Interview with Uddipona Baruah, Talent Acquisition Partner at Granicus
Uddipona Baruah is a Talent Acquisition Partner at Granicus, an international organization that connects people and government with a unified experience that integrates website, online services, digital communications. She has previously worked with Taylor & Francis, Yatra, and Flipkart. Uddipona is also a graduate of the Institute for Technology & Management, Khargar.
Dhrishni Thakuria, Marketing Manager at TurboHire, recently had a quick catch-up with Uddipona as she discussed candidly her approach to hiring and HR management and the dynamics that have come about in hiring since the pandemic.
1. Hi Uddipona! Greetings from TurboHire. How is the current global pandemic shaping your day-to-day work?
Hey Dhrishni! Thanks for having me here. It’s certainly been different – more challenging and exciting for sure having to adapt quickly and change working styles and policies and processes overnight and implement them. Definitely been longer working hours – being a people job, having to connect with everyone virtually takes more time. But I think we are in a good place now and day-to-day work has shaped up well without much negative impact.
2. What is your management style like?
I would say it is a combination of the best of both worlds – a collaborative and a transformational management style.
3. What do you like best about working as an HR?
HR is not about being just the face of the organization but being an HR, you have the power to change a person’s life. You can bring out the best in someone and you can bring the best out of an organization as well.
There is nothing like being able to contribute to shaping the growth of a company or a person in a positive manner. Plus, being a social person, keeps me occupied as well! Hence a balance of productive work with a certain level of fun produces the best combination!
4. How flexible is your role in your company? Do you see any specific distinctions between your current organization and the organizations you’ve worked in the past with Taylor & Francis, Flipkart and Yatra?
Definitely flexible. But I guess the flexibility does depend from company to company based on their culture and work ethics. It would be wrong of me to compare really – each organization is different and special in its own way and you can always get some learning out of wherever you are.
5. What are your views on job elimination and internal recruitment?
Job elimination can be and should be eliminated! Companies can come up with different strategies to ensure there is job security for everyone.
Internal recruitment is a must. Every company should be able to give that opportunity for growth to their employees – this helps not just in the personal & professional growth of the employee creatively, but also saves in hiring & training costs and contributes to healthy employee retention.
6. How do you deal with an unethical situation within an organization?
This depends on what kind of an unethical situation it really is. But as a rule of thumb, gather all facts, listen to both parties in an unbiased manner & do a proper investigation before making any kind of a decision. This is especially intrinsic to HR managers.
7. What ongoing hiring trends are you following in your HR team?
Virtual is the keyword! Everything is being done virtually today with the help of technology – from hiring to onboarding to exit. We are ensuring to give the best candidate experience and have also implemented a virtual experience plan for everyone in my current organization.
Even employee engagement has become creative & all festivities are celebrated online. The use of data-driven hiring and leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to boom in the HR field in the next few years.
8. What differences do you face between working in an office environment and working remotely?
We are all ultimately social animals. Lack of human contact, water cooler conversations which used to keep the motivation up and engage all employees has gone down drastically. People are always stressed or tired – no reason in particular.
Work timings have drastically changed and working styles have become more formal than ever before. Tougher to keep the culture intact surely but like I mentioned, I guess we are all getting used to it. 😊
9. Does your company prefer automated hiring solutions?
Automation is the need of the hour for HR. So, yes we automate our recruitment process up to a certain extent. But we also ensure to keep the human touch intact.
10. How long does a recruitment drive last at Granicus?
We try to close positions at the earliest because vacancy means that there is a dire need for a certain type of skill in a team. But if we need to wait for the right candidate, we do wait. It ultimately comes down to how pressing is the need to close a certain position.
11. What problems does Granicus face during recruitment?
Being a technology-driven business, the market is always buzzing and open. It takes a lot to get the right candidate. The competition is way high today and as an HR, I need to adapt and change recruitment strategies at a fast pace to keep up and not lose out on potential candidates.
Human engagement is of utmost importance – that is the key to engaging the candidates and letting them know we will take care of them not just as employees, but as family members.
Lastly, what advice would you give to other HR professionals?
The Human Resource department is more often responsible for upholding the morale, rights, and best interests of each member of an organization.
You need to value your employees above all.
At times you may feel like it is a thankless job but it really is not. You are what shapes the company’s culture. You are who people lean on. Hence it is important for HR to stay updated, involved, resilient, adaptable, and fierce. But always keep your heart open and full of empathy. It works like magic!