At InMobi we walk the talk

In an exclusive interview with BW People, Sahil Mathur, Global Head of Human Resources and Culture, talks about the various practices at InMobi to engage, enhance and encourage their workforce.


Q.What type of employee engagement activities have you initiated at InMobi? Are they also tech-enabled?

All programs/initiatives launched at InMobi have been designed and implemented with people at the crux. Sound policies are the ones that are people inclusive and that aid in progress instead of causing a hindrance toward employee performance. Hence our policies revolve around three core pillars:

1. Trust:
-Flexibility/freedom to work without being subjected to scrutiny. At InMobi we walk the talk when it comes to these fundamentals - we have no CCTV cameras, no attendance logs, employees are not expected to clock-in an ‘n’ number of hours, InMobi is devoid of any tracking mechanism.
-Our travel policy is described only in one sentence - spend company’s money like it’s your own.
-Our leave policies don’t require manager approvals - auto-approved for six days.

2. Maximising employee potential
We have programs like ‘Live Your Potential’ which enables every InMobian to explore a diverse set of opportunities offered on a platform for holistic career development. This program is also integrated into the HR employee management system to incorporate current hiring priorities with the application process.

 Bridge Assignments: Employees are given the opportunity to spend 20% of their time outside of their core roles, on areas/functions/jobs not part of their current scope of work enabling employees to broaden their horizon on lateral work opportunities

3. Conducive Environment
-The employee’s entire lifecycle is mapped out to empower and enable productivity and to instill a sense of belonging. These include:
-Conversations over Coffee (informal chat sessions with C-level executives)
-Milestone celebrations: There is an active participation and emphasis from C-level executives to celebrate with employees who were part of the journey during their early days when InMobi was just starting up. This group now represents 40% of the organization - 10% who have completed seven years or more, and 30% who have completed more than five years; a significant lot for a 10-year old organization.

Q.How do you think technology is empowering the HR functions?

Technology takes out the biases from a primarily human-driven function. It enables a far more advanced, unbiased and data backed approach in designing specific plans focused on talent acquisition like targeted talent mining, talent assessment and so on. Overall it improves the effectiveness of each task due to automation. Some of our tech-driven processes include:
-'HRMS (Human Resource Management System)' to nudge manager behaviors into a corresponding action
-‘Hyphen’ to activate surveys
-‘Ripple’ hires for driving referrals
-‘Kwench’ for centralizing employee records
-Greenhouse to job portals integration, for direct job postings
-‘Mindtickle’ modules that help facilitate learning & development at set intervals

Q.As a people's leader, what do you think is the most important employee policy?
If an organization harps on trust then policies need to reflect that as well. At InMobi we ensure that our policies are crafted, drafted and tweaked to reflect trust - it’s to ensure that our employees are as gung-ho about these policies as much as the organization.

Q.At InMobi, do you indulge in any type of cultural practices? What are they?
Our cultural practices are reflective of our founders' philosophy of openness and trust. It's reflected through the ease of access to the leadership team facilitated through an open office environment.
Moreover, our openness is not restricted to current employees alone but extended to anyone associated with InMobi. We follow our in-house mantra 'Once an InMobian, an InMobian for Life.' We offer support infra and all, to date, 20 new business concepts have taken shape at the InMobi office. However, the proof of the pudding lies in the people who want to return to InMobi, also known as our boomerangs - a common phenomenon at InMobi.

Q.Discuss how the traditional hiring process is now obsolete? What can be done to eliminate that?
Mass hiring is neither the order of the day nor does it solve for skill-based hiring. It is now a combination of skills, knowledge, attitude and cultural alignment. Hiring people who are the right fit for your culture is an absolute necessity, but that's rarely achieved through traditional interviewing processes which tend to focus more on titles and designations than on the cultural fit for the role. Hence recruiters today need to build a deep understanding of the hiring objective and adopt an all-inclusive approach of targeting channels which span social media, events/conferences, employee referrals, hackathons, etc. to narrow down on an appropriate talent pipeline.

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