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In conversation with Vipin Sharma

In conversation with Vipin Sharma

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This episode of Mocha Sips is brought to you by iMocha. This is a series where we talk with experts and pick their brains to figure out what's working and what's not in the world of HR.
Head of Human Capital Management, VT Netzwelt

A new hire is always exciting.

One can sense the excitement, not just within the recruiting team but also within the hiring team. There is anticipation and skepticism but mainly hope.

But then there is this one devil.

A devil so powerful that not only does it kill the excitement, hopes, and dreams, but it also plays a role in delaying projects and affecting the bottom line of the organization.

The devil of "Attrition."

Attrition is hugely prevalent in IT Services organizations. But you know that already.

I recently spoke to Vipin Sharma, the Head of Human Capital Management at VT Netzwelt. During this interview, Vipin helped me understand the effects of attrition and the preventive measures for the same.

But, but, but, the common man perhaps misunderstands attrition. As every recruitment team knows, attrition does not always come into the picture after the employee has joined. Attrition is actually divided into 4 levels -

  • Level 1 - Attrition before the offer
  • Level 2 - Attrition after the offer but before joining
  • Level 3 - Attrition on the joining date
  • Level 4 - Attrition within 3 months of joining

In this article, we will focus on level 1 attrition, and going ahead, we will cover the remaining 3 levels of attrition in IT Service organizations.

Level 1 - Attrition before the offer

Level  1 attrition happens when the candidate has been screened and shortlisted, but the deal's called off when the team is on the verge of making an offer.

This may happen because of the following reasons -

  1. The candidate disappears for unknown reasons.
  2. The candidate chooses to join another organization.
  3. There are issues with the internal dynamics of the offer.
  4. There is a branding issue in the organization.
  5. The candidate has personal issues.

According to Vipin, it is the recruiter's responsibility if this type of attrition happens.

"Maybe the recruiter was not confident enough. Maybe the recruiter had the pressure of deadlines and hence made commitments that he couldn't follow up," said Vipin.

This goes back to "accountability" and "care." I have written previously on this. It almost seems that the recruiter needs to have tremendous accountability. And that accountability should be complemented with care - care not just for the organization but also for the candidates.

Notice period and hiring yesterday

One of the major challenges in reducing attrition at this level is the conflict between 2 things - The notice period that the candidate's organization has and the immediate requirement of the hiring organization.

Just to elaborate on this point further, the organization that wants to hire the candidate is under the pressure of completing projects. The direct stakeholder in this project is the hiring manager, who, in turn, exerts pressure on the recruitment team.

Owing to this pressure, the hiring IT Services organization wants to hire the candidate "yesterday."

As exciting as "hiring yesterday" sounds, the biggest challenge is the notice period. On average, the notice period of 2 to 3 months is pretty standard.

How to deal with this?

Well, brace yourself and tighten your seatbelts.

What I am about to say is going to sound unconventional and uncomfortable.


Okay, okay. Here I go -

The way of dealing with this is being a little "irrational." Irrational in this context doesn't refer to being erratic. Irrational means that the recruiter cannot be 'realistic' and succumb to the industry standard. If the recruiter decides to patiently wait for the notice period to play out because that is the industry standard, then that is very rational but extremely ineffective.

The recruiter cannot afford to say, "It is impossible for the candidate to join sooner than 3 months."

Rather than settling for the norm, the recruiter can ask himself, "Okay, how can I make this happen?

For example, if a candidate is feeling uncomfortable in his existing organization, he is already looking for ways to make an exit. And in some cases, even the company wants to let them go. If the company feels that the person is not going to be productive for the next 3 months, they don't want to keep him. Now, this is an opportunity.

How can the talent acquisition team capitalize on this?

But doors like these open only when the recruiter is willing to challenge the status quo - only when the recruiter refuses to settle on the norm, only when he acts a little irrationally.

Salary expectations and how stories matter

Matching salary expectations can be a real pain.

If the recruiter is simply selling the salary approved by the manager, then he is going to struggle.

"If the recruiter understands the offer and the salary structure from the perspective of the organization, and can forecast and elaborate on the actual benefits the candidate can get in the long run, they would be successful in getting the candidate interested," Vipin said to me.

In the next article, we will talk about how recruiters can weave better stories and package open positions more effectively.

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