Pragya Joshi is an experienced Human Resource Professional with a demonstrated history of working in the Information Technology and Services Industry. She is the Global Recruitment Manager at Fusemachines Nepal Pvt. Ltd. She has also been involved as an HR professional in many reputed organizations like Daraz Nepal, LIS Nepal Pvt. Ltd., and Oxfam.
1. We'd like to start by asking about your professional background and how you ended yourself in HR.
I am currently engaged as the Global Recruitment Manager at Fusemachines Nepal Pvt. Ltd. Previously, I was associated as Junior People & Organization Manager at Daraz Kaymu Pvt. Ltd. I have been involved in the HR field for the past 6 years where I have unveiled and fortified my knowledge and expertise by experiencing the relevant practices involved in various industries.
I graduated from Kathmandu University School of Management specializing in Human Resource Management in January 2016. During my first year itself, I was sure that I wanted to explore this field so I gained both theoretical as well as the practical perspective of the HR functionalities in my MBA degree which built a strong foundation to shape my career in this field.
2. "Talent Acquisition" is a relatively new term in Nepal. What exactly does this imply? How is it different from the term "Recruitment"?
Talent acquisition is a strategic and proactive approach that focuses on long-term human resources planning. It emphasizes finding appropriate candidates for positions that require a very specific skill set as well as developing candidate pipelines to manage future staffing needs The long-term strategies include employer branding, internal mobility, and technologies to support the strategies, such as candidate relationship management, data analytics, etc. HR managers need to adopt this strategy to close the hard-to-fill vacancies.
Recruitment is rather a reactive approach which is a subset of talent acquisition. It uses sourcing strategies to close the specific vacant role with the best possible candidate. The strategies used for recruitment include posting job advertisements on company websites, online job portals, headhunting, and reaching out to specific candidates via LinkedIn.
Both recruitment and talent acquisition are subsets of HR and are important to successful talent management.
3. How have recruitment trends in Nepal changed in the previous five years, in your opinion?
In my opinion, the recruitment processes have evolved over the past five years. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter have proven to be very effective & efficient means to advertise job vacancies. The companies utilize this platform not only to post job vacancies but also for employer branding which in turn promotes their company amongst the prospective candidates. Social media portrays the work culture of the company and unique employee benefits which in turn encourages the candidates to apply for the vacancies.
Another popular approach is reaching out to talent acquisition companies to develop a talent pipeline and fulfill the vacancies. When companies need a prompt hiring service or bulk hiring service, they reach out to outsourcing HR agencies. The effort put in by such outsourcing agencies enables us to get the right person at the right time.
4. What are the most effective talent acquisition tactics you've seen in your career in Nepal? Could you share a few specific tools and strategies with us?
Recruit talents carefully & increase focus on retention
Invest in a quality applicant tracking system that incorporates an end-to-end recruitment process
Build talent pipelines focusing on the present as well as future needs
Focus on employer branding
Implement inbound recruiting
Proficient tactics to generate talent pool:
Post job vacancies on the company’s career page, online job portals, social media platforms (LinkedIn, job search Facebook groups, Instagram, etc)
LinkedIn Recruiter is also a very resourceful tactic
Introduce referral bonus to the existing employees
Participate in the job fairs organized by the recruitment agencies and College Placement fairs where we can find skilled & innovative talents.
5. What is the role of employer branding in a talent acquisition process?
Employer branding is about defining our unique employee value propositions and positioning our company as the employer of choice to the current employees as well as to the target group of the prospective talent pool. As an action, we need to be involved in instituting our company's values, work culture, and personality to ensure that they align with our ideal candidates' aspirations.
Visionary Recruiting Leader Matthew Jeffrey, Head of Global Sourcing and Employment Brand at SAP has rightly said, “Recruitment IS marketing. If you’re a recruiter nowadays and you don’t see yourself as a marketer, you’re in the wrong profession.” We need to democratize recruitment and put the talent, not the recruiters, in control of their own destiny.
Employer branding is an indispensable part of the talent acquisition process. A company is only as great as its people & great people want to be associated with leading brands. As an employer that wants to attract the best pool of talent, we need to compete in the market for acquiring the best talent. Employer branding has even proved to retain the best employees since it boosts the morale of the employees & they feel proud to be associated with strong brands. The companies with a weak employer brand report spending almost double on cost per hire than companies with a strong employer brand according to LinkedIn research. Thus, investing in employer branding directly impacts the reduction of cost per hire and also tailors the recruiting team to attract and improve the talent pool of applicants as well.
6. What are the best selection processes to make the hiring decisions?
I have listed the important steps to include in the selection process to make proficient hiring decisions:
Prepare a Precise Job Description & Post Jobs in Effective Platforms
Be precise while drafting the job description (include sections like about the company, why should you choose our company, about the role, job responsibilities, job specifications, perks of working in the company, how & by when to apply) and post the vacancy in the effective platforms (company career page, online job portals, LinkedIn, social media platforms, etc)
Develop Assessment Tests to Screen the Talents
We need to develop the work sample tests to evaluate the skill set of the talent. It will provide us with a strong basis to move the talent to the next stage.
Discover Talent on Unique Job Boards
In order to identify the talent pool, we need to dive deeper and start sourcing. LinkedIn Recruiter is one of the best sources for discovering job seekers that fit your needs. Also, we can search for the talent in the Facebook group pages & also place our job advertisements for greater visibility.
Streamline the Background Check Strategy
We need to adopt a background check as one of the mandatory steps before we finalize the talent since it helps to pinpoint the strengths & areas of improvement. It will support the hiring decision.
Start Hiring for Attitude and Training for Skills
We need to prioritize teamwork, flexibility & work ethics over expertise and technical skills while making hiring decisions. It will help in building dynamic teams which can be trained & groomed as per the work culture of our company.
Use Tools to Eliminate Bias and Boost Efficiency
We need to use AI-based platforms focusing on automating screening, optimizing selection, and eliminating bias from the recruitment process.
Gather and Analyse Feedback Through Experience Surveys
Candidate experience surveys can be an effective tool to improve the talent acquisition process
Focus on Onboarding Process
Onboarding the talent is one of the important steps of talent acquisition strategy which needs to be devised carefully.
7. Can you share some challenges in Talent Acquisition in Nepal?
I believe that sourcing the candidates having the right skill set, retaining the employees, recruiting for new jobs are the major challenges in Talent Acquisition in Nepal. As the recruitment trends have been evolving, we need to move beyond transitional recruiting.
8. What are the Ethical and Legal Considerations in the recruitment and selection of new employees?
The Ethical considerations in the recruitment and selection of new employees include the following:
being authentic while posting a job advertisement
maintaining confidentiality throughout the recruitment process
ensuring that identical questions are asked to all candidates during the interview
evaluating the applicants on the basis of the same criteria
confirming with the applicants if their family or friends work for the same business
The Legal considerations in the recruitment and selection of new employees include the following:
Gender reassignment & Sexual orientation.
Race (including color, nationality, ethnic origin, and national origin)
Religion or belief (including comparable philosophical beliefs and non-belief)
Being married or in a civil partnership
Being pregnant or having a child
During urgent hiring requirements, the Talent Acquisition Managers can reach out to the consulting firms for headhunting services. Such firms have resume repositories and better networking which will cater to finding the right talent within a short span of time. When we need prompt hiring service or bulk hiring service, such firms make our job easy by supplying us with the necessary resources. Choosing an HR Consulting Firm gives us the advantage of providing experienced HR support without the expense of implementing an onsite HR department.
10. Finally, do you have any skill sets or other advice that you would recommend to someone who wants to work as a talent acquisition specialist in Nepal?
The field of talent acquisition is booming in Nepal. Many companies have started hiring talent acquisition specialists so one has to inculcate specific knowledge, skills & abilities to fit in the competitive job market.
In terms of knowledge, one needs to be aware of the labor law and general HR policies followed in the company, and be updated about the recruitment tactics & strategies followed in the companies with high retention percentages.
In terms of skills, one needs to be well-versed with the current HR software (especially recruitment software), LinkedIn Recruiter, Microsoft Excel to deliver reports related to hiring metrics, should have planning, organizing, relationship building, interpersonal, time management, and teamwork skills.
In terms of ability, one needs to be a quick learner (learn how to use updated versions or new versions of HR systems or software), able to adapt to unexpected pressures and varying job demands, work independently, and should have multitasking abilities.
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