The competition for today’s top talent requires some innovative thinking, particularly in any industry involving technology. Modern technological advances are evolving at a record pace and those who are keeping on top of the developments and trends have become lucrative assets to potential employers.
However, along with the evolution of technology, behaviours and beliefs around what constitutes a great employer have also evolved. No longer is a healthy salary considered to be the deciding factor. Along with pay, employees expect a work culture that will respect their private lives and contribute to their overall wellness.
Diving deeper into this topic, Jayanthi Vaidyanathan, Vice President & Head HR, PayPal India, sat down with TimesJobs to discuss some of the hiring trends that are dominating the job search in 2023.
Below are the excerpts from the interview.
1. What are some of the diversity and inclusion trends you see in tech companies?
Diversity and inclusion initiatives build safe spaces for employees to engage in a cohesive dialogue and thrive at their place of work. Most initiatives start from the top, beginning with leadership commitment. But we’ve learnt that initiatives are the most impactful when they are approached as a collaborative partnership between management and employees. Feedback from local employees and community leads is crucial for ensuring that any initiative is locally relevant. A truly diverse and inclusive culture can only be realized if everyone is included.
2. Leadership is a key component of employee growth. How are organizations ensuring adequate training to groom future leaders?
The COVID-19 pandemic and digitalization have brought about an intrinsic shift in our working models. Managerial styles have had to adapt to hybrid or remote work models; innovative technologies like AI/ML, cloud and blockchain have also elevated the talent landscape. To groom the next set of leaders, senior leaders need to shed their 'super-human' image and collaborate with HR partners to understand individual employee needs and work on upskilling and reskilling initiatives that focus on employee development.
3. What are some of the HR trends you foresee that will change the way the workforce functions?
Workforce functions are in constant evolution. Demographics, technology, and macroeconomic factors all come together to transform the way we work. Here are a few trends that will help HR leads can focus on improving workforce functions:
- Digital transformation of HR functions: Companies are adopting new methods that digitize HR functions and are using a data-driven approach to make important decisions like budgeting, compensation, staffing, etc.
- Increased agility: HR leads will help organizations break down traditional structures and work with fluidity, which will help address critical tasks. Introducing agile hub teams will help move away from structured working models and provide more exposure to important business matters.
- Advisors to senior leadership: HRs should prioritize their role as an advisor to senior leadership and collaborate to understand employee needs. This will help with the quicker implementation of policies and give HR leaders a chance to work closely with managers on team functions.
- HR practice-focused groups: Creating function-led HR teams to hire talent will help specific strategic cross-functional needs. For example, forming a team to hire product-focused professionals at scale.
- People analytics to drive performance: HRs will use a data-led approach to streamline vast employee databases and use data analytics to drive performance and understand gaps across business verticals.
4. Corporates have realized the importance of prioritizing the well-being of employees at the workplace. What are some of the ways organizations can be mindful of employee experience?
The relationship between the workforce and the workplace has evolved. Professionals are prioritizing personal well-being and looking for work-life balance. Organizations must address the needs of the workforce to maintain and improve culture and create a feeling of belongingness amongst employees.
An employee-first approach can help organizations with workforce resilience. Employee feedback can also play a crucial role in understanding what the workforce considers workplace must-haves. Conducting surveys, implementing open-door policies and team-building sessions can prove to be useful in gathering data on employee experience.
Having Culture Ambassadors or forming Culture Committees on the ground to carry out organization-wide initiatives for each market can impact the overall tone of the workplace. This will also help in executing global employee engagement initiatives to fruition.
5. As an HR leader, what has your observation been of the growth of women in tech roles? What is the scope like for female engineers at PayPal?
According to a report by NASSCOM, India’s tech sector has about 30% female workforce. We nurture female employees to become visionaries and enable them to act independently, fostering leadership qualities at the start of their careers.
Understanding that women face a significant number of barriers to remaining in the workforce, we introduced several programs to address these challenges. One of them is Unity Bloom, a five-month training and mentorship for women students from across leading engineering colleges in India. Unity is PayPal’s employee resource group which focuses on enabling a truly diverse culture and workforce within the company and technology sector. The program gives women engineers an opportunity to learn from experts in the sector. It includes technical certification courses, live mentor sessions with industry leaders and a hackathon event. At the end of the program, participants are able to apply for a job or will be given internship opportunities.
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