Has it become difficult to attract young HR professionals to IR/plant roles?
May 25, 2016 at 6:56 am #5039
May 25, 2016 at 12:28 pm #5042
Topic has been relevant as always during our career of last 27 years more so during recent times.At our times of starting career in 1989 there were less employment opportunities hence any role in Plant including that of IR for all PM professionals were nothing sort of dream start as it contained visibility moreso the perceived power in the company enjoyed by IR professionals.Post liberlisation and with influx of IT/ITes and service sectors the young generations started getting attracted to swanky offices and more settled job roles without hassles of managing expectations of Trade union leaders,Government authorities,Long term settlements,organised protests and dealing with grass root employees etc.Flexible working hours,fun and frolic at workplace added to the sheen of work life which were far different from weary and deary look and feel of factories which always appeared to be rigid in implementing rules and working conditions.Then came the 2001 US attack followed by recession and job losses and thereafter another economic meltdown in 2008-09 where huge no.of job losses occured more so in sunrise and service sectors.During such times manufacturing industries particulary Automobile,Core Sectors,FMCG etc have done reasonably fine and employees did not suffer as much in these sectors.Meanwhile manufacturing companies also learnt the art of employer branding and started to implement some of the best practices as implemented in IT/service sectors.In between 2005 to 2012 Automobile cos.such as Honda,Pricol,Grazianno and Maruti faced violence in and around workplace and few executives lost lives.Around 2012 we all thought that it would be very difficult to recruit Young Gen Y workforce to the plants as above incidents would deter them to be away from it.But to our utter surprise during campuses for GETs and MTs candidates wanted to work in palnt roles especially in the plants where violence/problems occured.We found girls were even more keen to work on shopfloor roles and IR.This came as very pleasant surprise but soon we realise present Gen Y looks for challenges and excitement at workplace even more therefore looking for such roles.Also new manufacturing plants are now state of art and very different from earlier ones,one of the best in country is Heromotocorp Ltd,Neemrana Plant which is based on theme of “Manufacturing Happiness”.Even at the in augration of plant a troop from Bhutan had performed where they measure happiness is part of GDP.There are many other examples of such plants in the country.
Therefore I think present day generation is not averse to plant role primarily coz of their psychological DNA of challenge orientation , also Manufacturing companies have learnt the art of “Manufacturing happiness”.
May 30, 2016 at 10:55 am #5071
Quite an insightful answer Mr. Ratan Agrawal. It’s great to know that a lot of women employees are also wanting to work in the shop floor. And guess, you are right when you say that the factories these days are also changing with their infrastructure and hence catering to the challenging young professionals of the country.
In some ways, being a plant HR head was the first of its kind HR Business Partner with ever evolving dynamics of workmen and internal stakeholders.
I’m tempted to relate the IR roles v/s Corporate roles to cricket. Many would get lured with quick returns innings of a T20 match, but the real cricketers are those who have played and succeeded at Test cricket. Similarly, while many may like to explore corporate roles which offers quicker visibility to efforts but the tough characters are those who have invested in building a long term future for a company by investing in workmen relations and understood labour laws of the land.
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