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Downturn is the time to attract young talent: D&B

June 15, 2009 12:55 IST

The country's leading companies came together recently to discuss the HR challenges thrown at them in the backdrop of the global meltdown at a seminarĀ  'HR challenges -- coping with the economic downturn,' organised by Dun & Bradstreet, along with the Union Bank of India.

The seminar also shared measures undertaken to revive the confidence of employees. Preeta Misra, head, financial education solutions, Dun & Bradstreet -- India, said, "The economic downturn has opened up opportunities for companies in India, as with the decrease in the attrition rate of employees, companies can now have the crucial talent they need. They can identify and build leaders for tomorrow and set up efficient internal processes in place to build the future growth."

Emphasising on the significance of people management in the time of economic slowdown, Neeta Wadhwani, general manager -- HR, Zydus Group & Cadila Healthcare, added, "HR faces challenges according to the downturn effects on the business. Actually, in this downturn situation, one should not think of layoffs or cutoffs, but should think on reviving HR strategies or rethinking business strategies."

Discussing his views on the various measures that can be taken by HR managers, K R Pillai, deputy general manager, Union Bank of India said, "This is the time to attract young talent in the industry, we too are also looking for the same. We are targeting to cater our integrated services to salary sectors and corporates. We believe one should face the economic downturn by adopting longterm survival policies and should not take steps hastily without analysing the challenges."

Speaking on the HR challenges faced in the banking industry, V A Mendonsa, general manager, Union Bank of India, said, "HR managers should take the initiative to counsel the financial management of the organisation."

According to Sanjay Kumar, general manager, Hitachi Home and Life Solution (India) Ltd, "Cost consciousness is the habitor culture; it's not a reactor. Actually, employee cost is not an overhead, it is a long term investment which goes on till the employee performs. We should not over react when the upturn is in limits."

While speaking on the education industry, Nischal Mahajan, dean, IIPM, said, "I would suggest adopting the re-skill/ up-skill strategy time-to-time, so that the existing employees can cope up with the downturn situations with an advanced education skill. Then organisations will also use integrated talent management to align business. Now-a-days, SMEs are also adopting and finding innovative ways to face downturn challenges which are possible through the re-skill process."

Dun & Bradstreet, a leading source of global business information, knowledge and insight, has a global commercial database containing more than 140 million business records.

BS Reporter in Mumbai, Ahmedabad