skills gap hits you. If want to know the impact of 6 months of training on your business, just do a quick back of envelope math on the opportunity cost of 6 months of non-project work (employee cost-per month multiplied by 6 + lost revenue employee per-month multiplied by 6), the $ impact would be astounding. New Employee On-boarding is a critical challenge facing the talent acquisition organization today.
India graduates 1.5 million engineers per year. Recent studies sponsored by India’s tech giants have revealed that 80-85% of these engineers are unemployable. Considering that, even the ones that are hired need to go through half-a-year of training before they are deployed on projects. On-boarding today starts when the employee joins.
This needs to change.
On-boarding should start from the time the campus hire accepts the offer. This typically happens when she is in her final year or final months of her college term. Instead of having a cool-off period between offer acceptance and the join date, the following technology-enabled tools can be used to train them so that they achieve an acceptable level of competence on the date of joining.
Assess knowledge of foundational competencies:
The first step is to assess the current level of understanding of the foundational competencies that your organization needs. Let’s say, Java is a foundational competence and you have 100 campus hires who have accepted your offer. The first step is to subject them to an online assessment that will tell you how these 100 rank on Java currently.
Segment new joinees based on current competence and goals
Scores on competence tests provide you a lever of segmentation to create groups of campus hires, say (low scorers, intermediate scorers, high scorers). Each of these groups can be assigned a skill development path using an online learning platform. Each group can be assigned mentors who can help them understand concepts online and also share practical advice in real-time if they are working on test projects.
It takes 3-6 months to train a campus hire to make her productive in a project. This needs to be reduced
Leverage data to create leader boards for quick deployability
Online learning platforms provide large volumes of data on learner behaviour, learning styles and information on which courses were taken, how much time was spent, what’s the most productive learning time for the person etc. This is gold for the employer who can create a leaderboard of campus hires and ensure that say the top 10 out of 100 are on the fast track to deployment on critical projects, the middle 50 are to be deployed on long-running stable projects and the bottom 40 are subject to additional training before they are deployed
Speaking about the role of technology, Dr. Madana Kumar, Vice President and Global Head - Learning &Development, UST Global says "We all know that the talent available out there is never “Industry-ready”. Challenge for Talent Development professionals is to make the fresh talent Industry-ready in the shortest time in the most effective manner. When we are able to draw the freshers to the content through a great user/learner experience, and get them immersed in a hands-on, self-directed, learning experience, without the time and physical boundaries of a traditional classroom, our job becomes a lot easier. An online learning program that is technology enabled, is device and platform agnostic and one that provides cutting edge technology content does just that." Solving the new employee on-boarding challenge for campus hires requires technology intervention and early intervention so that the hire to deploy cycle is shortened and more productive time is spent adding value to clients.
This article is written in partnership with Pluralsight a technology learning platform which provides the agility to accelerate market leadership through technology, grow and retain top talent and deliver on key business objectives.