How IT Firms Are Aiding Transformation Of Talent Requirement For The Digital Economy?

Digital transformation has outgrown and now seems to be an even larger imperative for organisation in the short-term future. However, what this has opened, is a gateway for leaders and organisations to reflect upon their potential and ensure that they are well-positioned towards the future.


Mphasis CEO Nitin Rakesh got on board with BW Businessworld's journalist to elucidate and throw light on the belief that digital transformation shall prove to be a bigger imperative for organisations in the short-term future. Let's see how doe she seem to have gathered this thought.

1. What are your thoughts around the increasing trend of hiring talent with not just the right skills but also with the ability to pull the organisation forward from survival mode to the path of profitability?

What was largely seen as a function of business continuity has now been catapulted into an essential business-critical model. Organisations are now re-working their strategies with the mindfulness of not just to stay ahead the curve but also shift from a survival mode of 2020 to a profile-making mechanism for 2021. An organisation is made by its people, it is the oiling and smooth functioning of and by the workforce that keeps the engine running.  The shape that the workforce of the future takes will be the result of complex, changing and competing forces, while some of these forces are certain, some are just too difficult to predict. Hence if there is one thing that companies have learned from the ongoing health crisis, it is the need to run a business with minimal resources and maximum optimization. Tapping on to talent with not just the right skillsets but also the vigor and dynamism to take the company forward with that skill set is what will make or break an organisation today. Leaders are now looking for a workforce that is energized inside-out to take ownership of the enterprise’s future trajectory.

  1. How has the digital explosion led to an increased focus on developing the next generation of skills, closing the gap between talent supply and demand, and future-proofing organisation’s own and others’ potential?

One of the major outcomes for the ongoing pandemic is the sudden infusion of data-enabled services into the core aspects of our lives. Digital transformation has outgrown and now seems to be an even larger imperative for organisation in a short-term future. However, what this has opened, is a gateway for leaders and organisations to reflect upon their potential and ensure that they are well-positioned towards the future. With the future more irresolute and uncertain than ever, leaders can strongly bet on a future of upskilling and reskilling or in another term digital re-skilling for sustenance. The future is to focus on reskilling and upskilling people so that they are better equipped to adjust to change. With the explosion of technology at hand, New technologies requires a talent that can not only build scalable technologies and frameworks where tasks ate intelligently automated but also can generate higher possibilities with the same technology. Organisations can move ahead only when an even bigger proportion of jobs, tasks, activities, and careers will find ingenious and novel ways to coexist in the digital world. Harnessing the next generation of skillsets and narrowing down this loop of demand of such talent is what will uphold the organisations towards a future-ready existence.

  1. Do you believe that the idea of pivot or perish in times of such uncertainty are not limited to an organisation alone, but also applies to its people and their digital skilling and re-skilling?

The idea of pivot or perish in times of uncertainty, is not limited to an organisation alone, but also applies to its people. In a services industry, human capital is often the key differentiator in achieving business success. To surmount challenges posed by the pandemic, customer relationships and high-quality service delivery have assumed even greater criticality to sustain performance and growth. Moving forward, the success of an organisation will be hinged on how employers hire, nurture, and retain critical talent. As we look forward to a future that will be dictated by technology, leaders will now need to evaluate and reassess their people strategy to ensure growth.

If we can leverage human adaptability to re-skill and upskill the workforce, then the organisations can simultaneously augment human and technology. We are at an influx where the most brilliant of innovation stands irrelevant if not the workforce is not skilled enough to tap on to its potential and the most intelligent and impressive mindsets are obsolete if they cannot be teamed up with technology. The pandemic had made the leaders march ahead towards investing in people first who can make use of the technology and reap results that are beneficial for the organisation and create an ecosystem of co-existence.

  1. Amid the growing digital economy how do organisations plan to tap on Uber niche talent for specific client deliverables and focus on cultivating core service delivery?

While job seekers must upgrade their skills to find relevant opportunities, employers must look for talent that possess the right skillset for a job and not be limited by factors such as qualifications, years of experience or even employment terms. If there is anything that the pandemic has supported, the most it is probably the gig workers. And this has impacted the workforce dynamics with several organisations now looking at Uberization of business-critical tasks on a need basis if it means to look outside the core employee set to get the job done right.

Creating a dream team of critical talent would require one to re-invent their hiring and on boarding process, invest in latest learning tools, stress on knowledge application, continuous monitoring of performance, and adequate rewarding. And while this might feel a bit overwhelming there are some basic principles that can be applied to ease one’s approach to tackling this better. Businesses are run by people. And to thrive in a challenging environment such as this would mean that companies need to re-look at how they hire, train, and retain people who can be trusted with the future of the business. While technical skills will be the No.1 priority for a job seeker in a technology firm, identifying talent with a high learning quotient (LQ) should be on every employer’s agenda. The aim here is to tap and harness a workforce with high learnability and match their interests with the skills in demand. They key here is to keep their curiosity and hungry mind intact because technical proficiency can be temporary however intellectual curiosity will always be permanent.

  1. This sudden acceleration towards everything digital, are employers trying to create an ecosystem of enabling employees to learn and enhance their skillset from wherever they are and wherever they want?

Over the last few months, several companies have taken measures to assess their talent and are putting processes in place that can help employees self-evaluate and put themselves on the path to upskill or even reskill. While digital skilling by itself is nothing new, the sudden acceleration towards everything digital is pushing employers to help their people to learn wherever they are, whenever they want, on any device. Most importantly, make learning a fun exercise rather than a tick box exercise for mandatory hours of training and just like how transformation is a continuous process, so is learning.

Thus, at Mphasis, we envisioned an in-house learning platform, Talent Next that supports our employees to develop the skills needed to help our clients build digital businesses. Talent Next is aimed at accelerating new training initiatives like Coder Pad program registrations. It is our approach within the organization, where learnability is a core skill for all employees as they embrace a digital mind.

  1. In a growing environment with new technologies emerging faster than anticipated, what are employers doing to make learning and enhancing skill-sets infectious for the employees today?

Organisations must look at developing their people professionally rather than just training them to be better at what they already do. The first step towards liberating your people from archaic training methods is to allow your employees to chart out their own career trajectories rather than leading them on a predetermined path. Invest in digital learning tools that help employees plan their learnings around their own schedule but have a thorough evaluation process in place to validate the applications of these learnings by giving challenging assignments that really put their newly acquired skills to test. Most importantly, a transformation at an organisational culture level must be led by the Leaders of the Organisation themselves. CXOs must be active participants in the learning process too as growing is at every age and stage is again a continuous process. The change must start at the top and trickle down. The key is to nurture curiosity, so we have options, even outside of a crisis. Most organisations have introduced self-paced learning initiatives that encourage their tech talent to choose the trainings and certifications that can hone their existing skills or learn new ones to broaden their horizon and exposure.

  1. According to the changing pace of the industry, what are some of the most demanding skills?

The job market is constantly changing and technology-driven careers are becoming more and more popular. At Mphasis, there are currently there are close to 700 “next-gen” skills available on our learning platform, Talent Next. We continuously add new-skills to the platform and therefore, we are geared to meet the training requirements on next-gen skills. All languages supporting Digital Transformation, Data analytics and cognitive technologies are in currently in demand and picking up pace in the industry.

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Talent Requirement digital economy mphasis Nitin Rakesh


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