M Lakshmanan, Chief HR Officer, L&T Technology Services explains the importance of the company’s recruitment process, improving efficiency, motivating the workforce, and nurturing high-potential employees to complete the organizational and personal growth path.
What are the key skills you look for when hiring freshers?
While qualifications and degrees are an important part of our recruitment process, here at L&T Technology Services (LTTS), we also attach great importance to soft skills like innovation, curiosity, passion to deliver, workplace efficiency and attitude.
Engineering and innovation are embedded in our DNA. As an organization focused on ER&D services and technology-based innovations, our focus is to tap promising and passionate talent that can bring breakthrough breakthroughs.
We are always looking for innovators and skilled engineers who can solve industry-specific problems, especially in the healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and telecommunications sectors.
What skills and qualities do you look for in shopfloor employees?
LTTS is a leader in plant engineering services and solutions and works with leading global manufacturers by providing end-to-end solutions in the areas of design, engineering, project management, and handover operation and maintenance.
Our team of engineers also offers custom digital solutions throughout the plant lifecycle. Consequently, we seek outstanding engineers with experience and expertise in various areas of the shop floor such as automated project lifecycle management, plant simulation services, plant maintenance, machine safety and digital engineering services to name a few key areas.
We provide digital training on organizational needs, including aspects such as their vision, mission, philosophy, management expectations, and timely production. Additionally, we provide technical training relevant to the manufacturing industry.
When hiring new talent, what are the different educations or qualifications that apply to your company?
At LTTS, we consider a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in engineering because engineers make up the majority of our workforce. Advances in digital technology, along with expertise in healthcare and genomics, have helped boost business productivity.
These advances improve how services are delivered and contribute to a better standard of living for millions of people and our global customers.
In the past five years alone, the demand for professionals skilled in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), natural language processing, robotics and blockchain has increased.
We encourage and support our engineers to become skilled Gen-Next professionals. Our employees can access research on advanced technology and its implementation anytime and from anywhere.
What challenges do you face when recruiting new talent?
The industry is currently facing the twin problems of talent shortage and displacement. Because we are an ER&D service provider, the talent we seek is often unique and different from regular IT services. Given our multi-vertical presence, we generally look for engineers skilled in different domains like VLSI, Autosar, ML, NLP, Embedded Frameworks, Asset Lifecycle Management and many more.
We need to ensure that the candidate has the necessary experience and technical skills for the role. Moreover, the twin problems of talent shortage and attrition are being addressed and come to terms by the industry.
Do you think there is a gap between education and industry? How can it be connected?
Thanks to academia, interdisciplinary courses are now being introduced in the curriculum everyday. These courses are well designed for the talent pool that helps corporates meet their business needs.
There is also an opportunity for industry to contribute more to the academic community. Partnership and cooperation in areas of strategic importance is the need of the hour. Upskilling professionals in digital engineering will also be a welcome step to ensure India’s position as a leading hub for talent.
Strong collaboration between industry, and academic institutions through initiatives such as internship and faculty training programs can bridge the current gap.
An ecosystem of excellence must be created where technology companies, industry bodies, and academia come together to create technologies that face a disruptive future.
At LTTS, we have recently partnered with many premier educational institutions like IIT-Madras, IIT-Gandhinagar and Pandit Deendayal University for various programs in advanced technologies. For example, we signed an MoU with IIT Madras to provide technical and financial support for IIT Madras’ Hyperloop project. LTTS will help IIT Madras students develop innovations in the Hyperloop scenario.
What are you doing to attract, train and retain young professionals?
LTTS’ Global Engineering Academy (GEA) is an institution that has made its mark as an integral part of the development of our engineer fraternity. GEA, a one-of-a-kind initiative, trains and equips our young workforce with the latest technology and skills to prepare them for critical client projects around the world.
Through GEA we have created a platform where young engineers can expect initial engagement and continuous online training (before induction training), followed by a three-month intensive classroom session taught in batches.
Created in 2020, GEA aims to create a technology education ecosystem and develop LTTS as a continuous ‘learning institution’. So far, the 25-member team has trained more than 3,000 freshers and facilitated more than 9,800 cross-skilling programs for experienced engineers.
GEA has also been instrumental in facilitating several tie-ups with leading global and national universities and operates several customer-focused academies within LTTS. The training offered by our GEA is a major attraction for engineering talent and the continuous learning opportunity known for LTTS is an important retention driver for young professionals.
What is your recruitment target for FY23?
As is the trend within the industry, freshers make up a large portion of our overall workforce. We hired over 3,000 freshers last year and we expect to hire similar numbers in FY2023.
Our goal is to expand our talent pool, ensuring that we on-board the brightest minds and train them to excel in their roles and responsibilities here at LTTS.
Is there a possibility for engineering professionals working in segments like two-wheelers and component manufacturers to switch to passenger/commercial vehicle manufacturing companies and vice versa?
One of the essential value propositions of LTTS is crosspollinovation or the ability to take skills from one segment to another. The essence of crosspollinovation is supported by the multi-vertical technical training provided by GEA which paves the way for our high potential engineers to be assigned to various customer projects.
Along with cross-skilling, we have addressed a range of complex business challenges, providing a superior value proposition to professionals and their clients. These steps have helped transfer competent engineers with relevant skills to move to different sectors.
Are there any additional training programs or courses you have incorporated to enhance your existing workforce?
Our GEA offers every employee the opportunity to upskill or cross-skill, and further train to achieve their potential. In addition to our GEA, our Organization Development and Effectiveness (OD&E) offers strategic programs for employees to improve their managerial skills and become future leaders.
The OD&E team – strives to provide role-based training to develop competencies to enhance employee performance and organizational productivity.
The Leaders League program provides leadership development and succession planning to ensure the building of a leadership pipeline and fosters the development of internal talent.
This is done by strategizing competency-based development journeys based on career stages and promoting and leveraging technology to improve and enhance individual and organizational learning, performance, and growth.
Building managerial capacity to increase effectiveness through aligned role-based training across various business units.
How do you guarantee you can retain your hardworking employees? Are financial incentives the only way to motivate employees?
In my experience of more than 3 decades in the HR field, what really motivates an employee to stay is if he can find his calling and motivation through the organization. It is the responsibility of the organization and HR to chart a long-term career path for promising employees so that their long-term aspirations are appropriately addressed.
LTTS has a strong engagement plan to retain high potential employees. By creating an action plan to retain employees, we connect with the heads of our organization to fast-track individual employees’ career development plans. Next, we engage with our highly valued employees to understand how they view their career growth, and what they need to excel in their profession, so their potential career development is fast-tracked.
This helps us map out a relevant and employee-specific action plan that helps them achieve their career aspirations, address and potentially resolve any issues they may have. The final step in the employee-retention process involves engaging with delivery unit teams to craft, deploy, and track process progress and status.
While monetary incentives are important, we believe in holistic career development. That’s why we value creating a holistic environment for our employees, focusing on helping them achieve their career goals.
What policies do you have in place to ensure a healthy work-life balance for your employees?
Our world is accelerating as connectivity improves and grows. Busy work schedules and personal lifestyles make the need for a healthy work-life balance more relevant now than ever. Making time for family and personal growth leads to the successful professional growth of our employees. The policies and initiatives of LTTS are designed to revitalize employees personally and professionally.
Leave Policy: We encourage employees to use 50% of their earned leave within a single calendar year, especially during the Covid-19 period, when the mandatory use of leaves was increased to 75% use to combat the pandemic, and subsequent stress.
Flexi Working: We have introduced Flexi-Time Working Policy to provide flexible working hours to our employees. This allows our employees to choose their working hours to accommodate personal circumstances without affecting work.
Epidemics illustrate that human health and organizational success go hand in hand. We realized that traditional modes of working, for example, a ‘hard 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday’ job, no longer worked. We understand that strategic agility is critical to ensuring overall organizational success in these times of crisis.
We’ve optimized over time to develop the Work From Anywhere (WFX) framework. With multiple offices in multiple cities, LTTS employees now have the option to work from any LTTS office in any location as per their work requirements.
With the flexibility and agility offered by this hybrid model, we have been able to ensure not only the well-being of our employees, but also high levels of productivity to meet client deliverables.