ALL INDUSTRIES TODAY NEED constant innovation in their practices, and it’s important to hire young talent who resonate with these skills and changes. It’s imperative that organisations engage and retain the millennials, constantly re-evaluate their evolving needs and involve them in planning their career trajectory.
These are exciting times as the talent dynamics are constantly changing and it’s important to be adaptive. Campus hiring has always been a significant recruitment channel for corporates. Going forward, this will be a hub to tap into a massive pool of young and diverse talent with fresh perspective and high acumen to be future business leaders. However, it is equally important to understand that one size may not fit all, and hence, is crucial to analyse campus strategy. Each campus has its USP (Unique Skill Point) which should align with your business dynamics.
As the talent pool changes, it is important for organisations to change their practices too. The age-old ways of selecting campuses, doing a lengthy pre-placement talk have lost their mojo in today’s digital age. The attention span of students has reduced immensely, and they want bite-size information. The future workforce is now looking beyond what a corporate has achieved in numbers and what their compensation structures might look like. The evolving expectations of millennials require organisations to create campus hiring strategies that work in recruiting and retaining future workforce with an agile approach. There are certain key parameters, which are critically important to address as an organisation for upcoming talent to understand before they commit themselves to a company:
– Understanding company culture
– Branding a share of mind rather than wallet
– Learning growth opportunity/career trajectory
– Quality of work
If the answers to these points are clear, it will be easier to attract talent. The organisations certainly need to create strategies to make sure the above parameters are known to students in the most interactive and fun ways.
Gen Z is more into phone screen than anything else, which speaks volumes of how they see their work scope. The future workforce is ambitious and digitally native, and needs to be involved in work they align with. At present, specifically from the perspective of FMCG (Fast-moving Consumer Goods) companies, we see the young crop trying hard to find their feet and reach to the final stage. However, it’s important to understand that process and direction are far more important than the stretch.
FMCG is probably the only sector which gives you exposure to the end consumer very early in your career. This can be intimidating, but also offers a plethora of opportunities for you to understand the core of any business. Most FMCG companies have curated and structured programmes for campus hires, which can be leveraged to move up the ladder. However, there are certain key areas where both organisations and students should work to bridge the gap and make the process more efficient.
IT IS IMPORTANT to design a campus recruitment strategy with best practices and aimed at achieving higher efficiency. Talking specifically from an FMCG context, organisations need to create high brand salience and be crisp with information. A brand should ace the following three components which can help them acquire the best talent:
– Building a positive brand salience: It’s important for brands to always stand out from the crowd and be the preferred place for a potential candidate. If we talk from an FMCG lens, we, at Dabur, have started to integrate our brand managers and leaders with campuses for regular engagement and interactions. This helps organisations test the students’ business acumen, problem-solving aptitude and skill application in most fun and engaging ways. As a brand, you get a whole new perspective on certain business problems and simultaneously build your brand saliency.
We recently launched an inter-campus competition, “Dabur Verve”, in more than 30 campuses across the country, which had ideation rounds, case study round and saw participation of over 6,000 students. Few of the ideas presented by the students were very innovative and truly out-of-the-box, which shows how students today are on par with some of the seasoned professionals when it comes to understanding business dynamics.
– Overall evaluation in interactive ways: Digital screening, gamified assessments are new ways that should be leveraged. These have a direct correlation in evaluating students for behavioural and technical competencies. Who would have thought playing a game for 15 minutes could give you an entire perspective on several competencies. This unique and fun way of testing will always stand out as compared to a lengthy aptitude screening test.
– Talent progression: Once you have attracted the bright students and evaluated them, it’s of utmost importance to make sure that the best talent in your organisation progresses through the ranks. It’s important to create more on-the-job opportunities for employees along with varied learning experiences, and simultaneously, providing regular feedback. At Dabur, we have a structured initial year programme for campus hires. We continuously assess their progress and potential to build career graphs for each key talent and give them structured career progression, and accordingly, identify certain gaps which are filled using digital training interventions.
IT IS IMPORTANT for the new crop of young and dynamic future business leaders to trust the journey rather than try to reach to conclusions quickly. In that context, I believe the FMCG space is the best industry to kickstart your journey. This industry gives you an exposure that no other industry offers. There are three skills which students should work on acquiring that can skyrocket their careers.
– Thinking innovatively: Every company has access to the same machinery and products. But what really differentiates them from others is innovative and smart people. Intellectual weightage is treated with high regard in any firm. It helps a person in complex and ambiguous situations. When we talk about the FMCG sector, where all your steps are an outcome of dynamic consumer behaviour, it is of utmost importance to be innovative and bring in ideas that are different and truly out-of-the-box.
– Agility and growth mindset: The capability of someone to constantly innovate and bounce back is a key determining factor in his/her success story. The FMCG sector puts you in a spot where you are directly dealing with understanding the end-consumer’s pattern. Considering how broad the consumer base is, it is evident that the FMCG workforce will always have to be innovative and change-ready. This is where the skill of being resilient plays a critical role, and the future workforce should adapt to it. It is important to understand the business from the perspective of the salesman to a CEO, and hence giving it time and trusting the process is important.
– Cognitive and analytical intelligence: In an era of dynamic business needs and fast-moving technology, it is important to have the ability to adapt to the different and new-age skills. One must constantly learn about what is happening around them in different businesses, about new-age tools and technology, which help in building business acumen. It is critical to understand that post-pandemic, there are certain new problems which we as a business had never seen. Hence, it becomes critically important for the young lot to bring in new perspective and have a high cognitive and analytical mindset.
We have observed that an average starting compensation of a student with Bachelor’s degree and an MBA or Master’s is narrowing quickly. This means that as we move forward, the future acquisition of fresh talent would be based more on skills rather than the degree they hold. Hence, it’s important for the future workforce to constantly work on acing the skills that make them valuable in the business world. Modern-day campus strategies should evolve with innovative ways of recruitment, new technology and an abundance of data. Organisations should have a clear strategy and expectations in terms of career trajectory, and what is required to be delivered from the future workforce.