AI could bring 4th industrial revolution; 'reskill & upskill' yourself to survive in digitisation era: Mettl CEO Ketan Kapoor

AI could bring 4th industrial revolution; 'reskill & upskill' yourself to survive in digitisation era: Mettl CEO Ketan Kapoor

AI (Artificial Intelligence) and automation are set to take the centre stage in 2018. With Digital India marking its boundaries far and wide, its real effects will be seen this year, says Mettl CEO Ketan Kapoor.

Ketan Kapoor, CEO and Co-founder, Mettl Ketan Kapoor, CEO and Co-founder, Mettl

Mettl is one of the fastest growing online talent measurement companies, which specialises in psychometric assessments, aptitude tests, and IT/Non-IT domain tests, on SaaS (software as a service) platform. The company enables organisations focusing on building teams by tapping on latest hiring trends. Mettl Co-Founder Ketan Kapoor in talk with Business Today's Manoj Sharma sheds some light on the latest hiring trends across the industry, and how the optimum use of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in hiring can help companies boost their overall performance. Here're the excerpts.
What are the hiring trends across IT, e-commerce, auto, pharma, hospitality and BFSI?
With the advent of technology, there's been a tectonic shift in hiring trends in the past five years. The biggest trend seen across the IT sector is workplace flexibility, where you can work from home, coffee shop or take a day out from vacation - it's all acceptable. Hiring has expanded across Fintech and GICs (Global In-House Centres). Hiring through social media is on the rise in hospitality. Interview process through video screening has gained popularity. The convergence between tech giants and pharma firms has increased demand for skilled workers. BFSI (Banking, Financial services and Insurance) is undergoing a big change due to digitization. A rise in income level has created banking opportunities.
In your opinion, what're top hiring trends for 2018?
AI (Artificial Intelligence) and automation are set to take the centre stage. With Digital India marking its boundaries far and wide, its real effects will be seen in 2018. Companies investing in modern recruitment tools will automatically attract the top talent. Glassdoor's 'Statistical Reference Guide for Savvy Recruiters' says around 45 per cent of job seekers search jobs on mobile phones at least once a day. Invest in proper tech tools, and you'll stay ahead of competition.
To what extent has AI, automation, big data, and analytics affected the recruitment scenario?
With the technologies like AI, automation, Big Data, managing bulk applications is a click away. The automation, if used properly, can help reduce the errors. AI, contrary to some reports, will not lead to mass unemployment but it'll accelerate automation and disrupt labour markets if they failed to evolve accordingly. Transition is important to thrive. Choice is yours: man plus machine or machine over man.
How will you differentiate between hiring trends across the startup industry and established companies in tech space?
Startups need flexible and multi-tasking people, who're ready to take on challenges. Most startups work on tight budget, and it's a good product plus talented pool of employees that can make your way through. HR roles are limited to administrative tasks. Salary for entry level employees can sometimes be lower than the market median. For top roles in startups, it's mostly first-come-first-serve.
Big companies focus on profit maximisation and market expansion. Employees can take time to show what they can do. Most companies favour people with expertise in a special area. The HR function is large and diversified, and the recruitment practices are standardised.
How do you see Mettl's seven-year journey in the industry? What are the areas in which you had to evolve continuously?
Mettl has been on a roller-coaster ride. We started as a team of 50 people, which has now grown to a proud family of 350 members. With the ever-evolving dynamic talent trends, and the advent of automation, there's been a revamping in our talent acquisition strategies. And, assessments are slowly becoming one of the major ingredients in hiring and retention process.
You're fully operational in the countries like the US, UAE and Japan? What's the scope?

We have grown manifolds since our inception, and expect similar growth numbers in the years to come. We want to focus on high areas of growth through verticals like IT, education, and retail. In UAE, we have made a mark across various verticals, while in the US, there's still a long way to go but work is on to achieve high results.
How important is learning new skills in times of automation in India?

With the advent of automation, the job scenario is changing. People with 'age-old skills' are becoming redundant. In order to survive in the era of digitalisation, individuals need to 'reskill and upskill' themselves. Better productivity will not only benefit the employees but the companies as well.
Does the current education system equip workforce as per the current industry demand?

I believe there's a scope of improvement, and curriculum needs to be revised to meet the needs of the 21st century workforce. The education system needs to move outside and beyond the books towards application and practical experience.
Name an emerging tech startup that may disrupt the tech world in future?

Keep yourself ready for the Fourth Revolution. It has set its foot but we are yet to experience its effects. Artificial Intelligence solutions can now communicate with users, understand needs, and make decision on their behalf. The scope of AI is expanding rapidly because it promises to reduce cost, improve productivity, and reduce customer attrition. And, a company that'll tap into AI could be next 'Google'.