We did say we love puns, didn’t we? This is something we learnt from The Economist Espresso – making fun headlines.

One of our youngest and newest came up with this one and we told her to go ahead and use it for our customer anecdotes. Here are two, on Recruitment and Selection, or Rec and Sec, as we call them. One real life story each.

It’s a short read, 2 -3 mins – like they say on digital news apps. Be that as it may – assimilation, application, and mastery in Rec and Sec usually takes years, if not decades. It is a core deliverable of the HR function and one of the most complex. It is a journey of continuous improvement and our stories seek to illustrate the work we do with our client orgs to learn, relearn, improve and problem-solve.

CI: O Campus!

Regardless of industry, culture, and working styles, all organisations have a single goal in common – being the employer of choice on campus.

Our protagonist here is an active player in the insurance sector. A significant chunk of their workforce comprises frontline sales, hired from Tier II and Tier III B schools across the country. The leaders spoke of ‘hiring in big numbers’ and ‘sealing the leaks’ – attracting and retaining talent, in other words.

We presented our game-plan that had three key elements:
Articulating and communicating campus-specific employer brand which stemmed from their overall employer brand
• Creating a buzz and expectation around it amongst students, leading up to their first formal interaction with the company
• Enhancing the candidate experience at every step of the placement journey

The Approach

Plan signed off, we set to work. The first order of business was to understand the organization’s employer brand, the employee value propositions, and its ethos in general. We conducted multiple focused group discussions across locations and had elaborate conversations with the leadership team.

Based on this primary research, we developed themes which genuinely reflected what the company stood for as an employer to its current and potential talent segments. We then used these themes to set the campus branding philosophy in place – consisting of a central promise and four pillars that support that promise. The belief in a long-term enriching journey full of growth possibilities and positivity was articulated effortlessly. Creative visuals and design elements brought the content to life.

Once articulated, we moved on to the campus segment, to do a deep dive into the prevalent practices and procedures. Every touchpoint in the placement journey was looked at anew, resulting in a revamp of the entire candidate experience. A few examples:

Hashtag: A catchy hashtag came into being, which we used to launch the campaign and grab attention. Mission accomplished, we followed it up with the rest of the program – a set of experiences that clearly set the tone for the core message
Teasers: A set of new visual collaterals were designed, to be shared with students in phases before the pre-placement talk took place; a way to build excitement and anticipation around the event
Pre-Placement Talk Presentation: This was a tough one as we had to balance professionalism and seriousness of the message with fun and engaging communication. We prevailed. Kept the original language intact and used GIFs and graphics to enhance the experience
Official Communication: Redesigning emails, SMSes, official documents was another step in enhancing the candidate experience. There are always specific terms, conditions, and clauses that cannot be tinkered with in officialese. Adding a flavour of the brand to these was tricky, but not impossible. We modified content wherever we found a small window of non-controversial ground – headers, footers, greeting line, subject copy – you get the picture

These were from the comm stable. There is a lot of work being done on the process side too. The internal team is speedily implementing the recommended changes for a superior CX.

The Result

Ah, the much-awaited punchline. We won’t lie to you – we aren’t quite there yet. The project is live, campus season is still on, the company is on a hiring spree, and the jury is out. But, hold on, hold on! Our sec-starrer clientale doesn’t end this way, so read on! 

Meanwhile, here are the agreed upon success factors or measurement metrics for this project:

• Placement Slot on Campus
• No. of Applicants
• The Ratio of Offer to Joining
• Glassdoor Ratings
• Quality of Applicants
• Employer Brand Recall on Campus

C II: A Medical Emergency

While every business wishes to proliferate, occasionally, it becomes a case of  ‘careful what you wish for …’ when the company is ill-equipped to cope with rapid expansion. Such was the case with our player in the healthcare industry.

A team of doctors came together and built a hospital. Encouraged by the success of the first one, they quickly opened multiple outlets in the city, and also expanded to a second city.  So far, so good.

Then things started going south. The founders were individuals with very different ideas about what the future holds for the venture, and conflicts arose — compounded by confusion and poor management at the second level.  Around 40 odd middle managers were struggling to run operations by the standards of excellence set by the founding team. Enter us, to sort out the tangle.

What we worked on

The first order of business: establish the vision, mission, and values. Followed by core competencies definition and the resetting of roles and responsibilities per said competencies. Then came Selection. We assessed the existing talent pool and made recommendations based on our assessment. Wasn’t all smooth sailing – veterans were not happy about being interviewed and judged by outsiders.

To overcome the resistance, we asked them to prepare a deck on their achievements over the years. Early-stage appreciation paved the way to collaboration. Thus we mapped the talent pool on the performance potential matrix and carried out a full talent review for the middle management. The Talent Inventory, complete with a first-level succession plan, was a rich experience and outcome for all decision-makers

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What we achieved

As promised, we can share the results with you since we complete this mandate earlier this year. Here goes:

  • We had the leadership in agreement on the direction and path to the future – a big win for all
  • The leaders knew where the company stood in terms of talent –  gaps and vulnerabilities were comprehensively mapped. Hence, they were able to draw up effective Rec and Sec plans to reduce business risk
  • Top talent had Individual Development Plans and Career Paths drawn up – a huge morale booster for the workforce as they recognised the investment the company was making in them

And that’s a wrap.

Did it take you longer than 3 minutes? Good show – you are serious about your reading then. Hope to see you back on our page soon

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