Saturday, April 1, 2023

Introducing Freshers To Company’s Culture Challenging Amid COVID Pandemic

Introducing Freshers To Company’s Culture Challenging Amid COVID Pandemic

As top firms continue hiring from premium MBA institutes, introducing freshers to the culture of the company, creating high engagement levels, and enabling relationship building–a crucial aspect in people centric firms–has become a particularly challenging task amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Top recruiters such as Boston Consulting Group, Accenture, Deloitte, PwC, EY and KPMG have not cut down on hiring

The firms that are hitting the top management institutes are now concerned about how new recruits would learn the ropes in people-centric situations which are critical in these knowledge centric businesses.

The firms normally put freshers through rigorous training processes after recruiting before they are taken on any major project; this too is set to suffer as senior partners and leaders are unable to travel freely and hold face to face meetings for the second year in a row.

The firms are hiring big numbers and in newer areas that require much more human interaction to deliver cross discipline projects.

“We are looking at significant hiring and from diverse backgrounds and skill sets. Our hiring is very focused on what we see as the requirements of the market and our clients,” says Padmaja Alaganandan, Chief People Officer, PwC India.

Top companies give a lot of weightage to culture, and that may not be possible over a laptop, warn industry stalwarts.

“In this scenario of endless lockdowns, onboarding people is a huge challenge, and even more so, where the recruitments are in large numbers, as may happen in case of practices like Information technology consulting. It is difficult for new recruits to imbibe culture and firm practices, whilst sitting at home with a laptop,” said Ketan Dalal, managing partner, Katalyst Advisors, who was formerly a senior partner and leader at PwC.

Consulting firms like McKinsey, BCG and Bain etc are very particular about employee behaviour, client engagement, presentations and end delivery. And the firms believe that a lot of learning of young recruits is via observation and close interactions with the firm’s senior partners.

Rahul Guha, Managing Director and Partner and Recruiting Chair, BCG India said that the number of hires from IIM would be “substantially higher” compared to 2018 and 2019.

Consultants however say that the quality of talent they pick up is good so online interactions don’t impact the training and development of new hires.

“The online mode has been due to the pandemic. It does not impact the quality of the students at these campuses and hence should not have any impact on the overall development of new talent,” said Sunit Sinha, Partner and Head – People, Performance and Culture, KPMG in India.