AMCHAM’s Tamil Nadu Chapter held a breakfast meeting on July 27th in Chennai on ‘Talent Landscape in the Post-COIVE World.’ The meeting commenced with Mr. Niranjan Kumar of NTT Data making opening remarks wherein he said that the WFH and return to office were the most talked about topics in the office environment. He welcomed Mr. Dhananjay Nai, Director – HR, For Business Solutions, Ford and Ms. Gangapriya Chakraverthi, CEO, Ford India to share their thoughts on the changing talent scape in the post COVID world. The session began with Mr. Dhananjay giving an overview of Ford’s Global Technology & Business Center in India. He said the center was built on 28 acres of space with an investment of $250 million and has about 11,700 employees. He shared the growth of the Global Business Center, gave an outline of the Chennai campus and shared a broad overview of the classification of the talent in various areas of the operations in Chennai. Mr. Mai then gave a glance of the future of work trends and spoke about quiet hiring, flexibility, how managers were sandwiched between leaders and employee expectations. He spoke about how pursuing non-traditional talent expands the talent pipeline and said that healing of the pandemic trauma helped in a more sustainable performance. Members shared what they see in their companies about the talent landscape. He touched on the importance of DEI in the organization and how getting personal with employees creates new data risks and how concerns about algorithmic bias in recruitment leads to more transparency. GenZ skills gap and erosion of social skills, pros and cons of the WFH and the return to office scenarios and the talent implications were discussed. Employee concerns such as commuting time, care of children and elders and productivity challenges were mentioned, along with the employer’s concerns for return to the office such as company values, inclusion and diversity, work environment, friendly, collaborative outcomes, well being and work life balance. Employee concerns about reduced work hours, job security, and how social engagement take a back seat were discussed.
Speaking on how Ford was approaching the changing scenario, Mr. Nai said that they now have smaller teams that immerse deeply in the work to create. The ideation group that generates and exchanges new ideas and processes. He said that coming together results in learning, problem solving, mentoring and knowledge sharing. He shared about Ford’s division of the workforce, either as onsite or remote with clear definitions on who would belong to each of these categories of employees. The guiding principles were the safety and well being, an overriding priority, the onsite workplace has a key role in enabling connections and building collaborations, providing flexibility of work options, treating similar roles consistently, allowing different teams to be different based on their work priorities and said that the need to be agile enough to experiment and adjust as well as acknowledging the employees need for clarity and consistency. Ms. Chakraverthi spoke of how the company policy was being fine tuned as they went along with the changed talent scape. Members asked questions and interacted with the speakers throughout the presentation.