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For decades, India’s largest FMCG company, Hindustan Unilever (HUL), with sales of 50,333 crore, has been a sought-after day entrant on B school campuses. What makes the company the preferred employer of the future for generations? The secret lies in constantly innovating policies to keep up with the times, says Anuradha Razdan, Executive Director, Human Resources (HR). “We’ve always focused on bringing amazing talent to this business. We believe it’s important to have an employer brand that is relevant, grounded in business reality and aligned with the aspirations of today’s and tomorrow’s talent,” she adds.

The two years of the pandemic have helped HUL review its talent hiring process to make it more rigorous. As hybrid work culture has become a way of life, the company is experimenting with employment models that Razdan believes would give it a distinct advantage in attracting talent. The You Work program allows employees to take on project-based roles. “They have to work at least six weeks but can do it on their own schedule. We give them the flexibility not only to customize their work, but also the security of pensions, medical care, etc.,” explains Razdan.

The other initiative is “Open To You”, a kind of gig model. “We want to bring in high caliber talent and have access to skills of the future, like digital specialists who don’t have to work for us full-time. We hired someone who is an expert in disability. We have access to highly qualified talent and they are flexible. This helps us attract talent and give people the choices they want,” says Razdan.

Comprehensive technology

The company was one of the first to move its hiring process to digital platforms when the pandemic hit in 2020. That, Razdan says, helped overcome several unconscious biases, thereby making the selection process more scientific. The company uses platforms like LinkedIn not only to strengthen its employer branding, but also to reach a broader talent pool that isn’t necessarily among the top business schools. “We’ve seen a 30 percent growth in our LinkedIn followers,” claims Razdan.

Technology has also enabled HUL to target talent early, even before they make it to B-Schools. The company has developed a digital algorithm that allows it to target the top 1,000 business school candidates who passed the Common Admission Tests. “We start connecting with them so we can build a relationship,” says Razdan.

The company is also looking for Indian students who have gone abroad to study. “There has been an exponential increase in Indian students going abroad for higher studies, so we use the best schools and look at students who are passionate about coming back and pursuing a career in India,” adds Razdan.

Sybil Alvarez

"Incurable gamer. Infuriatingly humble coffee specialist. Professional music advocate."

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