Interview with Soma Pandey, CHRO, Firstsource Solutions Ltd

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Soma Pandey, CHRO, Firstsource Solutions Ltd

We had a quick chat with Soma Pandey, CHRO, Firstsource Solutions Ltd about what the future of talent management looked like according to her.

  1. How do you keep your company talent updated in this ever-changing digital economy? 

We are very proud of how closely our HR team is integrated with the business and function leaders – translating market changes to business strategy, which flows into HR strategy and the Talent plan. Over the last few years, we have invested heavily in building capabilities in Robotics, Analytics and digital – both by training internal talent as well as hiring from the market. For employees, we are focused on making learning relevant, real-time and reachable. We firmly believe that digital is the way for us – be it access to information on our intranet, e-learning and virtual classrooms or using applications for varied purposes, we understand that to manage in the digital world, we have to learn to work digital. We also ensure that our capability building agenda is focused on helping our people be future-ready to deal with this digital world.

  1. What role do you think technology plays in talent management? How can technology bring about a change in the talent management lifecycle?

Technology is already playing a large role in managing the talent lifecycle – this includes HR analytics and automation. Right from predicting real-time feedback on employees regarding their performance, learning and engagement to predicting what profiles are likely to stay longer and perform better to figuring out what is keeping employees engaged and motivated, to picking up early indicators of dissatisfaction and attrition – are all areas where technology can, and is making a difference.

This performance cycle, we used our copyright product called FirstCustomer Insight –  an analytical tool to generate customer insights – to analyse employee performance data to identify areas where we need to focus our development efforts to help employees enhance performance. We have done extensive automation in HR Shared services to have a seamless experience through various stages of employee lifecycle. So, technology has moved beyond just being the database management tool and is helping in every aspect of Talent Management.

  1. How much do you think talent management will change over the next five years? What are the milestones in this space you would look forward to achieving over the next 5 years?

I am very excited about how things will move in the next few years. But I think it would be counterproductive to make five year plans when things change every minute…. One thing is for sure, we will continue to invest in our systems and culture to ensure we are agile and future-ready! This means, sustaining a stable core which drives productivity and strategic alignment across the organisation, while also encouraging employees to be innovative and take risks. Our first Innovate programme – which drives creation and evaluation of innovative ideas will be something that we will continue to bank upon!

Automation and Analytics, are areas where Firstsource is doing some very interesting work for our clients, and I am sure all of this will also impact HR. And that’s not just how HR can use these to create more impact but also the work we will be doing to help people navigate the impact of these changes.

  1. What are the strategies you employ to upskill your workforce?

We believe that employees own their learning and our job as an organisation is to provide them opportunities to learn and upskill. We do this through training, coaching and mentoring, job rotations, secondments, nominations to cross functional projects etc. that allow people to upskill not only in their functional area but also to cross-skill so they are more fungible and can move across organisation. We are also working closely with our industry body – NASSCOM, to move the BPM industry towards a more relevant and standardised curriculum and certifications to elevate the capability of the industry as a whole.

Profile:

Soma Pandey is a dynamic HR leader with rich global experience, driving impact as a strategic business partner. Soma is currently the Chief HR Officer at Firstsource Solutions Ltd., where she is responsible for actualising the Peoplefirst agenda in line with transformative business strategy. Prior to Firstsource, she was the Chief People Officerand Talent Architect for Randstad India – playing an instrumental role in building an effective leadership team with a robust succession plan, laying the foundation of a high performance culture and driving employee engagement. With an enriching career spanning several roles at Accenture, Mastek and ITC Ltd, Soma enjoys being at the forefront of organization change. She is a strong champion of inclusion and diversity in the workplace and involves herself with issues relating to women in leadership.

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