The current talent ecosystem in India is undergoing an immense transformation, given the evolving work landscape, and changing employee expectations. The Great Resignation is real and has forced companies to relook at their hiring strategies to maintain attrition levels and retain the right talent. A recent survey by Aon Plc revealed that the first half of 2022 saw an attrition rate of 20.3% in India, a significant increase after the two-year COVID pandemic-induced lockdown. With the shift to a hybrid world, companies are now resorting to remote workforce hiring – hence facing challenges with attracting the right talent. They are focusing on striking a balance between alignment of business goals with employee growth while also maintaining employee experience and satisfaction.
Lipika Mohanty, Director – People & Development at BUSINESSNEXT states that they have been actively focusing on implementing employee-centric initiatives and providing a platform to enable them to plan their growth, connect with leaders at regular intervals and provide customized upskilling/reskilling programs for their employees. Through their unique initiative of Zero touch hiring process, they aim to bring subjectivity and transparency in hiring by employing an expert panel for the hiring process.
1. How does BUSINESSNEXT’s zero-touch hiring policy work? What inspired the company to introduce this?
The pandemic negatively impacted businesses and talent environments globally. BUSINESSNEXT, on the other hand, being the leading digital partner for the banks experienced an accelerated business growth trajectory. We faced an urgent need to enable large-scale talent acquisition, across multiple locations and roles, and to mobilize this process with ease and fast TAT. At the same time, it was imperative to maintain strong, positive, and uniform candidate experience. Zero touch hiring leverages people partners – a team of experts and AI-driven tools to run the entire process flow, minimizing the involvement of internal Talent Acquisition team. They are remarkably well-aligned with our brand ethos, understand the skill and role requirements, able to represent BUSINESSNEXT accurately in an interview setting, and impact prospects’ experience positively. The tech platforms adopted by them support the entire process well by stitching every touchpoint brilliantly, viz: recording the interview enabling quick references, mapping the proficiencies and competencies required for the job, profile scoring, etc. This completely reduces the need of involving our internal hiring managers at the outset, yet not siloed.
2. How do you think this policy benefits both the company as well as the potential employee? Has the candidate conversion rate become faster through this?
The Zero-touch model has helped the organization in multiple ways. Our hiring managers can focus on their core job area, viz: employee-centric initiatives and business-critical functions with the initial candidate screening stage taken over by the 3rd party experts and various digital platforms. All the platforms and service providers leverage tools and technologies that have immensely supported us in expediting the process and assessing the skills and competencies sharply and accurately. The service providers and partners have also been onboarded and aligned to enable them to project our values and progressive work culture well, being aligned with our ethos thus creating a positive and uniform candidate experience in the interview setup.
Yes, we have experienced significant improvement in talent acquisition numbers with reduced TATs, decreased dropouts and conversion rates.
3. Why has the policy been named ‘Zero-touch?’ What is the significance of this term in the policy?
Zero-touch or Low-touch signifies a hiring model shouldered by external niche service providers and automated technologies that enables superior candidate experiences. It leverages technology to automate hiring processes and shortens the shortlisting and evaluation process with the candidate visiting/meeting the organization’s internal manager at the final stage of the interview process only. It frees our hiring managers from mundane, time-consuming tasks and empowers them to focus on employee-centric transformation initiatives. Not only does this enable a superior candidate experience but also enhance the business value of BUSINESSNEXT.
4. Why was there a dire need to introduce this policy and how was it drafted?
Reference the response to question 1, the need to introduce this process/policy was felt during the initial days of the pandemic. This was the time when a large talent pool was working remotely and physical meetings and collaboration across were a challenge. There was also a huge demand for onboarding resources quickly. The ‘Zero touch’ model provided agility, adaptability, resiliency, and efficiency in meeting our talent acquisition requirements. In fact, seeing the merits we continued with the model, post-pandemic as well.
5. In the current remote hiring scenario, how does this policy ensure that the company hires the right talent?
Intelligent technology with expert human intervention ensures that talent mapping is executed efficiently and to the best possible quadrant. Right at the screening stage, all the communications and interviews are closed digitally. The screening interviews are conducted on popular video conferencing platforms which are recorded for profile mapping subsequently. The entire technical/logical assessments are technologically proctored and recorded that ensures full integrity of the candidate. At each stage, skill mapping is undertaken scientifically that is fed into the system for subsequent accurate evaluation.
6. Does this policy ensure complete transparency in the hiring process?
The model provides absolute transparency. Given that the entire process is recorded and digitized, it is available for scrutinisation by stakeholders anytime anywhere. The feedback/ records are well structured and are mapped as per role and business needs making them very comprehensive and easy to understand.
7. When this policy was initially introduced, what were some of the changes that the company witnessed internally?
The process was adopted during the pandemic, and it continues given the business value we have witnessed.
Some of the top-line benefits that we have witnessed are:
o Faster TAT
o Increased number of offers rollouts
o Improvement in candidate experience by 28%
o Automated records and quick references to responses/results and skill mapping by managers
o Reduced subjectivity
8. What were some of the factors that were considered when rolling out this policy at BUSINESSNEXT?
While elevating candidate experience and digitizing HR operations to give room for innovation and being #UpForTomorrow, were the prime look-out when we initiated the policy, some of the key factors that we considered before rolling it out were:
o The partner-fitment: we had to ensure that we got the right partner on board to execute this successfully. They must be equipped with deep experience and have technologically advanced tools, technologies, and systems at their disposal to maintain accuracy, transparency, and agility in the process. There must be complete alignment between us on the skills and talent requirements. They must also be able to understand our brand ethos and be able to project that flawlessly to the talent pool.
o Business-fitment: we had to ensure that the process is aligned with the business requirements. It also must address the specific technology demands internally.
o Last but not the least Cost vs ROI in adopting this process and taking this forward
9. What is your advice for organisations that are yet to adopt the zero-touch hiring policy?
In today’s era, we understand that business value is significantly enhanced with elevated human experience, and as a talent acquisition team, we must always strive to find new ways to accomplish this. Technology has helped tremendously by not only speeding up the hiring process improving efficiency and performance but also ensuring a positive and uniform candidate experience at every touchpoint. Zero-touch helps greatly in reducing subjectivity and biases while at the same time it frees the internal experts, giving them room for innovation in enabling transformative workforce experience.