Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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No need of grey hair to bag that mgmt role

You may not have a long wait to occupy the manager’s seat. Organisations are placing big bets on young, homegrown candidates who have the potential for senior roles, even if they aren’t 100% ready. As a result, younger employees are pitching for manager roles and companies are more than willing to hand over to high-potentials early responsibilities.
At a large-cap firm, two out of three senior leadership roles were filled internally with employees who were not fully ready but had the potential to grow. In another instance, Alkem Laboratories gave an opportunity to an employee to occupy a position which is typically held by a person two levels higher.
“I don’t think anyone is 100% ready,” said Neha Pant, associate director (knowledge & advisory) at the HR association, SHRM India. She added, “Whether you get persons from outside or grow them from within, you need to give them those learning opportunities so that they can perform their role better. Even when a company is hiring from outside, and if it’s for a role that requires niche skills, you will not get a perfect match. You will have to give that person the opportunity to learn and upskill.”
Megha Goel, CHRO at Godrej Properties (GPL), said, “Employees today want to have more active conversations about their careers. If they are told what’s required for them to become the head of a business vertical, they are willing to try out those roles. Employees do tend to take such calls about their careers early on and we have career-development conversations with employees. The notion that only a few can make it to the top is fast changing.” Over the last two years, out of five senior leadership roles that got vacant at GPL, four were filled internally, said Goel.
S V Nathan, partner and chief talent officer at Deloitte India, said with opportunities aplenty, organisations feel there’s greater confidence in promoting people early even if they are 65-70% ready than bringing in an outsider. “It demonstrates the commitment to developing leaders from within,” he said. But he added, “Wherever there is change needed, an outside leader could be a better bet.”
However, raw leadership talent would also require time and some hand-holding to ripen. Rajorshi Ganguli, president and global HR head at Alkem Laboratories, said when companies give early responsibilities to in-house talent, these need to be backed with support and confidence. “Companies should not only motivate them but also provide a guiding light, which can help them succeed. This will give people the time to stand firmly on their feet,” said Ganguli.
The time companies give a young manager to provide results would depend on the criticality of the role, said Sunit Sinha, partner and head of people, performance & culture at KPMG India. “When you give responsibility to someone who is not 100% there, it is also important to give that person 6-12 months to settle down. As time goes by, the person’s ability and productivity would also go up,” he said.
But it’s equally important to create a design around the process. “You just cannot throw the individual in the deep end of the pool and then ask the person to swim. We communicate that this is a joint ownership of the individual, the firm and the ecosystem to ensure success,” said Sinha. Additionally, he said organisations should measure what needs to get done and have a plan B in place just in case things don’t work out. “I would say design a plan, because it may seem very basic, but often it’s the basics that we miss out on,” said Sinha.
Candidates have high ambitions as well and their eyes are peeled on leadership roles. “Every candidate who joins an organisation feels they have the capabilities to reach a leadership role and our job as a company is to facilitate that by offering them the right interventions and coaching. If we feel that a person may not be 100% ready for a role but has the potential, we support that candidate through such interventions so that they can take on senior roles earlier in their career,” said Goel.
A key advantage of choosing internal candidates is them being well versed with the organisational culture and being able to easily network with peers.



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