Today, the rapidly changing Channel business environment needs a strategic HR planning within the context of the organization’s overall business plan. To cope up with the emerging requirements, maintain a positive work environment and retaining the talent are few of the major challenges which every channel partner has to face to make a successful employee-friendly company. While there is a huge demand for skilled employees, many OEMs are coming up with universities and education focussing only on educating the college-goers on technology. Rajeev Gopalakrishnan, a seasoned-HR professional is consulting for the various family-owned business in India and abroad. In an exclusive chat, he shares some best practices for channel partners retail talent. Edited excerpts.
IT solutions have been a sunshine industry for many years. Many companies cant grow because it lacks the right people. Your views?
I think the industry should make an assessment of the Talent Demand and Supply and set up-skilling and certification programs to meet current and future needs.
Why do you feel that many IT channel partners do not have the right customer-facing people who are capable of training users, providing user guidelines and self-help instructions?
Many of them do not have the ability to put themselves in the shoes of the users and understand their challenges. They also need to facilitate the learning process rather than do quick-fixes without getting the user to understand things fully. I feel teachers can be trained in IT to make them more effective customer-facing facilitators in the high-tech services Industry.
Even though there are plenty of positions are open, majorly the sales positions are vacant across. Is it common for other industries too?
Many B2B companies have a system of identifying sales talent from among their technical team or from customer companies who understand the applications and business benefits.
Many IT channel partners say that the employees, after gaining industry knowledge and have connected, after a certain point of time want to move away from being an employee and be some on a profile-percentage role. How do you see this?
Companies can start franchisee opportunities for their employees so that they meet their entrepreneurial aspirations without losing them altogether from the company’s talent pool.
While the large MNCs have global HR policies and start-ups have different policies. Suggest some best practices for the Mid-level Indian SMEs to have a seamless functioning of people in their organization.
SME companies need to benchmark themselves with competitors and identify Best Practices which are critical for attracting and retaining talent. They have to focus on building Performance Management & Talent Management Practices which are aligned with their business strategy.
While deploying projects, many say finding the right talent in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities are becoming challenging. There are plenty of T-Schools and M-Schools across, why such gaps exist?
There is a tendency for young professionals to flock to large cities for employment. Companies have to create a pool of talent and provide them career paths and learning opportunities which involve exposure to both large and small cities. Tech companies have to learn from FMCG and Telecom companies who make exposure to small cities and rural areas mandatory before they offer them higher roles.
Time is nearing where the industry is likely to employ millennials in key leadership roles. How this will impact the work culture as a whole?
While it would be a major challenge for traditional industries, millennials would fit well in hi-tech industries as they would be leading people who are also from the younger generations. The challenge would be when they interface with customers who are from traditional companies that are users if their services.