What are the key soft skills you look at when hiring new students?
At Tata Motors, when we look for the right talent, we seek to determine how they fit with our vision and our philosophy. Although education and qualifications are always at the top of the list when hiring new employees, empathy and social skills have usually been the deciding factors, especially in this post-Covid era. Additionally, we have invested in people who have an agile and adaptable mindset so they can learn new technologies and develop the skills necessary to effectively use emerging tools in their work.
What skills and qualities are you looking for in your employees?
Rapid digital transformation and the emergence of Industry 4.0 have prompted us to prioritize and cultivate the right skills to meet the rapidly changing needs of the automotive sector. In addition to looking for people with soft skills such as strong communication and a problem-solving mindset, we are actively looking for people who can adapt skillfully to the automated processes and robotics used on the shop floor.
Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared (ACES) are the four big technology-driven trends that will determine the future of the automotive industry, and as such, we are looking for people who bring skills and knowledge to these areas.
What challenges do you face when hiring new talent?
There is a shortage of “experienced” talent in automotive electrical and electronics. In addition to existing players, the many “start-ups” that have entered the field and the demand for talent are fueling attrition. Additionally, there is a supply challenge, the ITI (Industrial Training Institutes) curriculum at MTech needs an overhaul to prepare graduate students for the ACES world.
Do you think there is a gap between academia and industry? How can this be filled?
A dynamic and competitive business landscape has compelled organizations to continually invest in specialized and ready young talent. However, the way traditional education is set up makes it difficult for organizations to build and maintain a pool of skilled people. There is a growing gap between what students are learning and the skills required to meet real workplace challenges.
The teaching program must be designed taking into account the technical skills and job profiles required. Additionally, academic institutions should work with businesses to create programs that offer students the opportunity to experience Industry 4.0 first-hand and learn how to put their newly acquired knowledge into practice. These early experiences can lay the foundation for an individual’s future growth.
What are you doing to attract, train and retain young professionals?
Growth and culture are key to the employee value proposition. At Tata Motors, our endeavor has been to provide every person with the opportunity to realize their full potential.
We encourage employees to seek growth opportunities by exploring open positions, and as our company is on a growth trajectory, we have many opportunities. We also offer job rotation and opportunities for them to work on projects outside of their current roles through a structured program, allowing them to develop new skills or gain exposure.
We are in the midst of a cultural refreshment program that has been carefully crafted with the active participation of all employees at all levels.
What is your recruitment target for FY2023?
Tata Motors is expanding and we have been hiring for some time now. We are continuously looking for quality talent at all levels for various functions such as advanced engineering, product development, P&SQ, supply chain, operations and commercial functions. ACES will be the future of the industry, and we are expanding our talent pool accordingly by bringing in people with similar skill sets.
Are there additional training programs or courses that you have incorporated to improve the skills of your existing workforce?
We are constantly investing in the development of our employees at ACES. This initiative is not limited to manufacturing functions, electric vehicles or specific levels, but extends to all functions – from engineering and R&D to supply, manufacturing, sales, service (including dealer and service partner training), for all of our employees, from workshop associates to senior management, in the CV, PV and EV businesses.
We have developed the “Future of Workplace” strategy to address rapid technological disruption and changing market dynamics. It equips our workforce with in-demand skills such as high voltage (electric vehicles), mechatronics (industry 4.0), automotive electronics and automotive communication. At the same time, we’re building a young, skilled, adaptable and digitally savvy workforce through our organization’s flagship full-time learning program.
How do you ensure you retain your hard-working employees? Are tax incentives the only way to motivate employees?
Our greatest asset is our people. We are committed to fostering a work environment that inspires them to discover and realize their full potential. By gaining a variety of experiences, completing challenging tasks, and constantly learning and improving their skills, they are equipped to perform at their best. We encourage them to build rewarding careers and prepare for the future by identifying, nurturing and developing quality talent at every stage of the employee lifecycle.
We have embraced the post-pandemic way of living and working while prioritizing employee well-being. We collectively promote new working practices by institutionalizing hybrid working methods, digitizing procedures and refreshing our culture.
These adjustments encourage employees to adopt innovative work practices and give them meaning within the company, which helps companies retain employees and fill the talent gap from within.
What policies are in place to ensure the balance between professional life and private life of your employees?
We at Tata Motors have moved to a hybrid work model since February 2021, which we believe will be the future of work.
Our goal is to foster a flexible and adaptive work culture for our employees. We have been aware of the need to embed inclusivity and a sustainable wellness culture for a thriving work organization. The hybrid model has also emerged as a cost-effective combination of office and home working.