HR Technology is revolutionizing the HR domain in every way – multiple HR responsibilities such as hiring, onboarding, training, engagement, retention are seeing transformation at every level. Thus it becomes important to leverage the predictive power of data decisions and tech-led solutions to bring in structured information and transform HR practices for the future. This article takes you on Kinara Capital’s journey of adopting tech practices and data-driven methodologies in their HR practices to maximize recruiting efficiency, reducing attrition, and elevating the way they work.
A data-driven approach has served us well as we kept doubling our workforce year on year and geographically expanding to over 90+ cities. Leading with data sped up the process by 2x which meant that as a team of about 5 people, we were able to review over 20,000 CVs within a year and close on 800+ openings, including extra resources to increase the sales numbers.
While HR has long been considered one of a company’s core assets, the need to manage it efficiently has grown even stronger over time. I believe that HR is most appreciated and the most under pressure when a company is experiencing a rapid growth spurt. This has certainly been my experience when I joined Kinara Capital a little over 5 years ago to head HR and recruiting operations. Since I joined, we have scaled from 50 to 1000 employees, growing across six states with 110 branches and expanding our corporate office in Bangalore with many new departments.
At Kinara Capital, from the beginning, we built digital processes using AI data-decisions as we provide collateral-free loans to small business entrepreneurs (MSME sector), mainly because many of our customers are new to formal lending. Many of our customers don’t have a credit score; therefore, we built our proprietary methodologies for risk assessment and used psychometric testing for unbiased insights about how the entrepreneurs handle problem solving in their business.
In parallel to how we operate our business, we began adopting tech practices and data-driven methodologies in our HR practices from early on. As the head of HR of this fast-growing fintech, we began digitizing and taking a data-based approach for three main reasons, (i) avoiding bias in the system, (ii) reducing attrition with a diverse workforce, (iii) enhancing the employee’s career growth.
Data-Driven Approach Maximizes Recruiting Efficiency and Reduces Bias
When it comes to recruiting, too many of us HR professionals are still too squarely focused on the qualitative matching of CVs and JDs. As Kinara was experiencing rapid growth, I was tasked to scale our human capital quickly and rapidly. A data-driven approach has served us well as we kept doubling our workforce year on year and geographically expanding to over 90+ cities. Leading with data sped up the process by 2x which meant that as a team of about 5 people, we were able to review over 20,000 CVs within a year and close on 800+ openings, including extra resources to increase the sales numbers.
We customized our HR Analytics to quickly review hundreds of resumes for fast hiring to reduce attrition. HR Analytics provides more insights at every stage of the employee lifecycle, as data keeps flowing in and when an employee crosses stages like induction, a probation period, confirmation, promotions, and so on. Instead of basing decisions on HR TECH just the interview performance, reviewing data gave us insights into the factors that are likely to reduce employee attrition. For example, we review parameters like Integrity, Commitment/ Accountability, Teamwork, and Culture Fit that suggest a person is well-thought, through questionnaires and is most likely to commit to a 3+ year stay with the company. By finding innovative ways that helped us scale our workforce, we simultaneously maintained our attrition at around 20% on average over the last 5 years (2015-2020) while reducing year on year attrition by 10%, which is well below the industry standard.
HR Analytics provides more insights at every stage of the employee lifecycle, as data keeps flowing in and when an employee crosses stages like induction, a probation period, confirmation, promotions, and so on
As we continued to open up new branch after branch across six states, we required quick decision making of local talent. Emotional Intelligence is critical for fastgrowing organizations to work well and has become even more important in the wake of the pandemic. Emotional Intelligence from a blend of psychometric testing and behavioural interviewing questions helps us uncover the candidate’s problem solving approach and ability to build team rapport.
Our end-to-end process is completely automated and user friendly. Before finalizing the candidate, we have a rigorous selection process such as assessing psychometric tests to understand their emotional intelligence and behavioural aspects, a technical written test for critical roles, field exposure, including the standard interview process. This also provides more transparency about the candidate because judgement is no longer solely based on the interviewer’s feedback. Data-decision-making means that we are always evaluating our processes from many points of view. In addition to always securing feedback from our current employees, we also take time to reach out to former staff and secure their honest feedback on internal processes.
Tech Enables Cohesiveness and Transparency in the Organization
With recruiting and hiring in place, we turned our attention to employees. As an HR professional who has spent years in this industry, I know that the most common employee complaint is usually the lack of access to information about policies, grievances, benefits, leaves, and performance reviews. Like most other aspects of our lives, the way we approach hiring and onboarding has also been transformed by tech-led solutions. A unified platform that allows the HR team to interface with employees, both new and old, in a fast and efficient way saved both time and effort and minimized paperwork.
With a mobile-first secure human resource management system (HRMS) in place, we have enabled employees to access everything at their fingertips any time of the day and to easily sign in for attendance, request leaves, get salary details, or any other relevant data they require. A dedicated employee portal keeps all apprised of new company policies and gives all an option to file tickets for anything they need, and all this can be done easily from their mobile phones. In addition, the HRMS encompasses all relevant performance evaluation processes with the information made accessible to the employees, making the process transparent and smooth. For employees, regardless of their role, we provide clear expectations by designing KRAs/KPIs, measuring both the qualitative and quantitative parameters in performance reviews.
Systematic reviews and consistent feedback help both the Manager and the team focus on the company goals whilst enabling employees to enhance their personal career growth.
Emotional Intelligence is critical for fast-growing organizations to work well and has become even more important in the wake of the pandemic. Emotional Intelligence from a blend of psychometric testing and behavioural interviewing questions help us uncover the candidate’s problem-solving approach and ability to build team rapport.
While the Covid-19 pandemic threw a spanner in the works for the regular operations of many companies, despite our rapid growth, our HRMS allowed us to carry out the process seamlessly with information accessible to all employees. Having an HRMS in place ensured that the annual performance reviews and annual promotions, internal job postings (IJPs), and incentives were not delayed. Our company was tech-ready, and employees were able to participate in the review process easily from any location.
Use of Tech to Connect and Upskill
The recruitment and review process is not where Kinara Capital’s engagement with tech-driven solutions ends. There are other practices to build and foster a connection with the company culture and overall mission. Field employees are taken through quarterly refresher training, and employees across the board are given access to study material through the LMS portal so that they can keep re-skilling themselves. Field employees are also given access to the Enguru app to help them learn English if necessary.
Kinara Capital as a whole prioritizes the implementation of data-decisions and tech-led solutions to elevate the way we work. At the heart of any organization, it is the people who carry forward the company’s mission. During the Lockdown, we introduced new initiatives to keep the team spirit alive by introducing Zoom sessions that included everything from playing games such as charades and antakshari to creative pursuits that included everything from how to make mandalas, to cooking biryanis, to appreciating Kannada poetry. HR analytics is designed to facilitate recruiting and retention through proactive, data-driven decision-making. While this has turned our team into confident recruiters, the rest depends on the culture we create every day. When it comes to employee engagement, HR Management = Human Engagement.
A dedicated employee portal keeps all apprised of new company policies and gives all an option to file tickets for anything they need, and all this can be done easily from their mobile phones. In addition, the human resource management system (HRMS) encompasses all relevant performance evaluation processes with the information made accessible to the employees, making the process transparent and smooth.
As #TeamKinara, we are a proud group of believers and doers, unified in our mission to build a collaborative, inclusive team and continue in our mission of driving financial inclusion.