Adopting a more digital mindset can deliver value to employees: Country HR Leader CNHI

Ajay Ambewadikar has over 24 years of strong Manufacturing-based HR experience, starting from personnel management to the transformation management of people and organisation. He is the Country HR Leader at CNHI  Industrial India. 


Ajay holds a degree in Business Commerce from Pune University and a MPM (Masters in Personnel Management) from the JDC Institute of Business.

In an exclusive interview with Observenow, he shares his insights on finding the right talent, Employee Engagement at CNHI and the future of jobs. 


Edited Excerpts from his interview:



1. What is the biggest challenge you are facing to source the right kind of Talent?

The biggest challenge that our sector faces is that of finding suitable candidates with the necessary skillset and experience. There is a limited talent pool available in the industrial goods and manufacturing industry and hence we struggle to source the product competence required for this line of work from engineering to product management and commercial roles. 

2. Define Employee Engagement at CNH Industrial?

We actively pursue several initiatives to drive employee engagement around the globe with a particular focus on the creation of a sense of purpose through sustainability initiatives that support local communities; innovation and the adoption of new technologies to improve work quality and employee work-life balance and ongoing employee development. We have an annual performance management program to track progress and reward it. We have a good practice of sharing our business results with our people and conducting town halls. Moreover, we have number of initiatives such as skip level meetings. We measure engagement scores through both Great Place.

3. What are the best practices an HR leader should follow to manage a large number of


The best practices we follow are to ensure that people are actively engaged in understanding their contribution to the company. We have a reward and recognition process in place. We connect with field-based employees through a “Chat Hour” platform to effectively engage with them. HR is required to adopt a more consumer-centric approach ensuring that employees have the best experience throughout their journey in the company by leveraging digitalization. By adopting a more digital mindset we expect to deliver value to employees and productivity for the organization in everyday engagement and learning, and even in the recruitment process.


4. What are the two key tips you want to give to all the HR leaders for retention of


Firstly, we must excel at performance differentiation; we need to be able to challengeunder performance and to celebrate high performance. This can be achieved by creating a platform for our talent to chart their growth within the company.

We as HR professionals must evolve our skills to also encompass talent marketing. I see

HR shifting from the one size-fits-all approach to embracing a more sophisticated data-driven mindset. As we evolve into talent marketing, our work must consist of theidentification of the most critical talent segments to build personas around and thedevelopment of tailored-made solutions to meet different expectations in terms of learning and growth.


5.  Define the role of an HR leader in the time of tech and AI driven hiring space?

HR has a high value role in identifying the most suitable and well-equipped candidate for the Company. It is common practice for us to hire a person based on their knowledge domain and at the same time HR must take ownership in ensuring that these individuals will thrive and contribute to a healthy and effective company culture. These tried and tested practices remain fundamental even as we enter an ever-expanding tech era. Tech and AI give us an added edge when it comes to streamlining CV consultation, maximizing the number of quality interviewees we reach and granting us with analytical tools to further assess the suitability of a candidate.

6. What kind of hiring numbers is the company looking for in 2020?

Considering the current trend, we are aiming for moderate growth. Our talent acquisition plan has many new positions that will be posted throughout the course of the year calling for different areas of expertise. I would encourage job seekers to follow us closely via our Corporate website and social media accounts. 

7. Which sectors do you think are going to see jobs rise in by 2025?

I believe that the areas associated with commodities, namely Oil & Gas as well as infrastructure will have good growth pattern in the future. The success of these sectors is also tied to our own business as we provide the equipment for them, especially when it comes to infrastructure through our construction equipment business, where we are the market leaders in certain road building products.

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