The Job Market is Shifting Focus From ‘Skills’ to ‘Roles’ and From ‘Aptitude’ to ‘Attitude’: HR Head, DXC Technology India

In the recent interaction with BW People, Lokendra Sethi, VP and HR Head - India, DXC Technology discussed the changing landscape and strategies of hiring in the pandemic hit world; the growing need for upskilling in the IT sector, and his experience of facing numerous challenges as an HR leader.


According to you, how is the HR Industry transforming in these times?

Now that organizations are gradually shifting focus from being employer-driven to becoming employee-centric, companies have started to reimagine and realign their HR processes – especially hiring, inducting new talent, and adapting to agile training methodologies. The current crisis has of course acted as a catalyst in this process. Companies are now adapting to the virtual mode, and their primary focus has been to ensure employee safety, well-being (physical, emotional, and mental), and a ‘futurized’ employee engagement experience. In fact, HR professionals across industries have acknowledged this shift.

Hiring too has seen major changes. Recruitment marketing has moved from ‘on-campus’ brand promotions to deploying ‘virtual and social’ marketing strategies. Experienced hiring has evolved into the HR professionals, being knowledgeable about the roles that they are selling to the candidates because monetary gains are no longer enough shifting jobs. Virtual self-paced training and online onboarding sessions are a few practices that have benefitted both the HR teams and the employees.

Industry leaders would agree that building a sustainable employer brand is now paramount. Hence, to achieve this goal, organizations are focusing on the quality and nature of work such as flexible working, personalized training opportunities, and formal and informal mechanisms to recognize top talent.

What values/skills would any company look for in any candidate at the time of hiring especially today?

The job market is shifting focus from ‘skills’ to ‘roles’ and from ‘aptitude’ to ‘attitude’. Today, IT professionals are not only interested in the brand and remuneration but are also looking at growing their skills with an organization. Hence, training strategies and roles have become important components of a job offer. Organizations, on the other hand, are keenly looking for essential values in potential employees such as a positive outlook, ambition to grow and learn while being empathetic. Of course, essential skills such as analytical thinking, logical reasoning, communications skills, and last but not least, coding knowledge continue to be a driving factor while evaluating candidates for potential roles.

Competencies like learnability, team adaptation, and inspirational leadership from an early age would differentiate the current and future talent pools.

Looking at the increasing rate of unemployment in India, what's your outlook on creating employment and do you see technology or the IT sector will introduce plenty of jobs in return?

The Indian IT sector will continue to generate employment. However, continuous knowledge management and re-skilling have become key to sustainable work in the IT sector. Aspirants and employees alike must develop a continuous learning mindset. India has the twin advantage of having a robust onshore/offshore model, as well as the availability of an excellent talent pool in the industry. India hosts a very high number of captive organizations, while also being home to the top global IT players.

Despite the ongoing global health crisis, the IT industry will remain resilient. Companies will continue to invest in their employees and the war over talent is poised to get bigger.

What's the current status of hiring at DXC Technology? Do you think laying off is the only way out?

At DXC, we believe in creating a sustainable and thriving environment for employees, and to achieve this, several factors play a crucial role - hiring and learning is key. We have accelerated hiring this year and have virtually hired 3500 campus graduates, out of which, 51% are women. While we continue hiring experienced professionals, we have focussed on hiring from campuses; the aim being the creation of a dynamic, diverse, and new-age workforce, ready to transform the IT industry.

We continue to leverage our internal talent and invest in their learning and growth so that their skills and leadership potential are realized and valued. We will also continue focusing on external certifications to build customer-relevant skills in our people.

The growing need for Upskilling & learning in the IT Industry? How are you and your initiatives fulfilling that at DXC Technology?

As mentioned earlier, the training infrastructure of a company is a highly- influential factor today for potential candidates. They are not only concerned about the brand or remuneration but also their career growth and upskilling programs.

It was believed earlier that for a learning intervention to be effective, it needed to be delivered in-person. The current situation has transformed our learning team’s strategy into a unique blend of digitization and experiential training. Gamification and simulated training environments have filled the void created by the absence of training classrooms. This has led to considerable personalization of content and self-assessment. There is a continued application of the above at DXC. We are working with advanced technologies to replicate experiential and group learnings. Besides cross-skilling and up-skilling, we are also focusing on customized leadership programs as well as learning interventions to promote women in technology.

Furthermore, education is one of the key focus areas for our CSR agenda. We are investing in the society and the community we operate in, by partnering with NGOs, schools and colleges for sponsoring and setting up learning centers and supporting children’s education as well as skilling IT professionals from lesser privileged backgrounds. The aim is to build a stronger and inclusive India and we are focused on doing our bit as a corporate citizen.

As an HR leader, what is the biggest challenge you faced till now, and are you being able to solve it?

In the current situation, ensuring the safety of our people while exceeding customer expectations has been very crucial for us. I am very proud of our people’s commitment to our goals and the fact that as an organization, we have emerged stronger in the face of this crisis.

We have successfully ensured a seamless delivery model for our customers in the new normal, while also taking care of our people’s physical and emotional wellbeing. We have enabled technological infrastructure at our employees’ doorstep, launched engagement activities and virtual training interventions, onboarded campus recruits, fulfilled our business requirement for experienced professionals; all this while keeping our day-to-day operations stable. This wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment of the 40,000 women and men who are a part of DXC in India.

Right from our front-line supervisors to our top management, everyone stays connected with our people through multiple channels to recreate the experience of an in-person and collaborative office environment. Providing the best employee experience has been DXC’s endeavor and our virtual connects, employee events, recognition platforms have helped the cause. It has taken a lot of hard work by everyone and thinking out-of-the-norm has been key to getting to this point, but the outcome has been tremendously worth the effort.

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Lokendra Sethi DXC Technology employment Post Pandemic


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