Sreenivas Potukuchi, Head of HR Business Partner, Fidelity Investments India speaks to All Things Talent about how the firm is maintaining a low attrition rate, how it is investing in building a talent brand for seamless hiring, and key talent acquisition trends he foresees in the near future.
Q: How is Fidelity Investments ensuring employee retention in the present times?
A: At Fidelity, we believe in offering a career rather than a job. We have an employee retention and engagement framework built on insights collected over the years. We provide challenging opportunities to our employees and the flexibility to move within the organization so that they can grow within the firm. We also identify employees who might be considering a switch and intervene at an early stage to keep them engaged.
We have established a thriving internal talent market where employees can search for career opportunities within the firm and where hiring managers can scout for existing talent as well before looking outside the organization. A combination of all these efforts has helped us build a large pool of tenured employees and maintain a low attrition rate.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you are facing in this regard and how are you overcoming it?
A: One of the main challenges faced by the industry is qualified talent exiting at an early phase in their careers, and Fidelity is no exception. Many professionals during the first five years of their careers tend to leave their jobs owing to reasons such as higher education, or other personal commitments. Therefore, at Fidelity, we offer robust learning and development opportunities focused on technology, leadership and professional development, functional and domain learning.
We also provide various avenues for associates to learn – virtual classes, self-paced learning resources, certifications, conferences, continuing education, and so on. We understand that everyone needs personal time to take care of important aspects of their lives.
Therefore, we have a generous leave policy that includes an industry-leading 65 days of sick leave annually along with other leave benefits like annual leave, casual leave, compassionate leave, maternity leave, newborn care leave, parental leave, and service anniversary leave.
One of the main challenges faced by the industry is qualified talent exiting at an early phase in their careers, and Fidelity is no exception. Many professionals during the first five years of their careers tend to leave their jobs owing to reasons such as higher education, or other personal commitments.
Q: Many HR experts have predicted that attrition could go up post-pandemic. How are you ensuring that Fidelity Investments is insulated from it?
A: At Fidelity, we are evolving our approach according to the dynamic needs of the situation and finetuning our policies and benefits to suit a hybrid working model. We are taking a data-driven approach to ensure that our employees can do their best work in this new environment. We draw insights from multiple sources of data like pulse check surveys, exit interviews, and attrition trends to create future projections to see if we need to change our engagement strategy with the target groups
We are moving into a future where a large part of the global workforce is going to operate based on a hybrid/ dynamic working model. This offers tremendous opportunities for career growth, owing to its flexibility, digital modes of working, and a highly networked and connected workforce.
Q: Has the hiring strategy for this year seen any changes due to the altered mode of work presently?
A: We are actively investing in building our talent brand to showcase the length and breadth of our products and services and the opportunities we offer. In addition to the traditional channels we use for hiring, we are also leveraging modern approaches including social and other new media.
Believing that associates are our best brand ambassadors, we have a strong employee advocacy program and are using these new-age channels to promote our strong domain in technology, analytics and data, operations, and business areas, apart from softer aspects such as our commitment to community impact, benefits, excellent associate experience, values, ethics, work culture, and work-life balance.
We already have a strong referral program and are taking steps to enhance and make it even more seamless, knowing and believing that employees are our best brand ambassadors.
Q: Fidelity Investments’ Resume program desires to have women return to the workforce, how was it planned out?
A: The ‘RESUME’ program is another highly successful program we use to attract strong female talent in the market who have taken a career break and are looking to re-enter the workforce. The program has been operational for the last six years and offers a six-month internship opportunity to candidates. The program was a tremendous success in the past. However, given the current pandemic situation, we are working to redesign it to suit the new working model.
Q: How are you ensuring that your portfolio companies follow industry best practices?
A: At Fidelity, we constantly benchmark our practices using both formal and informal means and realign them as required. We keep an eye on the trends and best practices in the market (India and international) and make sure that we incorporate them into our operations. Our high levels of retention and tenure are testimony to the fact that employees value and appreciate the opportunities we provide, our organizational culture, and our work portfolio.
Q: What are key trends you foresee in the sector in the coming days in terms of talent acquisition?
A: We are moving into a future where a large part of the global workforce is going to operate based on a hybrid/dynamic working model. This offers tremendous opportunities for career growth, owing to its flexibility, digital modes of working, and a highly networked and connected workforce.
Critical and niche skills such as digital, analytics and data, AI, ML, cloud and the like will continue to be in high demand, and organizations will be focusing on such emerging skills to develop their talent. Organizations such as ours invest heavily in a culture where our employees can benefit from a wide variety of resources and opportunities, including learning and development to build and grow their careers.
The gig economy will also grow even stronger, and employees should enhance their skills to prepare for such a future where niche skills will be in high demand and focus.