Job Market Will Improve With GDP In The Next 2 Years: NIIT Technologies
In an interaction with BW Businessworld, S. Viswanathan, Chief People Officer, NIIT Technologies talks about the skills that can be imparted in school students making them job ready, and NIIT's role in job market and technology
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What has been the company’s growth in terms of helping job market, and technology?
With the dramatic shift in the market requirements, there has been significant need for bringing in more technology skills into the Indian IT profession. NIIT Technologies has created opportunities for fresh IT graduates through a completely redesigned entry skilling program to ensure that they can be relevant even, though there has been a big shift in the technology arena from what they have formally learnt.
NIIT Technologies has addressed these needs through two independent tracks. The first is in establishing partnerships with providers of technology solutions, like Arago in the area of Artificial Intelligence, to enable technology absorption and adoption; and the aspect has been in building a strong learning ethic amongst the NIITians and making available well-structured training curriculum that enables staff to remain relevant with the changing technology demands.
Education is the root of every working professional. How to create students who are skilled enough to be employed?
The role of technology is growing with each day and this changing dynamic has made the need for right education and training more critical. According to a study by World Economic Forum, 65 percent of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist.
Considering these significant technological changes, the students who enter the workforce are finding that their knowledge has been rendered inadequate as applied technology has already evolved in the time they spent studying. The results have been evident for almost a decade now as only 7 percent of engineers are employable. In such a rapidly evolving employment landscape, the ability to anticipate and prepare for future skills requirements, job content and the aggregate effect on employment is increasingly critical for businesses, governments and individuals in order to fully seize the opportunities presented by these trends to mitigate undesirable outcomes.
It is important for studetns to get diverse, experiential and practical education to adapt with the changing times and stay relevant to be employed.
What skills can be imparted to students from K-12 to prepare them for the changing job demands?
It is important to connect the school environment of the students to long-term job goals and earning potential. Students need to be self-learners who can identify gap in their knowledge/skills and fill in the gaps. The school systems today should develop curriculum that address both content absorption (along the lines of various subjects that connect to higher education) and approach absorption (like Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Curiosity, Creativity).
What are the indicators that decide the health of job market? When do you see the job market improving?
The classical indicators of job market will continue to remain the number of new jobs created in an economy. Another way to look at this is to consider the overall number of jobs that are available to current workforce to evaluate as options to switch. One of the possible misconception in evaluating the IT job market is to count number of jobs in currently known roles, which completely misses the reality of emerging roles that can be in the cusp of IT and non-IT domains.
If we are to consider the overall job market then the improvement will certainly start becoming visible as the GDP shows some signs of moving towards the higher single digit, which could be in the next 18-24 months.
Are there any disruptive HR policies that you have adopted recently?
The role of technology in HR has radically changed in the last five years and will continue to evolve at a rapid pace. We have entered the world of cloud in the last few years, where companies started to migrate from in-house software to cloud-based HR solutions, and now we are focusing on ‘Digital HR’. One of the initiatives in this direction was the creation of Digital Diary App which enables communication between team members and supervisors in a structured manner.
From a policy perspective, some initiatives have been in letting the individuals take ownership for their development and sustained employability, while the organization provides access to curriculum. In some of our businesses we have also brought in significant emphasis on their compensation being tied into their demonstrable skilling.
What are the recent trends in employee engagement? What are your views in retaining the best talent in the organization?
In this age of digital, years of experience is no longer a key criterion for recognizing talent. There are various segments of employees, which co-exist in the organizations today. Old school and millennials bring different set of skills, experience to the companies, and require customized engagement. However, organizations today are turning to technology to create predictive steps to measure engagement levels and correct behaviors in a proactive fashion. Here are some of the key trends that are changing the very face of employee engagement in 2017:
- Performance Management Technology is critical
- Data Focus approach leading to better understanding of people
- Delayering where hierarchy and bureaucracy are being replaced by agile teams
- Cultural shift to foster high employee engagement.
NIIT Technologies is all about people. This is a principle that the Resource Management Group (RMG) at NIIT Technologies has adhered to religiously. To further strengthen our relationship with the employees, it is very important to keep them engaged and motivated, while working collaboratively to achieve their personal and organizational goals. Retention of employees is part of Human Resource management and planning efforts. Hence it is the responsibility of the line managers as well as the management to ensure that the employees are satisfied with their roles and responsibilities and the job is offering them a new challenge and learning every day.