Shape Shifting into the Coming Age of Talent Acquisition

Shape Shifting into the Coming Age of Talent Acquisition

This article is a part of the All Things Talent Magazine (November 2018 Edition) – An Initiative By |

In an exclusive interview with All Things Talent, Anoop Kamat, Head of Talent Acquisition, Johnson & Johnson, talks about Key Performance Indicators prevalent in the industry, evolving landscape of talent acquisition and shares his deep insights on workforce management and employee satisfaction.

Anoop Kamat is the Head of Talent Acquisition at Johnson & Johnson Ltd, Mumbai. He is a veteran with over 15 years of experience as Generalist HR and Specialist roles within HR including Talent Acquisition, Performance & Rewards, Talent Management, Employee & Labour Relations, HR Operations and Analytics and Learning & Development. He is an alumnus of Symbiosis Institute of Business Management.

Q. You have over 15 years of experience working at various organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, ICICI Bank, Sasken Technologies and Times Group. Please share how has the journey been like?

A. A diverse and cross-industry experience earmarks the past 15 years of my journey in Human Resources. Having worked as an individual contributor as well as in a complex matrix structure across geographies where I’ve had to manage and mentor teams, each of my roles presented me with wonderful opportunities – and equally trying challenges. However, a diversity of experiences has encouraged me to pursue the more holistic professional growth path. My professional decisions thus far have stemmed from my belief in seeking larger
perspectives in Human Resources through roles in Business Partnering, Total Rewards, Performance Management, Analytics, Learning & Development and Talent Acquisition.

Q. What KPI’s do you use to measure the effectiveness of the HR function, especially Talent Acquisition?

A. KPIs and People Analytics enable us, as HR professionals, to manage the most valuable People Assets. A multitude of HR indices help gauge the process or system efficiency such as Quality of Hire, Lead Time, Cost of Hire, etc. Business Insights, Employee and Stakeholder Voices and Market and Talent Intelligence,
collectively help us establish the context of the talent framework we are dealing with. The right KPI’s should always be multi-dimensional and present a broad assessment – qualitative and quantitative, with an opportunity to improve rather than just be a measurement.The end goal is to evaluate and understand
critical aspects such as the Business Value created, Future Readiness of the Organization, Cultural Transformation and Employee Experience Impact – I believe these are the true measure of HR Value.

“The right KPI’s should always be multi-dimensional and present a broad assessment– qualitative and quantitative-
tive, with an opportunity to improve rather than just be a measurement.”

Q. Can you shed some light on the evolving pattern which you have witnessed in the hiring processes over the past decade?

A. The trajectory of hiring across markets is evolving and how. The past few decades have had organizations shifting from in-house Talent Acquisition teams to RPO’s and some back to in-house teams; desktop based hiring and excel spreadsheets have given way to Applicant Tracking Systems and Cloud-based applications; sifting profiles based on keywords have evolved into asking candidates to respond to per-defined screening questions to building an AI system that matches jobs to candidate profile with high accuracy; high dependency on agencies has moved to a mix of referrals and agencies to a source mix that suits the organization’s talent needs. With all these changes – and more that are underway, the writing on the wall for Talent Acquisition managers is that the talent management is strategic, while technology has become a key disruptor in ensuring that today’s talent managers are fast, proactive, business-aligned, solution-oriented, and transparent while providing best-in-class candidate experience.

Q. How do you incorporate and nurture the talent of an employee who lacks past experience of your firm’s industry but has the ability to quickly adapt to the new surroundings and evolve accordingly?

A. Any new hire for an organization is nothing short of an investment. Past experiences have triggered the realization that the process of training and nurturing young talent as opposed to hiring only experienced candidates is long, but incredibly rewarding. New hire assimilation, orientation and on-boarding allow teams and the new employee develop healthy dynamics. Informal connects with Senior Leadership and close monitoring by immediate supervisors helps ensure the they do not get disengaged in a job set-up that is completely new or makes them vulnerable. Meanwhile, investments in induction, e-learning programs,
buddy programs, identifying relevant internal/external mentors and job shadowing enhances the process of assimilation and prepares new joinees to confidently deliver at the new workplace.

Q. How would you define employee satisfaction?

A. While there are standard definitions, and several studies that talk about employee satisfaction, to me it is about the experience that an employee leaves with you during your interactions. A satisfied employee is very contagious – s/he leaves you with a lot of energy, is passionate about the work s/he does, ready to
take up challenges, leads initiatives and shares thoughts which are in the longer interest of the

“Organizations have realized that new hire assimilation, orientation and on-boarding are the missing jigsaw pieces that help one understand organizational dynamics well.”

Q. In your opinion, do companies welcome the idea of a multi-generational workforce, or do they prefer to keep it a homogeneous or consistent group, with respect to hiring employees belonging to a particular generation only?

A. In an age where business are constantly seeking smarter talent management strategies for its growing millennial workforce, it is important that firms also take up the challenge to leverage age-diversity and bring out the best in all their employees irrespective of their age and seniority. It is a no-brainer that the work-
force of today is already multi-generational. Mindsets have changed and years of experience and seniority by age no longer define your level in the organization. In fact, the value that a multi-generational workforce brings
into an organization is now being given due recognition. Companies that wish to exist over the next few decades will have no option but to accept and build people practices that support a multi-generational workforce.

Q. How do you see changing demographics and technology affecting job satisfaction in the future?

A. Job satisfaction is a subset and the biggest driver of employee satisfaction – and this is further enhanced by the disruption of technology across business segments. Organizations today are evolving in a hyper-connected world – where workspaces are virtual and AI has helped augment process optimization and productivity. While this presents unprecedented challenges and expectations for the individual and the organization at large, it encourages much-needed change, opens up channels for communication as well as innovation, and
allows for flexibility as teams collectively meet the demands of their job roles.

Q. Can you describe the most significant human capital initiative you’ve seen evolve during your career?

A. Over the last few years – I have seen organizations approaching Learning & Development with a very different lens. It is now tightly coupled to the needs of the individual and the organization. Organizations have moved towards providing its employees a broader development platform through blended learning, that includes not only classroom programs but also inviting them to work on live case studies/
projects, short-term assignments including cross-functional exposure, structured job rotations, exposure to different markets, etc. Investments in Learning and Development have also substantially increased over the years and have become a strategic lever for organizations to remain fitter, agile and high on performance


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