Attract, Retain, And Develop Talent Have Defined Human Resources

While exalting Lam Research’s company culture, Jeevant Kumar, Senior Director- HR, Lam Research India emphasises and said, “Our employees embody our dedication to honesty, integrity, and innovation, and it’s through their commitment to these values that we’re able to create community, connections, and an inclusive workplace”


Employee retention is becoming a key differentiator especially in the face of ongoing talent crunch as employees are having different expectations and demands from their employers in post-pandemic new normal. In terms of company culture, new employees joining are more concerned with the factors like flexibility and employee benefits on the wellbeing front. 

There are multiple factors that contribute to retaining high potential talent of the company, and during the exclusive interaction commenting on similar lines, Lams’ Jeevant Kumar states, “According to me, compensation is one of the important factors to attract employees while retention is altogether a different ballgame. Retention is about engagement and career planning is the best tool for engagement.” Lam’s Senior Director-HR further ponders on the constantly changing dynamics to attract and retain talent and how companies are required to focus on individual’s growth.

1. How important is it to focus on culture and leadership engagement sessions to enable talent growth?

I always say that Lam Research is one of the most caring companies out there where people truly care about each other. Our core values, as mentioned above, go a long way in building this culture. At Lam, our culture is the culmination of our Core Values and the exceptional people that help bring them to life. Our employees embody our dedication to honesty, integrity, and innovation, and it’s through their commitment to these values that we’re able to create community, connections, and an inclusive workplace.

Maintaining a culture based on our core values with the help of leadership engagement has been our mainstay for years now. Our Leaders spend considerable amounts of their time in building and reinforcing this culture. All our senior leaders have a deep-rooted view that their primary job is to build a positive culture which makes the HR’s job so much easier. At Lam, rather than convincing the leaders to do the basics, we are focused on the upside.

2. How has Lam India continued to attract, retain, and develop the best talent while catering to employee needs during these challenging times?

The three words - attract, retain, and develop have defined Human Resources for a long time now which has also been true in our case as well. Our need to attract and retain talent got further heightened due to the impact of the pandemic. The talent acquisition team at Lam India scaled up to 3 times in 2021 and similar efforts were required from business as well. Most of our hires are in the space of engineering and operations and Lam Research India’s brand identity of being one of the coolest tech companies having one of the best organizational cultures helped us immensely in attracting talent from across the industry.

The beauty of having a great culture is that your employees become your brand ambassadors and we have leveraged this aspect in our branding efforts across social media platforms as well. Our direct applications have gone up significantly and our referrals have more than doubled.

We have kept our attrition rates in low single digits, and this has come about as a result of years of hard work by our leaders and managers. I think Lam Research has some of the most mature people managers that I have come across. Our retention model is built around our culture and core values of trust, respect, communication, teamwork, and achievement. One of the most heartening experiences for me personally was, when our interns also started talking about our core values.

3. Witnessing a 400% growth in the last 4 years, enabled by the hiring team - How has the change in hiring impacted the workforce?

First thing is to acknowledge, the next is to measure the magnitude and then take appropriate actions. It is clear to us that, by end of this year, a substantial portion of our employee base would have been hired remotely. There are two things at play here, firstly, the need to support flexibility followed by planning the return to the workplace. We are aware of the change the management will require and we want to ensure that our workforce has a fabulous experience while making this transition.

Lam Research has been growing across the globe and many of our new hires have been onboarded remotely in the past 18 months. We are currently working on a special program to further engage with and acculturate our new hires. We acknowledge this program to be an important strategic enabler for sustained business performance.

4. Managing talent remotely is similar to keeping the long-distance going. How are you keeping yourself on the top of your game?

I think we are fortunate to be living in times where technology has come to our rescue. In fact, the solutions around remote working already existed (before the pandemic), but what was needed was the massive scaling of these solutions. Also, I am not talking just about the technology here, but referring to the workplace solutions, training, coaching and engagement programs, etc. The technology platforms have been such a big enabler and almost all the players I have worked with were ready with offerings on remote work in no time.

I think this tech enablement and willingness of our vendors to adopt the technology with their offerings has been a game-changer. This experience has democratized learning methods and demolished the international boundaries. Valuations in this space are a great testimony and now, we have vendor partners from all over the world offering solutions remotely using VR and AR tech and this trend is here to stay. This global competition will also improve the quality of offerings overall.

With the help of these offerings, added flexibility to our employees, and support from our leadership team, we have been able to carve out a really good story. Our engagement scores have a favourability of over 90 consistently.

5. Is the increase in salary the only factor to retain talent? Considering the current talent demand, what is your approach for individual growth? How is the trend like more horizontal or vertical growth?

Multiple factors are leading to this talent demand. Some people are also calling it ‘the great resignation’. In my opinion, due to the sudden transition to remote working, there has been a surge in demand for hardware, where many companies have advanced their transition to the cloud. There has also been a surge in start-ups with heavy wallets supporting them. Overall, the situation is such that we are dealing with an upsurge in hiring as well as attrition.

All our people managers have gone through extensive training on career planning, and we are pushing development plans and internal job bidding programs. One can’t think of a better opportunity than this, to support internal growth. Noticing this trend, we have invested heavily in our career planning and development programs.

According to me, compensation is one of the important factors to attract employees while retention is altogether a different ballgame. Retention is about engagement and career planning is the best tool for engagement. Providing career opportunities, helping with the planning, and supporting development programs, play a huge role in employee retention sometimes even more than compensation.

6. According to you, what are the three major things new joiners are expecting from a company in the post-pandemic scenario?

The fundamentals haven’t changed and won’t change much. All new hires look for a workplace where they have someone to talk to, give clarity on expectations, and receive quality time from their managers. I think these trends will remain.

However, there has been learning from the pandemic on how we engage with our new hires and how we support their lifestyle requirements. It has also led to a lot of myths getting busted, especially related to flexibility. With many employers already announcing flexibility programs and enabling investments being made, I think flexibility will become a standard offering across the industry.


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