In The Past Two Years, We’ve Onboarded 40% Of Current Indian Tech Talent: Mohan Kumar, Intuit India

In The Past Two Years, We’ve Onboarded 40% Of Current Indian Tech Talent: Mohan Kumar, Intuit India

, Senior Content Manager, Naukri
, Senior Manager - Editorial & Content, Naukri
Mohan Kumar, Head of Talent Acquisition, Intuit

In a candid conversation with Mohan Kumar, Head of Talent Acquisition at Intuit, we delve into the company’s visionary returnship programme, a gender-neutral endeavour, that highlights Intuit’s dedication to inclusivity, mentorship, and impactful project work, and which boasts an impressive 80% conversion rate for participants.

With a storied presence since 1983, Intuit is renowned in the tech sector for flagship products like QuickBooks, TurboTax, and Mint. Yet, the company’s prowess goes beyond product innovation. Celebrating nearly two decades in India, Intuit has established itself as a powerhouse, hosting the second-largest development centre outside the US and a team of over 1600 professionals dedicated to end-to-end product development and innovation, even for clients abroad.

Set against the backdrop of Silicon Valley’s nuanced stance on diversity, Intuit consistently champions forward-thinking strategies. While some of its peers have been slow to act, Intuit’s drive for inclusivity stands out. “We’ve been recognised as India’s best workplaces for women. We’ve also been acknowledged for our efforts in IT, diversity, equity, and inclusion metrics. Our position on India’s Workplace Equality Quality Index in both 2021 and 2022 for LGBTQ+ inclusion and our ranking as a top firm for data scientists affirm our unwavering commitment,” says Mohan Kumar, Intuit’s Head of Talent Acquisition. For this organisation, it’s evident, the aim isn’t to tick boxes. It’s about setting a new, profound standard for hiring and inclusivity that’s attuned to both current and future industry shifts.

India: At the Heart of Intuit’s Global Growth

When we look internally, we don’t see product silos. We’ve adopted a unified platform model,” Kumar shares, highlighting Intuit’s cohesive approach. This platform doesn’t just support products but merges everything from product roadmaps to backend operations. The emphasis on ‘people and places,’ as Kumar points out, reflects Intuit’s commitment to its talent and their global positioning.

It’s within this landscape that India takes a central role. “A significant 25% of our global tech workforce resides in India,” Kumar states, elaborating on the rapid expansion with, “In just the past two years, we’ve onboarded 40% of our current Indian tech talent.”

Moving beyond its primary Mountain View base, Kumar positions India as more than just a satellite office for Intuit. “Our growth isn’t accidental. It’s a testament to Indian innovation and expertise,” he says, “Our ‘Design for Delight’ approach underscores that customer service transcends geography.”

Shedding light on Intuit India’s unique position, Kumar elaborates, “We’re not merely an extended arm. We believe in comprehensive product development ownership.” This means a holistic team, from developers to designers, collaborates in tandem in India.

The outcome? Tangible growth. “The company has marked over 20% YoY revenue growth,” Kumar reveals. And while these revenues are global, the rise is indicative of how India’s role has been pivotal.

Legally registered as Intuit India Product Development Center Private Limited, the Indian wing is predominantly tech-centric. “About 85-90% of our Indian team is dedicated to the tech ecosystem,” Kumar shares, underscoring India’s instrumental role in shaping Intuit’s future trajectory.

Also read: How Can India’s Talent Availability Be at Par with Other Tech-Proficient Countries? Apexon’s Anand Kabra Answers

We’re not just hiring for the sake of numbers. From fresh university recruits to seasoned professionals, we ensure that we source from the best. Moreover, our focus on diversity, including support for the LGBTQ+ community, solidifies our commitment to building a holistic workforce. Our last annual report highlighted that we achieved a 33% diversity rate across the company

Merging Innovation with Inclusivity

“Our north star is crystal clear: be the world’s best company where exceptional talent produces unparalleled work,” Kumar reveals, explaining Intuit’s core people-centric philosophy. All HR policies, as Kumar points out, are geared to reflect this ambition.

Kumar explains that the strategy behind attracting and retaining talent at Intuit operates on two primary fronts. First, the compelling nature of the work on offer. “Talent craves impact and innovation. With our end-to-end product development approach, they’re not just extended team members but pivotal players shaping customer outcomes.” He illustrates his point with the company’s ‘global engineering days’, wherein the entire tech team collaborates to ideate and innovate, often seeding ideas that evolve into key product features. “Additionally, we empower our team with 10% unstructured time annually, encouraging them to venture outside routine tasks. Such freedom inevitably sparks innovation.”

But the allure isn’t solely in the work; it’s in the unparalleled employee benefits. “We pride ourselves on our top-tier benefits,” Kumar shares. These include progressive policies like support for hormone replacement therapy for transitioning individuals, insurance for same-sex partners, childcare benefits, disability support, and even ‘recharge days‘ – a unique concept to help employees refresh. “Our benefits are universal, catering to all levels. For a detailed peek, anyone can visit,” Kumar adds, mentioning a range of support programs from adoption assistance to employee mental health initiatives.

When asked about financial wellness, given Intuit’s forte, Kumar nods. “Under our ‘Well-being for Life’ initiative, we allocate an annual amount for employees to bolster their financial health.” Other benefits, such as tuition assistance and collaborations like the one with Bits Pilani for an MSc in Data Science, underscore Intuit’s commitment to continuous learning.

But Kumar’s passion becomes palpable when discussing the ‘individual Child Education programme’, a flagship initiative. “We aim to sponsor the education of one girl child for every Intuit employee. Thus far, around 600 girls from underprivileged backgrounds have benefited.” This isn’t just about funding. As Kumar points out, employee mentorship and parental engagement are central, ensuring not just enrollment but sustained education.

To the query about employee involvement, Kumar nods, “Absolutely. We’ve structured it to allow employee referrals. Our teams don’t just suggest names; they actively mentor these girls.” He pauses, reflecting, “Several employees have recommended more than one child, leading to over 3,000 applications. We’re inching towards our goal daily.” 

Also read: 70-80% Of Smollan India’s Hiring Under Household Hope Campaign Happens Through Employee Referrals

Where Tech Meets Talent

Synonymous with innovation, Intuit is also looking at revolutionising recruitment as we know it. Kumar shares: “Our emphasis on technological innovation actively drives our approach to tech adoption and involvement in the recruitment process.”

Many organisations grapple with the overwhelming task of processing a deluge of applications. As Kumar points out, “When tens of thousands flock to your career site to apply, manually sifting through each resume becomes a Herculean task.” To circumvent this challenge, Intuit has turned to artificial intelligence. Kumar explains, “Our ongoing efforts focus on utilising AI to sift through these profiles efficiently. The aim? To quickly identify and prioritise applications that warrant immediate processing.”

Moreover, Intuit is actively enhancing internal mobility, with AI significantly influencing this arena. Kumar, however, notes the boundaries of AI in talent acquisition. “While AI offers promising tools to streamline the shortlisting process, it’s crucial to balance technology with human judgement. AI might give insights into candidate retention, but we don’t envision a future where we solely rely on it.”

One of Intuit’s standout initiatives is ‘Assessing for Awesome (A for A)’, their hallmark assessment process. “Our conventional recruitment process, often entailing multiple sequential interview rounds, can become cumbersome for both the organisation and the prospective employee,” Kumar observes. The philosophy underpinning A for A underscores both relevance and diversity. For instance, when hiring a software developer, the assessment ideally involves a peer from the development domain. This ensures the assessor is deeply acquainted with the nuances of the role in question. 

Furthermore, Intuit champions diversity in its assessment panels, minimising biases and fostering inclusivity. It’s an endeavour to not just identify the right skills, but also ensure alignment with the organisation’s core values.

What sets this assessment apart is its expedited approach. As Kumar reveals, “The entire process, from evaluation to decision-making, concludes within a day, irrespective of the candidate’s level.” This approach is rooted in the ‘show, don’t tell’ ethos. By presenting a problem statement upfront, candidates are nudged to demonstrate their prowess rather than merely articulating it. Kumar adds, “It’s an invaluable method, offering rich insights into the candidate’s background, skillset, motivation, and overall fit for the role.” The swift decision-making post-assessment? It’s intentional. “Decisions taken promptly ensure the evaluation remains top-of-mind for all involved.”

Interestingly, while most businesses face the challenge of finding individuals who possess a dual flair for technology and business acumen, Intuit is on the lookout for professionals who can visualise the entire customer journey, transcending departmental boundaries. Kumar says, “Our emphasis is not merely on skill-specific talents but on individuals who can address intricate customer challenges with a comprehensive perspective. These are the trailblazers who understand the core problem, align technological solutions with business strategy, and thrive in collaborative, distributed teams to prioritise our customers.”

Also read: Digital Skills in India Differ From Asia-Pacific – Here’s How

Bridging the Gap in the Tech World

In the dynamic realm of the tech industry, taking career breaks can sometimes lead to challenges when re-entering the workforce. Recognising this, Intuit pioneered a returnship programme in 2015 that aimed to bridge this gap.

Initially tailored for women, Intuit’s returnship programme was a response to the observed industry gap. Kumar shares, “We realised that after taking breaks, many find their confidence diminished, possibly feeling out of touch with the latest technologies. Our programme provides a supportive pathway for these individuals to rediscover themselves and hone their skills over six months.”

Today, the programme is gender-neutral, recognising that people of all genders take career breaks for various reasons. “As a diverse, equitable, and inclusive employer, we believe in providing equal opportunities for everyone, regardless of gender. We realised that reasons for career breaks could span across genders,” Kumar says. This initiative offers a holistic support structure, including a dedicated programme team, mentorship, engagement with fellow returnees, and opportunities from the learning organisation.

The core benefits can be grouped into three categories:

Career Development: Leveraging both existing and new programmes to facilitate on-the-job learning and classroom sessions.

Mentorship: Ensuring participants have a go-to person for guidance throughout their journey.

Impactful Projects: Empowering returnees with meaningful tasks that can significantly affect the business.

For those interested, Intuit offers a dedicated portal for the returnship programme. Kumar explains, “Apart from our website, we also promote upcoming cohorts through job boards, LinkedIn, and branding teams. We’ve even collaborated with organisations focusing on this niche space.” The company also encourages its employees to provide referrals, understanding they might know individuals who’ve taken breaks. Once applications are received, candidates undergo an assessment process before being onboarded.

Reflecting on the programme’s evolution, Kumar notes that they’ve transitioned from offering the programme once a year to twice annually. “We understood that individuals seek to return at different times. Limiting our cohorts to once a year might force potential returnees to wait an extended period if they missed one intake.”

Besides, Intuit is focused on maintaining the programme’s quality over quantity. Kumar stresses, “We want to ensure each cohort receives a deep, impactful experience.” In terms of success, the programme boasts an impressive 80% conversion ratio.

For industry leaders like Intuit, it’s about maintaining a culture of innovation and excellence. But what exactly does Intuit’s hiring roadmap look like, and how do they ensure that they attract top-tier talent to further their mission?

Also read: E-Cube Strategy: Powering Talent Acquisition for Unbeatable Business Success

A Focus on Core Engineering Talent

As a hub of innovation and engineering prowess, Intuit has its sights set on core engineering talent, specialising in areas like product development, product management, experience and design, and AI and data. With an impressive track record of contributing to over 65% of their overall global source open projects, the company’s expectations are high.

“In the past two years, about 40% of our workforce was onboarded, and we anticipate a continued focus on attracting core engineering professionals,” shares the spokesperson. However, with high expectations come challenges. The objective isn’t just about hiring; it’s about motivating exceptional talent to resonate with Intuit’s innovative spirit.

Building a Brand Through Employees

Perhaps one of Intuit’s most potent strategies has been turning its employees into brand ambassadors. The results speak for themselves: From a tech reputation of just 1% in 2017, they soared to an astounding 46% in 2022. This massive shift in perception has proven instrumental in their 40% growth over the last couple of years.

“We’re not just hiring for the sake of numbers. From fresh university recruits to seasoned professionals, we ensure that we source from the best. Moreover, our focus on diversity, including support for the LGBTQ+ community, solidifies our commitment to building a holistic workforce,” Kumar adds. “Our last annual report highlighted that we achieved a 33% diversity rate across the company. We believe that a diverse workforce is not just a metric but a testament to our inclusive values,” he shares.

Our aim is to sponsor the education of one girl child for every Intuit employee. Thus far, around 600 girls from underprivileged backgrounds have benefited.

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Intuit is clear about one thing: the learning never stops. Their investments in tech upskilling programs, personal branding, impactful communication, and leadership training underscore their commitment to employee growth. With initiatives like boot camps and roadmaps for development, Intuit ensures that its workforce remains at the forefront of industry advancements.

Furthermore, understanding the challenges of the modern work environment, they also emphasise holistic wellness programs. These initiatives aim at helping employees manage stress, build resilience, and maintain their well-being, both mentally and physically.

Intuit’s approach could serve as a blueprint for others in the industry, illustrating that it’s not just about hiring talent; it’s about nurturing, retaining, and offering avenues for re-entry to those who’ve taken a step back. In a world where talent is the premium currency, Intuit’s focus on inclusivity is both commendable and a smart business strategy.

About the expert: Mohan Kumar, Head of Talent Acquisition for Intuit India, has spearheaded transformative talent initiatives both at Intuit and previously at Xerox Services, positioning these firms as premier destinations for top tech talent in the APAC region.

Registered name of the company & location: Intuit Inc., Mountain View, California
Year of Incorporation: 1983
Number of employees: 1600 + in India
Name of the founders: Scott Cook and Tom Proulx
Name of the key execs: Sasan Goodarzi, CEO; Saurabh Saxena, Intuit India Site Leader & Vice President, Product Development
Business line: Intuit is a global financial technology platform with more than 100 million customers worldwide using TurboTax, Credit Karma, QuickBooks, and Mailchimp, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to prosper.
Key HR differentiating factors:

  • In 2019, Intuit India announced some new benefits-related developments impacting their LGBTQ employees.
  • Intuit through its Employee Assistance Program provides no-cost counselling and help to their employees. Intuit’s Wellbeing for Life program helps employees to improve their state of mind and ability to manage life’s stresses with innovative, digital programs. Intuit provides reimbursement on any investment the employees make towards their mental, physical, or even financial wellness.
  • Intuit Again is a back-to-work program through which technologists can get back to the workforce, regain their confidence, rebuild their careers and make an impact while working with one of the best companies to work for in India.
  • We Care and Give Back is Intuit’s oldest value. We have converted this value into a live experience through the We Care and Give Back program which allows employees to give back to the community in terms of time and monetary.
  • In FY’21, Intuit met their goal for the representation of women in technology, reaching 30% of their technology organization.
  • Their active Intuit Pride Network has put us at the forefront of LGBTQ issues.


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