Wednesday, July 30, 2008

HR Role in M & A

India produces talent in abundance. However, with the rapid economic strides, talent crunch for the country continues. On the other hand, spate of M&As has made people management a critical issue. Dhirendra Shantilal, senior vice president (APAC), Kelly Services, spoke about the major bottlenecks for filling the demand-supply gap and emerging trends in recruitment in India in the wake of the slowdown in the US:

There have been a large number of M&As in the last one year. What is the role of HR in making M&As successful?

The biggest challenges for HR during a merger or acquisition are those related to communication, compensation and talent management, culture and managing uncertainty. Most M&As follow a four-stage process of pre-deal, due diligence, integration planning and implementation. A successful M&A deal is where HR gets involved right from the first stage. HR can add value at this stage by assessing the culture of the target organisation and by mapping the management styles of the two organisations. Similarly, at the due diligence stage, where the financial and strategic implications of the deal are assessed, HR plays a critical role in evaluating the financial implications of retirement and other benefit plans and the compensation structure of the target company. At the integration and planning stage, the acquirer creates a comprehensive plan for integrating the two organisations. At this stage, HR plays the key role of developing a strategy for employee communications, retention of key talent, a new organisation structure and compensation strategy and in change management.

What are the recruitment trends for senior executives in India, especially after the US slowdown?

The recession in the US has not had a huge direct impact on the India growth story. Although the impact is visible in export-oriented industries like IT, textiles and pharma, it has not affected the hiring trends of senior executives in India and it is business as usual.

How do you see Indian staffing solutions firms vis-a-vis their counterparts in more evolved markets like the US?

The Indian market has evolved over the last few years at a rate faster than the developed markets due to a boom in foreign investments, an unprecedented increase in M&A deals and a large number of Indian companies acquiring a global footprint. This has brought with it global management trends and also a huge interest in human capital management. The staffing solutions companies, therefore, have got their desired place under the sun in India, as they have elsewhere in the world. Having said that, the staffing industry in the country still has a long way to go to catch up with its western counterparts where it is perceived to be a more strategic partner to organisations and in the US itself, the industry was valued at $112.2 billion in 2007.

What is Kelly’s outlook for the job market for 2008?

As the Indian growth story continues, this would translate in a growth in the job market in most industries with the possible exception of sectors that have been impacted by the export market. Retail, insurance, real estate, banking and financial services, health services and biotechnology would show higher growth in recruitment process.

Do you see Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) catching up in India?

India has the unique opportunity to take a significant share of the RPO market in the coming years. The country is predicted as one of the fastest growing markets for RPO at an annual rate of 30% or higher in the years ahead.

While applying for or switching jobs what are the factors one should consider at senior positions?

Over and above hygiene factors such as quality of assignment, career growth and direct and indirect monetary benefits, the several factors should be considered at senior positions. For instance, it is critical to understand the environment in which the new organisation functions and its core competence, knowledge of the key stakeholders involved, internal and external dynamics associated with the role like matrix reporting, etc. A thorough understanding and study of the financials of the new organisation is a must and his career path as the organisation sees it and live examples of employees moving on that path.

Source : ET

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