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Ep 411: EVP In A Hyper Competitive Market

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Over the last few months, as I’ve been researching the practical effects of the Great Resignation, we’ve heard the stories of talent acquisition professionals from the US, Europe and Australia on what is truly a global issue. One country I really want to know more about though, is India, one of the biggest global markets for tech talent.

My guest this week is Aditya Singh, Director Head of Talent Acquisition at Informatica. Aditya has overall responsibility for designing and deploying Informatica’s Talent Acquisition Strategy across India and gives us a great insight into what Informatica is doing to stand out in one of the most competitive talent markets on the planet.

In the interview, we discuss:

• The Indian tech talent market

• Why EVP is critical for differentiation

• Gen Z’s expectations from work

• Constant engagement throughout the client lifecycle

• The importance of campus recruiting

• The rapidly changing landscape of skills and why this makes internal mobility critical

• The impact of remote

• The role of technology

• Data and analytics

• What TA innovations can we expect to see in the future

Listen to this podcast in Apple Podcasts.

Interview transcript:

Bryq (0s):
Support for this podcast is provided by Bryq. Bryq provides you with talent intelligence that works, eliminating biases, time constraints, and inefficient decisions in a world that’s increasingly rejecting subjectivity. Bryq’s end-to-end AI-driven talent intelligence empowers you to make data-driven decisions across the employee life cycle from hiring, development, and mobility to performance optimization and culture. Bryq’s science-backed approach is the only solution to inform every talent milestone by combining your data with their validated psychometrics. Visit Bryq.com, which is spelled B-R-Y-Q, to book a demo with the talent intelligence team and realize the full potential of your business.

Matt Alder (1m 9s):
Hi there. This is Matt Alder. Welcome to Episode 411 of The Recruiting Future Podcast. Over the last few months, I’ve been researching the practical effects of the great resignation. We’ve heard the stories of talent acquisition professionals from the US, Europe, and Australia on what is truly a global issue. One country I really want to know more about though is India, one of the biggest global markets for tech talent. My guest this week is Aditya Singh, Director Head of Talent Acquisition at Informatica. Adi has overall responsibility for designing and deploying Informatica’s talent acquisition strategy across India and gives us a great insight into what Informatica is doing to stand out in one of the most competitive talent markets on the planet.

Matt Alder (1m 59s):
Hi, Aditya, and welcome to the podcast.

Aditya Singh (2m 2s):
Thanks, Matt. Thanks for having me here.

Matt Alder (2m 5s):
An absolute pleasure to have you on the show. Could you just introduce yourself and tell us what you do?

Aditya Singh (2m 10s):
I’m Aditya Singh, I head talent acquisition for a company called Informatica. Informatica is an enterprise cloud data management company, which empowers data. Today, the whole world is speaking about data and we are the organization that fuels data. We are powered by AI, CloudForce, Cloud Native, and that’s the direction the organization is growing. Quickly about me, I’ve been in the talent acquisition industry for about 20 years now. The majority of my career has been between Informatica and Accenture so that’s me, Matt, career recruiter by choice.

Matt Alder (2m 47s):
Fantastic stuff. Now, over the last few months on the podcast, we’ve been talking obviously extensively to talent acquisition professionals about the challenges that they have in the talent markets, in recruiting talent. It occurred to me, I hadn’t actually spoken to anyone in India for a while on the show actually, and I think people would be really interested to find out more about what the talent market looks like where you are. What is the current state of the availability of talent in India, particularly for the technical skills that you’re recruiting for?

Aditya Singh (3m 20s):
Yes, Matt. It’s an interesting space to be in India. Engineering is one of the most preferred streams of education in India. The funny part is, we spoke about it earlier, I think that the world is long on the verge of being realizing that technology is going to play an important part as we grow further up. In India, if you look at the landscape, large companies have their tech set up in India, specifically, you have huge setups for FinTech, which is growing extensively, and MedTech, the other place. India saw a huge rise in startups. In 2021, we saw about 44 Unicorns, which will bond.

Aditya Singh (4m 5s):
This year, I was reading a report. We will hit about 70, so almost double that number. You can imagine the pressure on the workforce, right? I was reading today’s paper, there’s something called Decacorns, right? These are $10 billion companies. Now, India has the fifth one which has just come in today with the city. It’s huge pressure on getting talent, but also what companies have realized during COVID, Matt, is that a lot of the tech talent now lies in India. At the start, they’ve opened more tech setups in India, you name the GICs, you name the IT setups, all of them have huge tech setups in India, and it will continue to grow.

Aditya Singh (4m 50s):
The other part when it comes to the technology landscape in India is this huge movement, because, in 2018-19, we saw an emphasis on more on automation, but then suddenly, with the coming of COVID, we went back to digitalization and we wanted people back. There is such an influx of both hiring and also retaining people, which has become a huge turnoff issue for all the employers as we speak. Interestingly, the good part is in India, the technology landscape, when it comes to hiring . A lot of companies are investing in hiring from engineering schools a lot.

Aditya Singh (5m 32s):
The tech ecosystem has enough people around for it to build. The last part is in the cloud space, which everybody’s pretty speaking about. India now is basically the third when it comes to cloud storage and the way we are growing, we are on the verge of being number second the way technology is doing very fast. Interesting market, difficult market if you are an employer, but yes, very exciting to be smart.

Matt Alder (6m 4s):
Yes, absolutely. To zoom in on that employer part, talk us through the recruiting challenges that you have specifically at Informatica.

Aditya Singh (6m 13s):
Yes. Everybody, like me, I think all talent acquisition leaders have a similar issue when it comes to getting talent. Now, the problem is everybody’s looking at the same type of talent, right? You have all the big DSEs and the candidate also realizes for a fact that it’s their market, so it’s like a candidate-led market. The talent is to attract the talent to your organization because everyone is hiring at the same place. The landscape itself is changing a lot when it comes to technology. You have dev, now we have DevOps, you have LowCode, NoCode, a lot of things that are coming up as we move in the technology space.

Aditya Singh (6m 58s):
You need to hire someone who would be working with you for a longer period of time, because there’s a lot of investment from an upskilling standpoint, from an organization standpoint, but there are organizations that still face a lot of which have gone up in the last half of the year because that’s where every company was hiring at that pace. The story around your employee value proposition now plays an important part when it comes to any company. The EVP is saying, “What am I so different as compared to the other conflict that is there in the market?” Yes, it changed a lot.

Aditya Singh (7m 39s):
It’s improving, but at the same time, challenging, and the new addition of the Gen Z, which I just walked in, which was born with a mobile phone number on the hand. It’s becoming more challenging because, for them, the expectations of flight are very different from somebody else at a different workspace so interesting. As I said, interesting landscape to be in today, Matt.

Matt Alder (8m 4s):
Yes, absolutely. You mentioned EVP there and really showcasing whatever the company stands for and not just recruiting people, but recruiting people who stay with the business. Just to dive into that a little bit deeper, what do you do to kind of stand out in this crowded market? How do you get the right people to join Informatica and probably, more importantly, to stay?

Aditya Singh (8m 27s):
I just said EVP when you started the conversation. It plays an important part of which is a differential between you and the other people in the market. It’s like a Venn diagram. You basically see what matches, you and what is the differential about your competitors and see where it overlaps. That’s one big part from an attraction standpoint, where we are unique when it comes to flexibility in the way we are able to connect with a candidate. We use current technology from an assessment standpoint of looking at the talent we want to hire. Also, looking at, as I spoke about data, the constant engagement with the candidate, which we do, which is to the whole life cycle, we don’t leave the candidate pool.

Aditya Singh (9m 13s):
We do a lot of webinars. We also invest in, which we speak about one technology, where the people get to know what’s happening from an organization standpoint. There is a lot of work that happens in the engagement space with the candidates and also with the campuses, which we end up hiring from. Last, but not least, there is a huge intake, huge work that happens from an internal mobility standpoint because, while you come here, you can’t have hired people at the same time using people at the same time. As an organization, we are very looking to retain people, upskill them, moving them in their career direction.

Aditya Singh (9m 56s):
Once people see that, they stay in the organization for a longer period of time. Also, we amplify these stories through LinkedIn and various other channels for people to see how different we are as a player. If you look at some of the places like Glassdoor, we have exceptional ratings in all of these places. The candidate today wants to work with organizations who are transparent, which are more employee-friendly as we go on further. The last part is flexibility. I think we have enough flexibility in our system right now when it comes to it from a technology standpoint for enabling people to work.

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Matt Alder (11m 1s):
We talked about the pandemic and its impact a little bit at the start of the conversation, but obviously, the big news in terms of the world of work from the pandemic has been the enormous rise of remote work and people being able to tap into remote talent pools. What are the impact and implications of that for you in terms of town supply and the talent pools that you can tap into?

Aditya Singh (11m 27s):
Remote working is a big pool. If you look at go back, step back, we sat to kick us off industrialization. One was industrialization, which happened electricity. The second one was dotcom, which happened in 2000 you had. Now, we are sitting on a hybrid. We’re sitting on the cusp where people are realizing, “Hey, what can be done from home?” Actually, it’s not like working from home is what it was earlier to what it is today. Remote working has enabled a lot of employers by virtue of the adoption of digital technology extensively. What they have realized is they can tap into talent.

Aditya Singh (12m 8s):
One, what can be done remotely? What can be done from home? I think first organizations have realized that the whole concept has changed a lot. You can tap into multiple pools of talent in other cities where you wouldn’t have ever gone. Also, for the fact that now, with COVID, people have realized that they’d rather be paid less but rather be at home so you are able to tap into all of that talent. Your attrition can be controlled because, for the individual that he or she is working out of their home, they don’t want to look at outside. Flexibility now plays an important part when it comes to remote because it enables you to build your work around your life, not the other way around, which normally has been happening for most of us.

Aditya Singh (13m 0s):
As I said, flexibility has been the key part. It’s a big realization as we move further up. When it comes to technology, when it comes to remote work, I think that gives us enough to go to the employee and to the employee to plan them accordingly. Last but not least, I think it’s a far safer environment for the time being. We are all up at home and I hope this pandemic will go off after a period of time, but then remote working gives you nimbleness as an organization because if your big city goes down, you still have people in other cities who can still work. There’s a PCP, which is, to an extent, which is coming into play when it comes to that.

Aditya Singh (13m 43s):
As I said, this diverse workforce. You have people who have left their jobs, want to be at home, but then realize, “Hey, I can work from this location.” People have older parents. People who want to pursue other hobbies would want to stay at home. All of this has enabled talent pool extensively. Remote working, I hope the organization then raises it more as we go further up because it’ll be, not exactly a selling point, a big pool for a lot of people around for them to get things done. I think that that’s, that’s a big thing, not .

Matt Alder (14m 24s):
Absolutely, I couldn’t agree with you more there. One of the other things that obviously happened over the last couple of years, there’s been this huge leap forward in the adoption of recruiting technology to support various aspects of talent acquisition. How does technology play a part in your strategy?

Aditya Singh (14m 42s):
It’s a huge part. An example of digitalization. If you can’t do a video interview, you are as good as dead in the market. It’s enabled organizations, one giving tying back. If we break down the recruiting process, the first part is the sourcing part, right? There are enough tools now in this system or across the board, which will basically look at resumes and look at the job description and find the best fit out of it. That’s where it’s enabled. It’s given time back to the recruiter to business so you know which are the best fits. This works a lot for a large-scale company where you have thousands of people applying for one singular job.

Aditya Singh (15m 28s):
It saves time. The recruiter can do quality work on conversations. They’re driven into further conversations into chatbots. A lot of times, candidates have queries on basic things on benefits, “Tell me what are the benefits. Tell me where’s your office,” some of those basic things that can be answered through a chatbot. You don’t need to speak to a recruiter so the ability to answer at that period of time immediately solves an issue for a candidate because you’re solving something. He or she knows it’s a chatbot, but at end of the day, we’re something for us, right? Also, there is evidence of sense , which has happened extensively now in India.

Aditya Singh (16m 12s):
It’s as simple as that. If you want to catch a movie, if you want to book it online, you can go ahead and book a slot. A lot of organizations are nesting in this area. Basically, if you want to give an interview and you get the first iteration, they will be some multiple slots that will be open. You go ahead and click on it. Once you get a confirmation back, that’s it. You get an invite back to your mailbox. Plus, in addition to that, there is a huge investment in assessment tools, which is not something new, but more about getting the right person in. It gives one candidate time to give the interview or the assessment on his own time.

Aditya Singh (16m 55s):
It also enables the business or multiple people to look at the same profile and say, “Okay, I think this will match to someone else at the same time,” so that’s huge. , hackathons, these are one of the organizations not turning out their problems, looking at the intelligence talent. They want to hire from a market standpoint. The last, but not the least, is data analysis. That explains now an important part because at this docket, we are a data managing company. If you can make sense out of the data which you get and your solution is data-driven, you can’t go wrong.

Aditya Singh (17m 35s):
Technology has got a huge part. The role of the recruiter has to give all to making sure that how do I, as a recruiter, spend more valuable time with my stakeholders, getting them away from recruiting so that they deliver on what they’re supposed to do instead of getting involved .

Matt Alder (17m 57s):
Absolutely. As a final question, really following on from that, how did you think talent acquisitions going to innovate over the next couple of years? If we were having this conversation again in 2024, what would we be talking about?

Aditya Singh (18m 10s):
I’d love to have this conversation in 2024, but yes, I think AI will play an important part. We talked about chatbots doing the basic conversation right now, but the chatbots doing the first part of identifying, assembling, shortlisting, doing everything initially, and getting the right profile back to business. That would also mean having an intelligent conversation with the candidate. That’s what technology from a basic standpoint would start. The second part is data as I spoke about. The problem is a lot of organizations have huge data. The other issue is a lot of organizations, their recruiting team will have one tool, the HR team will have another tool, and another team will have another tool so all time manual with each other, right?

Aditya Singh (18m 59s):
You need strong data analysis. I think this is one area that will play an important part to get analytics to make sense and take informed decisions from looking at the data from a futuristic standpoint. The other part is recruiting marketing, which we spoke about today, which will play and a huge part because you should know where your talent lies. That means you need to know where the community is sitting. If I’m going to go and hire people who are user interface guys, I need to understand where do we have react communities, reactors communities, particular communities, and go and do a sniper approach into those areas.

Aditya Singh (19m 40s):
That will play an important part. As I said, the intelligence will only help us get the right answer back to the candidate. Last but not the least, it’s all about the candidate experience. We will have the technology to enable us. We, as people, all recruiters need to make sure that we use this information, we use this time effectively to evolve everyone around talent acquisition. Otherwise, it’ll still be what it was earlier, right? This is the most interesting space and you should look at HR as a landscape.

Aditya Singh (20m 22s):
The majority of investment and technologies have always happened in talent acquisition. I think that’s the direction. I see a lot of things and the good part is things are already happening now so moving at a faster pace.

Matt Alder (20m 36s):
Aditya, thank you very much for talking to me.

Aditya Singh (20m 40s):
Thanks, Matt.

Matt Alder (20m 41s):
My thanks to Aditya. You can subscribe to this podcast in Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or via your podcasting app of choice. Please also follow the show on Instagram. You can find us by searching for Recruiting Future. You can search all the past episodes at recruitingfuture.com. On that site, you can also subscribe to the mailing list to get the inside track about everything that’s coming up on the show. Thanks so much for listening. I’ll be back next time and I hope you’ll join me.

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