Start-ups gearing up for smart HR policies


 The Economic Times
Anirvan Ghosh
September 17, 2008
While small cos are relatively disadvantaged, they have an edge over larger cos in their ability to give meatier roles AT A TIME when IT companies have cut down or frozen on fresh hiring, recruitment firms are finding new opportunity in emerging businesses, which are busily firming up plans to put proper talent retention policies in place. “The sector has been quite adaptive to market realities and is certainly adopting modern HR practices,” says TeamLease Services vice-president Rajesh AR. And though not as sophisticated or as systems driven as their larger counterparts, emerging companies are recognising the need to have HR policies in place and many of these are focused on retaining best performers, he adds.
“We now are adding quite a few of SMB clients,” says Adecco India CEO Sudhakar Balakrishnan. He observes that more of such firms are implementing proper induction programmes, and charting out a progressive training and career growth path for their executives. SEC Industries in Hyderabad has charted out a career growth plan and mapping of skill sets for its executives. SEC makes components for surface-to-surface, and surfaceto-air missiles, and is planning to have a share of the nuclear pie soon.” We have realised that with the impending entry of foreign companies in the technology space as a result of the nuclear deal, we need to have talented people stay with us,” says company’s MD N Vidyasagar.
Even start-ups are moving that way. For example Asklaila.com, India’s first local information service company, has implemented such policies even in a small team of 30. “Our search engine uses cutting-edge algorithms, and so we need a solid team of developers who can grow with us,” says Bangalore-based company’s cofounder Shriram Adukoorie. Adecco India is also eyeing blue-collared temping jobs in agri-related jobs such as rural logistics, warehousing and cold chain management, and expects around 50% growth from the emerging businesses. The company is creating a talent pool to be hired in these sectors through the Adecco Youth Connect programme. “Quite a few of them shall be in the emerging markets space,” says Mr. Balakrishnan. It has tied up with 70 colleges to get the requisite talent pool.
Both Vidyasagar and Rajesh AR feel that while emerging businesses are relatively disadvantaged when it comes to pay packets, they have an edge over large organisations in their ability to bond better with their people, give them meatier roles and hence offer prospects for faster growth.
“This is how many of them hire smart people who are effectively the competitive advantage,” says Sequoia Capital MD KP Balaraj. Sequoia has invested in several such emerging businesses and start-ups for whom talent makes a difference. The right calibre of talent is critical for them to keeping growth on trajectory, says TeamLease’s Rajesh AR.