“Tuning into a New Reality”: Mindtree’s Paneesh Rao on HR Tech

Paneesh Rao, the Chief People Officer of Mindtree shares his thoughts on the future of Talent Acquisition, Emotional AI and the wave of digitization that the HR industry is facing.


HR Tech is undoubtedly adding a new shine to traditional HR Functions by not only reducing costs and digitizing processes but also providing solutions to expand and improve existing operations- thereby giving the HR more time to invest in strategic and decision-making roles. As automation of administration becomes a means to a competitive advantage, many companies are going further and redefining traditional HR Tasks through web-based technologies and AI. The field of Talent Acquisition and Management has also benefitted from the wider and geographically diverse net that HR Tech offers. As we go headlong into an accelerated era of digitization, BW People asked Paneesh Rao, the Chief People Officer of Mindtree to share his insights on HR Tech and how it is transforming Talent Management.  

1. How has HR tech helped in transforming your company's Talent acquisition and management function?

HR tech has refreshed its ways of working. With the pandemic hitting the globe last year, HR function also had to tune itself to the new realities of working. Keeping the current scenario in mind, organizations have transformed their HR management styles. From managing people, it has changed to managing people-related issues which have led to a transformation in ways we hire, onboard, orient, meet and greet, reward and award, engage and off-board workforce. Gender diversity and inclusion has also become a thing of the past as the future workforce will be inclusive of all ages, genders and nationalities. 

In conclusion, new and exciting times are ahead of us in the HR function as it is in every sphere of business in the times to come. 

2. With digitisation taking the front seat in almost all industries, how do you think that hiring processes will bounce back in market? Talking about your company in focus, which segments do you see the hiring getting double? 

The ways of doing business are changing and digitization has taken priority and tops the chart of all businesses. As a digitally born company and a people’s first organization, Mindtree honored all the offers made before the pandemic, including campus recruitments. Apart from this, lateral talent-hiring continues to take place on a need-basis. 

Depending upon the business need, we continue to on-board employees via our digital on-boarding platform but with demand especially in emerging tech like cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), Mindtree will ensure to keep its focus on hiring in these areas. 

3. While soft skills are in great demand amongst the new lot of aspiring candidates, what’s your take on the same?

We have not witnessed any change in our expectations from the new crop of candidates, except self-discipline and responsibility to work remotely without supervision. With accelerating demand in cloud services, hiring in IT will continue to surge. 

With the continuous increase in technological advancements, organizations in the IT industry would only expect skills in AI, ML, customer experience, data and intelligence and cloud-tech as they are going to be in high demand. 

4. What are your suggestions to improve the current HR tech for recruitment? Also, how will the adoption of AI trends like Emotion Ai help in company’s improved hiring?

The new normal has indeed changed the circumstances for organizations across sectors. All work processes have become virtual now. Similarly, hiring has also become virtual but has its own set of challenges. To sustain in the current times and remain at the top, organizations are on the lookout for modern technology to come in and guide them in recruiting better candidature. 

Some trends like emotion AI are expected to be introduced which will be an efficient and effective tool to read facial expressions as well as a candidate’s body language. Apart from this, companies are looking forward to better technology to gauge an employee’s productivity. Therefore, companies at large are demanding digital tracking on a dire need basis. 

Adoption of advanced technologies will help organizations adapt to the new normal as this situation is here to stay for a longer period. 


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