At EY, we are committed to the development of our people and equipping them with the requisite skill

‘RecruitHER’ is one such intervention which brings in 360-degree approach towards women hiring and is building a strong talent pipe of women for future positions. We conduct ‘women walk in’ drives which not only provide work opportunities to women but also help them experience the corporate culture, says Sandeep Kohli, Partner and Talent Leader, EY India in an exclusive interview i=with BW People.


1. Do you think the skill of talent management helps to Recruit a better workforce?

Talent management is crucial while recruiting a better workforce - It helps us ascertain the talent needs of the organisation, and attract and retain those individuals who best fit the requirements of the organisation at the right time. Aligning both the organisation’s and individual’s objectives helps pave the path for greater success. In fact I would say, that the skill of Talent Management extends beyond recruiting a better workforce and also essential in nurturing, retaining and developing highest performing teams.

2. What is your role in enhancing the skills of your workforce?

At EY, we are committed to the development of our people and equipping them with requisite skill set to effectively perform their current role and at the same time be future ready. We offer a mix of offerings of learning, experiences and coaching that our people need to enrich their careers and deliver the best results for clients, as well as offering additional programs for current and future leaders of our organization. One of our recent programs include EY Badges for future focussed differentiating skills and allow our people to attain new skills that will help adapt at the speed of change and actively display in the market it involves digital credentials that our people can earn and share. We are the first professional services organization to offer digital badges globally. There are four levels of badge distinction (bronze, silver, gold and platinum), with defined criteria to be met in learning, experiences and contribution to earn each badge. Once earned, they can share their badges online, through social media, and on their personal profile or CV to showcase their newly acquired skills.

3. How do you think you are leading a change through EY?

We believe in purpose led transformation, as it ignites long lasting change. Our purpose is to build a better working world for our clients, our people and our communities. We strive to help create a legacy of improved business performance, confidence and trust. We work very closely with our clients from different industry, sectors and government to drive strategic transformation, innovation, growth and leading change together. We view transformation on a spectrum and work along with our clients along this spectrum, unlocking the value at each point – whether it's tools and technology, process and function, organizational structure, operating model, business model or purpose. Our diverse teams, combined with our global connectivity and understanding of the industry issues, inspire us to ask better questions. We then create innovative answers.

4. What are your views on diverse hiring? (Culture, religion, gender)

Organisations these days recognise the role diversity plays in bringing multiple perspectives on the table, which fuels innovation, fosters collaboration and strengthens relationships. It is vital to ensure a diverse pool of talent is hired for greater progress of an organisation. At EY, we have taken some very focussed and purposeful actions towards diversity hiring and enabling an inclusive work environment. To share a few, ‘RecruitHER’ is one such intervention which brings in 360 degree approach towards women hiring and is building a strong talent pipe of women for future positions. We conduct ‘women walk in’ drives which not only provide work opportunities to women, but also help them experience the corporate culture. We run enhanced referral bonus schemes for women and differently abled referrals. So for us hiring is an important part of building a workforce which is diverse and feel inclusive.

5. In a growing era of technology, how is EY building a future-ready workforce?

Digital and technology, make for major aspects of our lives both personally and professionally. Now more than ever, we can see people moving towards part-time, contractual or freelance jobs to optimise their time and prospects present in the market. This gives organizations the opportunity to use contingent workers to flex and bolster their capabilities. At EY, we understand that building a workforce for the future means recognizing that the employer and employee model itself is changing; people are looking for more flexibility in the workplace and the pool of contractor workers around the world continues to expand. We see GigNow as a strategic imperative to transform the way we attract the best talent. It enables us to systematically engage the right talent, for the right opportunities at the right time.

6. What are the employee engagement initiatives EY has launched recently?

It is one of our priorities to ensure that we engage with our people and provide them the flexibility to achieve their professional and personal aspirations. We engage our people through conversations, choices and celebrations. We maintain open communication and provide a variety of channels through which our people can make suggestions, share ideas and reach out to the leadership. ’Counselling family’ is one such initiative that brings together all the teams on a common platform where they get an opportunity to engage with their each other and their leader. It helps our people to align with the organisations' vision, purpose, values, and culture and recognise that the work that they do is crucial for the success of the organisation. Every leader in the organization has their own counselling family tree and are owning the engagement and overall development of the team. Each counselling family leader has a face to face session with his/her group of 40-50 people and connect with them on a structured agenda which is based on topics highly relevant to the firm/business and involves sharing the larger picture behind what they do and what is planned. ‘Bites and More’ is yet another initiative which takes engagement a step ahead, leaders catch up with their teams over breakfast in ‘Bites and More’ sessions. A dedicated place and lavish menu is set at each office. This is an informal gathering with no pre-set agenda and focuses solely on spending time with team and connecting with them beyond work. Not only does it help our leaders to connect deeper with team, it also provides an opportunity to our people, especially below manager, to get more face time with their business leaders. Our “whole of life” proposition is central to what drives our differentiating people culture and employee engagement that results in a holistic and lifelong relationship with our people. Whether people are with the firm for three months, three years or thirty years, we provide them an exceptional EY experience that adds value to their career and to their personal growth.

7. According to a study, by 2020, 40% of the workers would be independent contractors, what are your thoughts on this? 

The trend of skilled professionals seeking flexible work arrangements has been prevalent in several countries the world over, bolstering the growth of the ‘Gig Economy’. While it is relatively nascent in India, it is certainly expected to gather greater momentum. In fact, according to Future of Jobs in India, an EY report published in December 2017, Indians are beginning to consider new work arrangements such as freelancing, "Uber" models, and entrepreneur/self-employment models. Facilitating embracing of the gig economy would also open new doors for more women to enter the workforce. Educated skilled women who are unable to continue a full time employment within the corporate world could leverage new ways of working to achieve relevant sources of income. Hence, companies should create the necessary platforms/tools to embrace the new ways of working and reach out to this workforce of tomorrow.

8. At EY, how have you incorporated Gig economy and how do you plan to maintain the success with this type of short term employment? 

The launch of GigNow at EY, will enable us to scale our talent base more quickly and easily in response to capacity and skills needs and plan for the evolution of our workforce. The platform will also help drive innovation through diverse teams, as it will allow women, especially who take time off for family reasons, to leverage the flexible gig working models. After all, this technology platform is built using agile methodologies, which allows flexibility and frequent updates to meet EY’s needs now and in the future. The immersive experience also ensures quick on-boarding, so an individual can join a project across any location quickly and also begin to make impactful contribution in a shorter span of time.

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