Fuller Minds

Minds that are not always empty

HR Conferences – My Experience and Take Aways

We meet different kinds of people at our workplace: each with their own positives and negatives. Some inspire us by leveraging their negatives and turning them to use in a productive way.

Meeting thought leaders was no different during the in-person conference I attended the week before and the SHRM India conference I got the opportunity to attend virtually this week.

Some of the leaders had more experience than my age! Half of them agree they need to adapt to the growing changes in the industry.

Some of the leaders were old school with how they looked at their problems. Their approach towards the said problems was also old school. Approaches which worked 30 years back are no good for today’s generation. These are also the leaders who were not open to younger generation’s ideas to solve their concerns. I believe that’s why their concerns are persisting.

Some of the leaders were tone deaf to their problems. If they listened carefully, they had the solutions staring them in the face. One classic example to this is, hiring managers engaging the offered candidates. A candidate taking your calls during the post offer engagement is not the factor leaders should be considering. Candidates can make you believe they are joining your company. Your expertise comes into the picture when you are able to catch that he is fooling you: by “listening” to what the candidate is saying and not saying.

One of the speakers came with a persisting concern: How to keep resigned candidates engaged for 3 months when they lose their interest 2 weeks into the notice period? Am I the only one seeing the solution in the problem statement? And I am not asking companies to reduce the notice period to only 2 weeks. It will leave the industry in uproar! I am merely asking – do we need 3 months’ notice period when the employee is not being productive? Companies should have transition plan in place to determine how much time you need from the resigned employee to complete the transition. Beyond this, the employee will not engage, and the company will be paying him salary for just logging in and wasting your business hours.

Meeting some of the younger delegates was a different experience: some were out spoken, not a bad quality – sometimes aggressive, not so good quality. Young professionals always have time to learn from their experience. Few things I learned from these delegates: 1. Tone down our excitement (positive/negative) when expressing our points. 2. Always give chance to the other delegates to make their point. 3. Never challenge other delegates by arguing your way is better 4. Politely agree to disagree with other delegates.

My Key Take Aways:

The one statement made by one of the speakers at SHRM India Conference made an impact with me personally: “Don’t stick to biases”. Colleges from which your candidates graduate will not determine the kind of work they will do once they join your company. I have seen candidates from premium colleges underwhelm me during the interview process – not all, but some. Similarly with the previous companies where they worked – will not determine the candidate’s productivity. Companies’ criteria should be on how well a candidate performs during the interview (E.g.: Coding round for Software Engineer role, small assignments on the role the candidate have applied for, etc.,) and not mention “so and so degree from premium colleges” in the JD as “mandatory criteria“.

In another session from SHRM India conference, one of the speakers was talking about fulfilling experience at work and the factors determining employee satisfaction: 1. Rewards; 2. Relationships (Professional); 3. Respect; 4. Recognition. I liked how the speaker talked about Autonomy of individual employees and how each of these factors weigh in. Employees these days do not want to be micromanaged and want some level of freedom with their work. If the employees are not getting this at their current workplace they are not hesitating to move out of the company. But how many of the companies in India are giving this kind of “freedom” to their team members? We are not there yet, but by adopting this kind of company culture we can attract and retain the top talent.

This was my experience these past couple of weeks and take aways from the conferences I have attended. Stay tuned for my next article on the “Expectations from HRMS Tools” coming soon.

Saudhamini Mylaram

HR by profession. Reading has always been one of my favorite things to do apart from gardening, cooking and driving.

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