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Vedantas VP, Praveen Purohit, Unveils Bold Approaches to Talent Retention: Exclusive Interview with ObserveNow

New Delhi: In the ever-changing realm of business, companies understand the vital role of adopting a strategic method in acquiring and managing talent. The phrase “building today’s workforce for tomorrow” captures the essence of preparing for future obstacles through the identification, attraction, and retention of top-notch individuals.

The continual evolution of industries requires businesses to regularly update their teams, leading to the adoption of inventive hiring practices. To keep top performers in a fiercely competitive market, companies are exploring unconventional approaches, such as emphasizing professional growth, flexible work setups, and fostering a positive organizational culture, going beyond traditional compensation methods. In this regard Priyanka Chakraborty, ObserveNow interacted with Praveen Purohit, VP & Dy. Group CHRO, Vedanta Ltd.

What’s your organization’s approach to talent strategy and hiring? Is there a perfect recipe to get it all right or is it always a balanced view?

Although we take pride in our extensive focus on hiring from campus and internal talent development, we believe in maintaining a well thought of balance between both internally grown,  and externally sourced talent. Internally growing leaders have a comprehensive understanding of  our operations across locations, which helps them gain the big picture as a CXO. On the other  hand, externally brought talent – experts, and specialists, are critical to our people philosophy for  driving the next level of growth

As an HR leader, how do you ensure that the workforce you have today is the one you need  tomorrow? What is your master plan for the skills update of the team?

We have a strong focus on the right skills at the hiring level itself. Due to our state-of-the-art  facilities and operations involving explorations, and mining, it is imperative we have only the most  skilled workforce in place. Our constant focus is on creating a talent pool which is adept at using  technology, & AI to enhance productivity and deliver projects with a focus on quality, cost, and  timelines, using global benchmark tools and techniques.

To take things a step further, our vision is to collaborate with academia – “we will have to  equip our universities with the best curriculums and training”, so that they come with confidence  and hit the ground running.

What innovative approaches are businesses adopting to retain top talent in an increasingly  competitive market? How are they prioritizing employee well-being and career growth?

In order to be sustainable in this dynamic ecosystem and marketplace, it is very important for  us to keep evolving with innovative approaches and practices.

For us at Vedanta, some of the innovative and best in class approaches we have taken are  Stock Option plans as “wealth creation opportunities” with the potential to provide lucrative long term incentives for employees, Flexible Benefits which have helped employees design tailor-made  solutions to suit their work/lifestyle preferences, and benefits to ‘Go Green’. Every business  decision today must account for its the impact on ESG. This is also reflected in today’s young &  dynamic workforce who identify with being environmentally and socially aware. For instance, last  year, we announced a change to our company car policy – we became the first major Indian  corporate house to have an EV Policy for our entire workforce.

How do you approach diversity and inclusion in your hiring practices, particularly in the context  of hiring veteran workforce or Women returning to work?

DE&I is part of our ethos as a group. We have rich and varied representation across genders  & identities (LGBTQIA), people from geographically remote locations, various nationalities, and  even a diverse profile of leaders from Ex-Defence, and Family Business Backgrounds.

Developing Women Talent to become world-class leaders is embedded in our DNA as a  company. We have 100+ leaders in our flagship Women-leadership development program  through who are well positioned to become CXOs. Our policy for women returning to work is  industry-benchmarked and underlines our commitment to “Care” for our employees. Women can  take a 12-month sabbatical post-birth, ensuring job security and those choosing to work can opt  for WFH and flexible hours till the child turn two.

In what ways can your organization support and empower freshers to understand work life,  chart a path for them, and find their sense of purpose in alignment with the company’s vision?

We have an extensive induction & onboarding program for 2000+ annual campus hires. This  comprises of a digitally tracked journey we have co-designed with a global partner where every  fresher is mapped to an anchor and engages in both mentoring and reverse-mentoring  conversations over a digital platform for a full year. The journey involves multiple pulse surveys,  and dipsticks analyses along the way to gauge their enthusiasm. Freshers are highly empowered  by through various high impact projects, and also the chance to sit along with decisions making  bodies on a regular basis. Furthermore, our open door policy allows young leaders to step up and  interact with senior leaders seamlessly.

Is there any advice you would like to give to The new HR Professionals entering the industry?

My message would be: first, always look for a company that gives you growth – be it opportunities to execute large-scale projects, learn new areas / concepts or gives high exposure to senior leadership. Secondly, keep raising your hands, have constant focus on performance & outcome, and keep learning along the way. Finally, Be grounded and remember the 3Hs – be Humble, be Hungry, be Hard Working.

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