COVID-19 impact: HCL Tech’s recruitment process in India to go virtual

HCL Technologies’ recruitment process will be virtual this year in the wake of COVID-19 and this is likely to stay, said VV Apparao, Chief Human Resources Officer of the company.

In a recent interaction with Moneycontrol, Apparao said, “We will remain 100 percent virtual in on-boarding and recruitment,” and added that it gives the company a lot of flexibility.

“Today, we don’t have to meet any candidate and our on-boarding is online too. As we speak, we are trying to recruit 4,000-odd people and we are not calling anyone to office. Interview panels are virtual, candidates come online, offers go online and they are on-boarded online,” he added.

Earlier, candidates and panelists will find time to meet, at times travelling long distances. Then panelists have to sit together and collate the information and take a decision. “The whole process takes a long time and requires a huge amount of coordination. Now our process is completely digital,” Apparao noted.

The platform, however, is hardly new as the company has been investing in it for the last two years. “We have been preparing for this day, COVID-19 might have accelerated this a bit,” he pointed out.

In the last one and a half years, the on-boarding process in other geographies such as the US had been made virtual. However, implementing it in India had challenges.

Apparao explained that the company could not make the on-boarding process virtual in India because employees have to physically sign certain documents for compliances.

The company will recruit 15,000 freshers and honour all the offers made so far. It is yet to take a call on wage hikes and promotions. HCL Tech follows the July cycle for its promotions and wage hikes. However, it will go slow on lateral hiring as the business has taken a hit, HCL Tech executives added.

Talking about working from home (WFH), Apparao said that more than 95 percent of its employees are WFH and so far there has not been a financial impact in terms of billing or deliverable impact due to COVID-19.

The company, which employs more than 1.5 lakh people, had asked its employees to work from home in India starting March 4. “By the time lockdown happened, we were already 95 percent working from home. So we had no issues in terms of deliverables,” Apparao added.

The company is not in a hurry to bring people back. “It is not enough that companies are taking care of everything. Employees should feel that they are adequately protected. It is not just the employee alone, the family should feel it too. So that is one reason why we are not pushing,” Apparao explained.

Apparao agrees that working from home is not an easy task. “We don’t know its long term effects. We also think some people might face psychological issues,” admitted Apparao.

The company has life coaches and doctors who are advising employees. It is also conducting employee relationship programmes such as having a Zumba dance programme every day involving not just employees, but their families too.

“We are trying to help them. All depends on how the lockdown pans out,” he added.

source: moneycontrol