This article is a lightly-edited summary of the key takeaways from our speakers’ appearance on our podcast, “The Shape of Work.” If you haven’t listened to our show yet, be sure to check it out here. These speakers have an incredible stable of startup experiences to draw from, the kind of stories that are unbelievably helpful for HR/people managers to hear.
In this episode of “The Shape of Work,” our guest is Jimmit Dattani, a technologist with more than 17 years of experience in the industry.
GUEST AT A GLANCE:
Name of the guest: Jimmit Dattani
What he does: Chief Technology Officer, MIT World Peace University
Find him on LinkedIn.
Get Smart: “Be a mentor first, a boss later.”
In this episode, you will get valuable insights into:
- Qualities to look for while hiring.
- Significance of digital transformation and its benefits in hiring.
- Work as an experience and its role in employee satisfaction.
- Tips for people managers on hiring and retaining employees.
- Ensuring best efforts from the employees while managing teams globally.
- Thoughts on increased job-switching.
Qualities to look for while hiring:
The first step an organization needs to take is to ensure a vibrant community that encourages a productive mindset. They need to look for ways to train them.
In terms of the candidate, Jimmit’s chief criteria is empathy. The next thing to look for is whether the candidate has the basic requirements for the job. It gives an idea on the efforts the organization has to put in to train the candidate. Additionally, he/she should have the desire to learn. Skills can be taught only when the candidate has a hunger for learning.
Other important characteristics can be curiosity and creativity. The candidate should be taking initiatives and possesses a multi-disciplinary thinking.
Significance of digital transformation and its benefits in hiring:
Digital transformation is playing a catalyst role in shaping the future of work. It can also be harnessed to hire the right set of people in an organization. Jimmit explains what digital transformation actually is. He feels it is more about people than technology. It is the people who are utilizing these tools. Thus it requires an organizational change that needs to be backed by leadership.
After the onset of the pandemic, the hiring process has undergone plenty of challenges. The process has changed with an increased volume of candidates and without any meetings/interviews. Digital transformation plays an important role here if implemented correctly. This helps in increasing productivity and getting people on board faster. Digital tools also provide a lot of metrics in different segments like attendance, leaves management, performance management. Jimmit says that this entire process does not end the moment someone is hired. Rather it continues in the form of tiny feedback, employee satisfaction, nurturing growth, and in projects.
Work as an experience and its role in employee satisfaction:
Jimmit explains that we, as a generation, work for experience. Hiring is not just a service anymore. Candidates equally evaluate the company they are applying for. If the hiring process is not good, the quality of the entire candidate experience reduces. The post hiring process is as important as the pre-hiring period. Thus it is important to hire the right set of people to build a community which encourages that. The leaders build the strategy but it is the people who will be believing in the structure that executes the strategy. Thus their experience is a significant factor of the thought process used when building the HR policies of the company.
Considering the element of employee satisfaction. The employees should be allowed to take risks and make mistakes. A nurturing environment will automatically pave the way to creativity and dedication.
In addition, the organization should ensure transparency with all the employees. Ultimately, four elements of encouragement, trust, honesty and equality should be included in a company.
Tips for people managers on hiring and retaining employees:
The first step in hiring is to have a crisp and clear job description. Otherwise it may lead to a mismatch in the expectation.
A unique tip that Jimmit gives is to hire people that are smarter than you. Look at it from a wider candidate growth perspective. In order to retain them, you have to ensure transparency. They need to be a part of the larger goal understanding the reason behind their tasks. You have to grow the value of trust among your teammates. They need to be confident to come to you when they mess up a task. This will give them a sense of comfort and belongingness. Moreover, be honest and encourage equality and inclusion in its true sense.
Ensuring best efforts from the employees while managing teams globally:
It is definitely a challenging task to maintain teams globally. There are many variables to consider while assessing work and streamlining it. The best way to practice it is by ensuring a framework. A proper structure needs to be decided for the effective functioning of the team. The framework should help iron out the concerns sooner rather than later. Additionally, managers should encourage the best practices to complete a specific task and empower them.
Here is where the HR aspect comes into the picture. The skill sets need to be defined in the system. They have to identify the skill set of each employee and whether they have the right skill set for the particular task. Another factor to be considered while managing teams globally is by structuring time zones accordingly. Organizations should offer tools to the teams such that they can communicate effectively.
“If you expect an outcome, empower them with tools.”
In terms of ensuring best efforts from the employees, trust plays a big role. A manager should not start a project with team members when he is unsure of their work. An organization can have control to an extent, but they should not micromanage. To ensure full potential from the employees, they can have daily check ins, and quality audits. Usage of metrics in order to measure efficiency can also be fruitful.
Thoughts on increased job-switching:
Jimmit feels that both the organization and the employees should understand that job switching is a big problem. Candidates need to know the importance of delivering a commitment. Money has become the main factor in jobs and people are vocal about it. Loyalty towards the organization has become a secondary factor here. The organizations need to figure out the reason and attempt to solve it. They need to nurture an environment where the employees go for an experience.
The candidates want faster career growth. According to Jimmit, neither staying in one company for years is beneficial nor is switching companies every few months. There is no quick fix to this situation.