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Time to reinvent

Anand Adhikari and Manu Kaushik     January 20, 2011
 Imagine people challenges for a 16-year-old private sector bank that seems to have compressed the previous 14 years of its existence into the last two years - at least in terms of growth. HDFC Bank (also thanks to Centurion Bank merging with it) seems to have done precisely that, expanding its branch network from 750 to 1,850 branches and spreading from 325 to 820 cities in the past two years.

"That kind of expansion has its own challenges especially with regard to reaching out to employees in remote locations and training them," reasons Paresh Sukthankar, Executive Director at HDFC Bank. That could be a good background for understanding the bank's fall from the top 10 last year to 18th position in the study, though in its sector, it continues to be among the top employers.

Mandarins at the HR department say they are busy innovating with new tools apart from e-learning and trainers that they use for training new recruits. "We have developed a M-training module which uses mobile as a mode of disseminating information and training in the remotest areas," says Philip Mathew, Chief Peoples' Officer at HDFC Bank.

Under the module, a 20-minute clip flashes on subjects like regulatory guidelines, softer issues, credit and operational risk, etc. The training has already covered about 1,400 new recruits in the last six months.

At HP India, which fell out of the top 10, the focus is on building the brand. "Our brand name doesn't conjure up the entire diversity of profiles that we offer. People know us largely as a printer and PC company, but that's not true. HP is pretty much present in every business vertical right from services to technology products, application services, R&D and BPO services," says Srikanth Karra, Director, HR. The company is trying to address this issue by conducting career fairs across metros regularly, advertisements, an internal job posting process and campus recruitment.

Karra points out that recruitment at HP India slowed last year due to the global meltdown. It could have been one of the reasons why HP's brand recall slipped. With growth picking up, he is optimistic of attracting the right talent. "We need to increase our salaries and bring back the parity. At the same time, we have to be prudent about the hiring process," he adds.

Two other companies on the slippery road in terms of employee perception - Dell and State Bank of India - did not want to comment.

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