L&T Technology Services says engineering and innovation drives the mantra for recruiting new talent

M Lakshmanan, Head of Human Resources at L&T Technology Services, talks about the company’s recruitment process, the importance of increasing productivity, motivating the workforce, and caring for high-potential employees to meet the corporate and individual growth path.

What are the key skills you look for when hiring new graduates?

While qualifications and degrees are an important part of our hiring process, here at L&T Technology Services (LTTS) we also place great emphasis on soft skills such as innovation, curiosity, a passion to deliver, productivity in the workplace and attitude.

Engineering and innovation are embedded in our DNA. As an organization focused on ER&D services and technology-based innovation, our focus is on leveraging promising and passionate talent that can create breakthrough disruptions.

We are always looking for innovators and skilled engineers who can solve industry-specific problems, especially in healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and telecommunications.

What skills and qualities are you looking for in workshop workers?

LTTS is a leader in Facilities Engineering services and solutions and works with leading global manufacturers to provide end-to-end solutions in design, engineering, project management and handover operation and maintenance.

Our engineer team also delivers custom digital solutions throughout the plant lifecycle. As a result, we seek best-in-class engineers with experience and expertise in various areas of the shop floor, such as automated project lifecycle management, facility simulation services, facility maintenance, machine safety, and digital engineering services.

We offer digital training on corporate needs, covering topics such as vision, mission, philosophy, management expectation and on-time production. We also provide technical training on the manufacturing industry.

What are the various types of training or qualifications applicable to your company when hiring new talent?

At LTTS, we consider at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, as engineers make up the majority of our workforce. Advancement in digital technologies combined with expertise in health and genomics has helped increase work efficiency.

These developments are redefining how services are delivered and contributing to better living standards for millions of people and our global customers.

In the last five years alone, there has been a growing demand for skilled professionals in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), natural language processing, robotics and blockchain.

We encourage and help prepare our engineers to become the next talented generation of professionals. Our employees can access research on advanced technology and its applications anytime and anywhere.

What challenges do you face when recruiting new talent?

The industry is currently facing dual problems of talent shortage and attrition. As we are an ER&D Services provider, the capability we are looking for is often different and distinct from regular IT Services. Given our versatile presence, we often look for talented engineers in various fields such as VLSI, Autosar, ML, NLP, Embedded frameworks, Asset Lifecycle Management and others.

We need to make sure the candidate has the necessary experience and technical skills for the role. In addition, the dual issues of talent shortage and attrition are something the industry is addressing and reconciling.

Do you think there is a gap between academia and the industry? How can this be bridged?

Thanks to the Academy, interdisciplinary courses are now included in the curriculum. These courses are well designed for the talent pool to help companies meet their business requirements.

There is also space for the industry to contribute more to the academic community. Partnerships and cooperation in strategically important areas are the need of the day. Developing professionals in digital engineering would also be a welcome step towards securing India’s position as a leading hub for talent.

Stronger collaboration between industries and educational institutions through initiatives such as internships and faculty training programs can bridge the existing gap.

An ecosystem of excellence must be created where tech companies, industry organizations and academia come together to create disruptive technologies for the future.

At LTTS, we have recently partnered with several leading academic institutions such as IIT-Madras, IIT-Gandhinagar and Pandit Deen Dayal University for various programs in advanced technologies. For example, we signed a MoU with IIT Madras to provide technical and financial support to IIT Madras’ Hyperloop project. LTTS will help students at IIT Madras innovate in the Hyperloop environment.

What are you doing to attract, train and retain young professionals?

LTTS’s Global Academy of Engineering (GEA) is an institution that has left its mark as an integral part of the growth of our engineer fraternity. A one-of-a-kind initiative, GEA trains and equips our young workforce with the latest technologies and skills to prepare them for critical client projects around the world.

Through GEA, we have created a platform where young engineers can expect early engagement and continuing online training (before initial training) followed by an intensive three-month classroom session taught in groups.

Created in 2020, GEA’s goal is to create a technology education ecosystem and continually evolve LTTS as a ‘Learning Organization’. The 25-member team has so far trained more than 3,000 new students and facilitated more than 9,800 skills development programs for experienced engineers.

GEA has also played an important role in facilitating various links with leading global and national universities and operates several client-focused academies within the LTTS. The training provided by our GEA is a major attraction for engineering talent, and the continuing learning opportunity LTTS is known for is a key retention factor for young professionals.

What is your recruitment goal for FY23?

As is the trend in the industry, refreshers make up the bulk of our overall recruiting. We hired more than 3,000 new hires last year and are expected to hire similar numbers in FY2023.

Our goal is to enable us to recruit the brightest minds and train them to excel in their roles and responsibilities at LTTS, while expanding our talent pool.

Are engineering professionals working in industries such as two-wheelers and parts manufacturers likely to switch to passenger/commercial vehicle manufacturing companies and vice versa?

One of the key value propositions of LTTS is Crosspollinovation, or the ability of one segment to leverage the skills of another segment. The core of Crosspollinovation is supported by the versatile technical training provided by GEA, which paves the way for our high potential engineers to be deployed on different customer projects.

Alongside cross-skills, we’ve tackled a range of complex business issues by offering professionals and their customers the best value proposition. These steps helped talented engineers migrate to different industries with the relevant skills needed to make the move.

Are there any additional training programs or courses you include to enhance your current workforce?

Our GEA offers every employee the chance to develop or cross-skill and further training to reach their potential. Alongside our GEA, our Organization Development and Effectiveness (OD&E) offers employees strategic programs to develop their management skills and become future leaders.

The OD&E team strives to – Provide role-based training to develop competencies to increase employee performance and organizational productivity.

The Leaders League program encourages leadership development and succession planning to ensure a leadership pipeline is built and internal talent is developed.

This is done by creating competency-based development journeys strategies based on career stages, and by promoting and leveraging technology to improve and enhance individual and corporate learning, performance and growth.

Build management capability to increase effectiveness through role-based training aligned with different business units.

How do you ensure you can retain your hard-working employees? Are financial incentives the only way to motivate employees?

In my 30+ years of HR experience, what truly motivates an employee to stay with the company is finding his calling and inspiration through the organization. It is the responsibility of the organization and HR to plan a long-term career path for promising employees so that their long-term aspirations are properly addressed.

LTTS has a tight engagement plan to retain high potential employees. We liaise with the heads of our organization to accelerate individual employee career development plans by creating an action plan for employee retention. We then connect with our invaluable employees to find out how they view their career growth and what they need to be successful in their profession so that their potential career advancement is followed quickly.

This helps us create a relevant and employee-specific action plan that assists them in their career goals, addresses and potentially resolves issues they may encounter. The final step of the employee retention process involves interacting with Delivery Unit teams to create, deploy and monitor process progress and status.

While monetary incentives are important, we believe in an overall career development. That’s why we value creating a holistic environment for our employees that focuses on helping them achieve their career goals.

What are the policies you implement to ensure a healthy work-life balance for your employees?

Our world is accelerating as connectivity evolves and grows. Busy work schedules and personal lifestyles make the need for a healthy work-life balance more affordable than ever. Devoting time to family and personal development results in the successful professional development of our employees. LTTS’ policies and initiatives are designed to rejuvenate employees both personally and professionally.

Leave Policy: We encourage employees to use 50% of the leaves they deserve in the same calendar year, especially in the Covid-19 period, due to the increase in their use of compulsory leave to 75% and the stress it creates afterwards.

Flexi Working: We have implemented the Flexi-Time Working Policy to provide flexible working hours for our employees. This allows our employees to choose their working hours to adapt to their personal circumstances without affecting their work.

The pandemic has shown that human health and corporate success go hand in hand. We realized that traditional ways of working, for example the ‘fixed 9 to 5, Monday to Friday’ job will no longer work. We understand that strategic agility is critical to ensuring overall organizational success in these times of crisis.

We have adopted and optimized the changing times to develop the Work Anywhere (WFX) framework. With multiple offices in multiple cities, LTTS employees now have the option to work from any LTTS office in any location based on their job requirements.

Thanks to the flexibility and agility offered by this hybrid model, we have been able to maintain a high level of productivity to meet not only the well-being of our employees but also customer outputs.

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