In a conversation with All Things Talent, Bhavana Jain, Director and CHRO, and Sebastian Rodriguez, VP & Global Head – Talent, Netcore Cloud, discuss the company’s hiring strategies, engineering & marketing talent shortages and availability, the importance of upskilling, and more.
Netcore Cloud is looking to hire from the local markets for the front end and leverage the remote model, as per a TOI report. What will be your hiring strategy for the same? What will be your target numbers for this?
Sebastian Rodriguez: Over the years, there has been a rapid proliferation of digital mediums which has given us an opportunity as a company to enhance our specialisation in digital engagement and customer experience. To that extent, we have been hiring people with the right skill set both locally and globally. While we are hiring from the local markets, the current remote working models have given us an opportunity to hire people across geographies and time zones. Netcore Cloud is looking to hire close to 800 professionals by the end of 2022 with a ratio of 80:20, split between India and international markets respectively. For senior roles, our aim is to pick the right talent from the ever-growing SaaS community. We also hire young talent from our strong network of management institutes, engineering colleges, and grad schools. We find close to 40 percent of the talent from these networks. The smooth onboarding process coupled with learning and development programs makes Netcore Cloud a great place for the young workforce to kick start their career.
Netcore Cloud is also looking to hire Engineers. In today’s time, with a surge in tech talent hirings, what has been your experience so far in terms of talent availability?
Sebastian Rodriguez: As mentioned above, with digital acceleration, our partners’ and clients’ needs are also evolving. We have been constantly working towards enhancing our product suites. To that extent, we have been looking for engineers who have the zeal to keep up with the market dynamics and work towards delivering the best. We have a mandate to onboard 180 engineers in the coming months. The market is definitely favourable for the candidates. With the value proposition that Netcore Cloud has to offer, in terms of the tech stack, scale, learning in product development, etc, we have been able to onboard some good talent in the recent past. One just needs to look at the right sources. We look at various sources such as Naukri, LinkedIn, and HackerEarth, among others.
What kind of talent assessment matrices do you have and how will that help you find the right talent?
Sebastian Rodriguez: We use various matrices for talent assessment internally. One of the metrics that we strongly look for is a transformational talent which includes attributes like problem-solving, efficiency, communication, passion, and self-direction. We use BEI (Behavioural Event Interviewing) to assess these qualities. On the engineering side, DS & Algo (Data Structures and Algorithms) tests give a good measure of tech talent. We also leverage the benefits of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to conduct our daily hiring scrum meets. Since hiring funnels are no different from sales funnels, at least technically, we focus on the funnels and drop rates at each stage of the hiring funnel. Additionally, a lot of hiring managers are continually scouting for talent on LinkedIn and Twitter.
“We use various matrices for talent assessment internally. One of the metrics that we strongly look for is a transformational talent which includes attributes like problem-solving, efficiency, communication, passion, and self-direction.”
There’s also a great tug-of-war going on in terms of tech hiring with a candidate sitting with multiple offers. How will you ensure that the candidate chooses Netcore Cloud over others?
Bhavana Jain: The pandemic had a profound effect on the IT and tech fields. The demand for tech talent has skyrocketed as technology becomes increasingly important to business processes. Even in the marketing technology sector, with the deployment of emerging technologies in operations/solutions, there has been a constant demand for talent who are equipped with the right skill set.
At Netcore Cloud, we are committed to building a strong team of talented individuals. Netcore Cloud follows a flat organisational structure which helps employees with better coordination across levels, making it easier for decision making and increasing the sense of responsibility. Netcore Cloud in its true entrepreneurial culture encourages innovation, learning, and growth to help employees to bring their ideas to life. Though we are an established entity, we still work as a startup where we encourage our employees to bring enthusiasm and innovation to the work they do.
The boom has also escalated the salary trends exponentially. What have you observed?
Bhavana Jain: Employers have responded to the rising hiring activity with higher average salaries and benefits. With the growing need for digital talent, candidates with the right tech skills have been seeing a surge in demand. This has in turn compelled organisations to churn out funds to attract the right talent and bridge the skill gap. Additionally, we have seen the evolution of compensation structures in terms of companies giving joining bonuses, premium-sized gifts, such as cars, bikes, etc.
ESOPs are one of the biggest differentiators that Netcore Cloud provides to its employees. We believe that this gives them an opportunity for wealth creation, and in the process develop a true sense of belonging to the Netcore Cloud family. Today, 25 percent of Netcore Cloud is owned by 48 percent of our employees. We have seen more extended associations with our employees than many other organisations operating in similar industries. Our Netcorians also appreciate the open culture that we follow and the immense pool of growth opportunities they see for themselves here.
“ESOPs are one of the biggest differentiators that Netcore Cloud provides to its employees. We believe that this gives them an opportunity for wealth creation, and in the process develop a true sense of belonging to the Netcore Cloud family. Today, 25 percent of Netcore Cloud is owned by 48 percent of our employees.”
Netcore Cloud is also going for an expansion in new geographies. What are the key roles and responsibilities you are looking for now?
Bhavana Jain: Currently, we are a strong team of over 700 employees in India, the European Union, the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asian Countries (SEA). We will be hiring over 800 professionals in India and global markets by 2022 across various departments, including engineering, product, pre-sales, and sales, among others. With work-from-home becoming the norm for most organisations today, we will be extending employees the opportunity to benefit from remote or hybrid work models depending on their comfort and the nature of their job. We believe this will help us strengthen our presence and drive market share in India and overseas.
In terms of the marketing technology sector, what kind of talent shortage are you noticing, if any? What can be done to fill the gap?
Bhavana Jain: Marketing technology holds enormous potential and offers many career opportunities for talented individuals. Engineering & marketing talent shortages have been observed due to high demand and remote work cultures since there are no restrictions on location and geographic boundaries are expanding. The result has been a clear imbalance between demand and supply, a phenomenon known as ‘Talent War’.
To address this challenge and fill the talent gap, it’s important for organisations to foster a culture of constant learning and development, and at the same time build a value proposition. For Netcore Cloud, people are at the core. We are working towards instilling the core values – openness, honesty, commitment, and humanity. Netcore Cloud’s culture is a blend of ethos and knowledge, it develops a sense of belonging, personal and cognitive growth. People who join Netcore Cloud have been associated with the company for an average of 5+ years, which is beyond the market standards. This shows Netcore Cloud’s testament to fostering a great working culture.
The digitisation of processes thanks to the pandemic has increased the need for skilling, reskilling, and upskilling. How has that impacted the marketing tech sector in general and Netcore Cloud in particular?
Bhavana Jain: The growing adoption of digital media has created a lot of opportunities across a range of industries. This is also true for marketing technology. It provided a huge opportunity to establish new products that we can offer our clients. This also increased the scope for our teams to expand their horizon of knowledge with the latest skills across technology, software, trends, and practices. In order to deliver innovative and customised products and solutions, employees need the right skills.
At Netcore Cloud, we create a learning environment that offers holistic growth both personally and professionally. We have curated upskilling programs like RISE – a management development program to nurture individuals showcasing the potential of growth and Udaan – a program for first-time managers. We also provide a need-based personalised learning program for our employees for a more customised approach. Additionally, our internal learning management system provides Netcorians with the training they may need to do their work effectively and achieve organisational goals. We believe that skilling for clients is as important as skilling for our Netcorians. Companies must stay abreast of the latest trends in the marketing sector and choose the best medium to engage with their audiences.