ESOP Is The Latest Trend In The Industry: Deepak Jagadeesh

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Talent Acquisition seems challenging because candidates can bluff and a little easy because you have experts dealing with the candidates. Employers use recruiting, tracking, and interviewing candidates, and onboarding and training new employees can be a task. Deepak Jagadeesh, with experience of fourteen years, is a Senior Talent Acquisition guy with EFI. Kiran Hebbale from The Balcony Stories spoke to this Human Resource guy for insight into the industry. 

Excerpts below…

EFI  has been one of the companies that have succeeded in creating a value-based organization. Could you tell us some successful practices employed?

Yes, EFI is one of the select companies that have succeeded in creating a value-based organization. For example, over one-third of the world’s high-end wide format printers in production today are EFI products. We have twenty-nine offices globally and have been in business for more than two decades, and there are nearly 20 million users of fiery servers and controllers worldwide. At EFI, the management is transparent in communicating with its employees on every quarterly update about business overview, achievements, etc. I would say that this is one of the best practices and creating Cultural Cohesiveness and focused team efforts.

What about ESOPs, are they still hot?

I would say ESOPs is the latest trend in the industry as it is primarily utilized to retain the employees. In recent times, most start-ups and well-established companies are coming up with ESOP as one of their potent weapons in attracting talents.

We often get challenged, and some of them are discovering the right talents, upskilling, or cross-skilling the workforce. An AI-based tool in Recruiting and HR, employee experience, and focussing more on collaborative workforce model is a great challenge and a trend. 

As far as the trends in HR, remote working and remote learning are the latest. Most of the companies have produced or bought their own video conferencing software. MS Office, Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, and other alternative ways to meet their peers. Virtual employee experience like (Employee onboarding and offboarding), Mental Health Support is provided as the organizations evolve and HR departments are trying to gather employee feedback. Recent HRM trends encourage employees to voice their opinions and offer or get help, support, and resources. 

What is the impact the pandemic has done on the Job Market? 

It is observed that the income of 97% of households has declined since the outbreak of COVID 19 last year. The unemployment rate stands at 12.4%, urban 15.1%, and rural 11.2% as of 3rd June 2021. We noted that small towns and rural areas were not significantly affected by COVID 19.

With the second wave of the pandemic wreaking much more havoc than the first in terms of lives lost and those infected, the economy has also suffered an increased level of damage. With state-level restrictions and lockdowns hurting businesses, especially in the services segment and ‘non-essential’ manufacturing, several rating agencies have begun revising the expected GDP growth figure for this fiscal year downward, from the earlier 12-15 percent to nearer 8 percent. 

Which is more challenging when it comes to working; before and after Pandemic?

Considering the increase in remote working, a recent Gartner poll showed that 48% of employees would like to work remotely versus the 30 percent before the pandemic. As organizations shifted to more remote work operations, exploring the critical competencies employees will need to collaborate digitally and adjust employee experience strategies. We also need to consider whether and how to shift performance goal-setting and employee evaluations for the remote context.

Gartner’s analysis shows that 16% of employers use technologies more frequently to monitor their employees through methods such as virtual clocking in and out, tracking work computer usage, and watching employee emails or internal communications/chat. While some companies track productivity, others monitor employee engagement and well-being to understand employee experience better.

Even before the pandemic, organizations were increasingly using non-traditional employee monitoring tools, but that HR trend will be accelerated by new monitoring of remote workers and employee health and safety data collection. 

Contingent worker expansion

The economic uncertainty of the pandemic has caused many workers to lose their jobs and exposed others for the first time to nonstandard work models. Many organizations responded to the pandemic’s economic impact by reducing their contractor budgets, but there has since been a shift.

Separation of critical skills and roles

Before COVID-19, critical roles were viewed as essential skills or the capabilities an organization needed to meet its strategic goals. Now, employers realize another category of critical roles — roles critical to the success of essential workflows.

The emergence of new top-tier employers

Before COVID-19, organizations were already facing increased employee demands for transparency. Employees and prospective candidates will judge organizations by how they treat the employees during the pandemic. Balance the decisions made today to resolve immediate concerns during the pandemic with the long-term impact on the employment brand.

How was your first day as HR?

I still remember it was one of the finest experiences I have ever got, it was an overwhelming experience, and I got a chance to meet and greet all the business leaders and followed by a team lunch. The team pretty well organized it from collecting IT-related assets and along with the joining kit.

Where do you think candidates go wrong when they are choosing jobs?

Candidates do go wrong by not studying the company well before taking the job and not seeking clarity before accepting the role. I have experienced people approaching me back to consider their employment after moving out.


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