Nurturing human resources in a company helps both employer and employee as this promotes growth at the individual and company level. “We believe in clarity on fundamentals and a value-oriented approach that includes humility, respect, integrity, team spirit and speed shares, Vijay Sethi, CIO, Chief Human Resource Officer, and Head-CSR, Hero MotoCorp in an exclusive conversation with Careers360.
Careers360: Since 2001, Hero MotoCorp has been the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturing company. What kind of recruitment strategy for engineering manpower has it taken to maintain this position?
Vijay Sethi: We, at Hero MotoCorp, believe that one of the most important factors in our success is our ‘Human Capital’–the immensely talented pool of people that we have. We follow a balanced approach with an equal focus on hiring external candidates while identifying and nurturing the talent from within. For example, we assign various critical engineering functions to our internal people under the system of internal job postings. This provides immense opportunities for an engineer to grow and contribute within the Hero system.
Externally, we make campus recruitments of engineering graduates from Tier 1 institutes, including the IITs and NITs, as well as lateral hiring of experienced engineers. Our selection process involves psychometric and other evaluative tests to understand the skill, knowledge, aptitude and personality of the candidate. Equal and fair opportunity is provided to everyone, even as we aim to foster and promote diversity within the organisation.
Our unique induction and development programs help smoothen the assimilation process of fresh talent in the organisation. We also have tied up with some of the leading international institutes, including Wharton and Emeritus, where our managers are given global exposure.
Careers360: Hero MotoCorp’s key strategies are to build a robust product portfolio across categories. How does this impact talent acquisition?
Vijay Sethi: Technology and innovation are the two key enablers which ensure Hero MotoCorp is always ahead of the curve, thereby relentlessly consolidating its market leadership. All our new products are designed and developed by our in-house engineers at the world-class R&D facility, called the Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT) at Jaipur, Rajasthan. About 600 engineers–drawn from India, Germany, UK, Japan, Italy, France and Austria–are currently engaged in developing modern, technologically-superior motorcycles and scooters for our global markets, spread across 37 countries in Asia, Africa and South and Central America. This mix of Indian and global engineers ensure that we have the right talent positioned at the right places of our organisation structure. Wherever we feel the need of new skill or knowledge, we either develop the necessary capabilities internally or we go global in our talent search, as per the requirement. This is particularly the case when we are looking for skills and knowledge in niche areas.
Careers360: In what ways is Hero MotoCorp setting benchmarks in technology?
Vijay Sethi: Hero MotoCorp has now become synonymous with cutting-edge technology. We have always been early adopters of new trends to ensure that the best of technology gets delivered to our customers.
We are bringing out motorcycles and scooters with new technologies and innovations from CIT. To give an example, most of our products are now equipped with the Hero-patented i3S technology–which is an in-house developed innovation. The i3S is a stop-start feature, which automatically switches off the engine when idle and thereby also saves unnecessary fuel. Hero MotoCorp is the first manufacturer to bring this technology in two-wheelers in the country.
Careers360: What are the different pathways for an engineer?
Vijay Sethi: Hero MotoCorp believes in helping its employees realise their full potential. There are different paths available to an engineer–he or she can either choose to rotate through different functions, thereby growing up to take on the role of a general manager in future, or they can choose to gain deeper expertise in a specific work area and thus become specialists. Many of our Leadership Team members and senior executives in general management roles today are engineers. Hero needs general managers and specialists with an engineering background and we encourage our engineers by providing them such opportunities and developmental interventions.
Hero MotoCorp believes in encouraging its people through mentoring, development, global exposure and by offering different career paths. We offer best in class salaries and believe in providing employees with the best of opportunities to build a fulfilling career with the world’s largest two-wheeler brand. We also recently started an innovation cell where the brightest of employees get an opportunity to work in a start-up within the company.
Careers360: Are there any student outreach programmes to develop talent?
Vijay Sethi: We have several campus engagement programmes, including lecture series, internship programs, Hero MotoCorp factory tours, and the famous Hero Campus Challenge programme, which was started in 2014, and has already done three seasons. Hero thoroughly believes in understanding the views and ideas of students and budding managers.
Careers360: How can a student develop his/her portfolio to fit the bill?
Vijay Sethi: We believe that clarity on fundamentals and a value-oriented approach that includes humility, respect, integrity, team spirit, speed and sincerity are the key factors that are crucial for anyone to succeed at Hero MotoCorp. We also expect the student to have used his or her projects and internships well enough to gain the best possible knowledge and skills.
Careers360: Which domains of engineering are growing in demand at Hero MotoCorp?
Vijay Sethi: We are continuously creating new benchmarks and expanding to serve more and more customers. As such, we look at several domains of engineering, including mechanical, production, automobile engineering, paint, electrical, electronics, mechatronics and instrumentation, to name a few.
Careers360: What is the selection process for engineering positions?
Vijay Sethi: Hero MotoCorp pioneered the selection through a deep linear process. It looks at prior student achievements to begin with, followed by an online technical test, verbal ability, cognitive ability, group discussions, presentations, psychometric evaluation and a panel interview. Hero MotoCorp also provides opportunities to the best interns and the winners of the Hero Campus Challenge to appear for pre-placement interviews and be part of the Hero Family.
Careers360: What is unique about the work culture?
Vijay Sethi: Hero is the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer. In a short span of time, the company has expanded its global footprint to 37 countries across the world. The work culture at Hero, therefore, is truly global while retaining Indian values. Ethics, integrity, humility and respect of each other are some of the key elements of our culture at Hero MotoCorp.
We look at several domains of engineering, including mechanical, production, automobile engineering, electrical, electronics, mechatronics and instrumentation to name a few.
We follow a balanced approach with an equal focus on hiring external candidates while identifying and nurturing the talent from within.
About 600 engineers - drawn from India, Germany, UK, Japan, Italy, France and Austria - are currently engaged in developing modern, technologically-superior motor cycles and scooters