Speaking to All Things Talent, Jeevant Kumar, Senior Director - Human Resources, Lam Research India elaborates on the company's hiring plans, talent pool expansion due to remote working, and reskilling the workforce.
As a company, we have adopted a holistic approach to this. It is not just about talent acquisition. Apart from lateral hires, we are also focusing on building talent internally and partnering with the local ecosystem to support our talent requirements.
Q: Please tell us about your career and your current role? What galvanized you to work at Lam Research?
A: I have been in the hi-tech industry for over 22 years now with 10+ years of experience in the WFE (Wafer Fab Equipment) industry and my mandate for Lam India is to lead capability building. Having worked with the top two players in WFE, I have realized that this industry is at the core of all the advancements that the high-tech industry has made in the last four decades and will continue to do so.
Lam Research is a value-driven and highly responsive organization. The excitement to be a part of an industry that touches all aspects of engineering including chemical, mechanical, electrical, and software makes it worth pursuing a career at Lam Research.
Q: What are the company’s expansion plans in the country and the hiring needs?
A: Lam Research has grown 400% in the last four years in India and is poised for a similar upward trajectory. We have a clear line of sight for further growth in the coming years. Our talent strategy at Lam India is driven by our business expansion and talent availability in the country. In addition, the high quality and spectrum of talent available in India will add more value to us as an organization and fuel further growth in the future.
Q: IT hiring has seen a revival due to global contracts coming to India and companies increasingly focusing on WFH solutions across the spectrum. How does Lam see this change particularly on the IT talent availability?
A: Remote working has driven the recent round of investment in IT infrastructure in addition to building infrastructure for new-age tech (e.g., cloud computing, 5G, etc). The automobile industry has recently been under immense pressure due to a shortage of chips and factors such as these are what drive demand for more capacity in our industry. This demand, thus, drives growth and allows us to further increase our capacity.
Moreover, the talent base in India has been successful in meeting the demand driven by unprecedented growth in the industry and we will continue to see this demand for some time.
Q: Can you provide an overview of the total employees at Lam and their categorizations into different buckets?
Lam India has approximately 2500 staff working out of India that includes full-time employees, contractors, and the work being done with local companies. Our employee base comprises engineering, software, operations, IT, and corporate functions.
In your opinion, how crucial has it become to rethink, remodel and revamp talent acquisition strategies, and processes in the post-COVID world? How has the pandemic changed the way you hire candidates at Lam Research?
As a company, we have adopted a holistic approach to this. It is not just about talent acquisition. Apart from lateral hires, we are also focusing on building talent internally and partnering with the local ecosystem to support our talent requirements. This strategy will help us, both in the long and short term. The pandemic has proven to us that a lot of our work can be done remotely, and we are happy to provide flexibility to our employees. This added flexibility is helping us attract new talent as well.
Q: Obviously, reskilling has become a big topic. How do you see skills needs changing in this post-pandemic world? Any advice on how HR leaders can up-skill the workforce and close the skills?
A: As we go up the value chain in most of our functions, reskilling for us becomes mostly about upskilling. There is a lot of investment being done internally to support this activity. The most challenging part of re/upskilling in the post-pandemic world is collaboration and driving innovation. Teamwork plays a fundamental role in collaboration and innovation, and our focus remains on ensuring that our team members continue to work with each other in a sustained manner
Q: According to you, what are the greatest opportunities for the manufacturing industry in a post-pandemic economy? What kinds of changing operational moves or pivoting do you see happening right now?
A: Manufacturing in the chip industry has become more and more complex over the years. We work very closely with our customers to solve their problems. Our existing install base also drives huge spending on spares and services, and as we respond to this demand, we see us getting even closer to our customers in providing support to their manufacturing capabilities. Lam has made big investments recently to enable this strategy.
Within Lam India, we are building centres of excellence to support this complex and demanding need. We are currently supporting all the geographies across procurement, spares, and logistics and have witnessed various opportunities in analytics to drive a highly effective supply chain.