“Diversity and inclusion is at the core of our winning strategy”: HR Works at Dell

August 27, 20158:00 am2953 views

Through an exclusive interview with Vijay Bharadwaj, Vice President – Human Resources, Dell APJ (Asia Pacific Japan) region, we provide insights on how HR works at Dell.

  • Take us through the HR interview selection and candidate screening process at Dell?

Dell’s hiring program ensures that we have stringent selection measures in place to ensure we hire only the best. We use Competency-Based Interviewing (CBI) as a key component of the candidate selection process. The premise behind competency-based interviewing is that the candidate’s past performance is the best predictor of future performance in similar situations.

There are four distinct behavioural models: Executive, Manager/Professional, Relationship Sales and Individual Contributor. Each of these models comprises multiple sets of competency-based interview questions depending on the level of the candidate.

An assessment for Dell culture fitment is also conducted as part of the HR interview process. Our Dell Competency Model provides the behaviours, skills, and capabilities required to drive business success and outlines Dell’s expectations for the transferrable skills that all team members should develop to achieve their aspirations, in alignment with Dell’s strategic goals. We also use tools like Hogan assessment for evaluation.

  • What are the talent acquisition and retention strategies followed at Dell, when it comes to hiring best talent and retaining them in India and Asia Pacific markets?

Talent acquisition has increasingly shifted to online from traditional methods of finding talent. We have incorporated the social element into every aspect of finding and attracting the best talent to Dell. We have a strong employer brand presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Glassdoor, SlideShare, etc.

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We have combined followers of over 1.53 million across these platforms. Through these social media platforms, we advertise various job opportunities, share company updates, insider recruiter tips, and showcase our vibrant work culture. By embracing social recruitment, we have a richer talent pool, faster time to hire, better referrals, etc.

Our employee referral program has a social sharing aspect, enabling every team member to instantly reach out to their social networks – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Our Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is also constantly amplified through creative and innovative campaigns and posted on all social media networks.

In fact, we recently crossed 1 million followers on LinkedIn. Our ‘Primp Your Profile’ and Social Media and Communities (SMAC) programme enables every Dell team member to become advocates of Dell online and thus enhances our Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

  • What are the recent initiatives taken by the company for better employee engagement?

India has the largest Dell workforce outside of US with more than 27,000 team members. This covers sales and marketing, manufacturing, services, R&D, customer support, Dell IT. In short, all the functions across Dell are replicated in India.

Our constant endeavour has been to engage with employees to give them a great and consistent Dell experience. There are various Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) in place at Dell such as ‘Women in Search of Excellence (WISE)’ ‘Gen X’, ‘Planet’, ‘True Ability’, etc.

Vijay Bharadwaj, Vice President- Human Resources, Dell APJ

Vijay Bharadwaj, Vice President- Human Resources, Dell APJ Region

Based on respective interests, the employees can nominate themselves and be part of these Employee Resource Groups, which enrich them at a personal level and help them contribute to the society.

Dell also has a robust CSR program, under which employee volunteerism plays a crucial part. Employees and businesses come together to contribute to the larger good of the society. In our experience, common social causes are effective in bringing people together.

More importantly, Dell has a strong employee feedback mechanism through an annual survey called as “Tell Dell” which is one of our signature processes. Through this anonymous survey, employees are encouraged to share their feedback based on experiences. Action plans on findings of ‘Tell Dell’ are taken seriously and actions are implemented across the organization.

  • What are the efforts made by Dell towards influencing diversity at workplaces? 

At Dell, we believe that diversity and inclusion is at the core of our winning strategy. Our leadership team is strongly aligned on maintaining and promoting diversity across all levels. Dell has global frameworks and programs that focus on promoting women in leadership roles such as ‘Women in Search of Excellence (WISE)’, and ‘Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN)’.

We have a zero tolerance policy for any kind of harassment. We also go the extra mile to ensure safety of women employees through our toll-free emergency helpline and the provision of a security escort for women who work past 8 pm.

We have a pan-India exclusive wellness initiative, ‘Well at Dell’ for the welfare of all employees. Additionally, Talent Acquisition and campus hiring teams are also given specific mandates to maintain gender balance during the recruitment process.

  • What are the steps taken by the company to bridge the gender parity gap regards equality in payment structure, both in India and Asian markets?

Dell believes in fair and equitable compensation and benefits, irrespective of gender. We foster an inclusive culture where men and women are not discriminated on any parameter and have similar aspirations to traverse the career ladder to the highest levels.

This is supported by our ‘Legacy of Good’ framework which includes our focus on diversity and inclusion and goals to be accomplished by 2020.

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See: Empower Employees with “Leadership by All” Culture

  • With HR moving to the cloud, are cloud systems being deployed at Dell?

At Dell we believe that HR professionals need to stay ahead of the business needs as part of their crucial role as enablers. To keep up with the changing technological landscape, the Dell HR System is transitioning to the cloud.

  • Could you please shed light on the favourable employee leave policies and benefits offered in case of maternity/paternal leave at Dell.

Dell is compliant with all statutory benefits pertaining to maternity leave and benefits. Women employees are eligible for extended maternity leave, as well. Dell has also tied up with several child care facilities in Bangalore and Hyderabad to provide speaker sessions on parenting.

Additionally, Dell offers flexi-work solutions for achieving professional excellence without making any compromises owing to personal reasons.

Apart from this, adequate nationwide insurance coverage is provided to all employees. Dell has a unique employee owned and managed “Employee Welfare Fund” which assists the employees in case of medical expenses beyond what insurance covers. Dell provides 5 days of paternity leave.

  • What are the L&D strategies implemented by the company to encourage learning at each stage of the learning curve within a company? 

Dell uses a variety of learning strategies in line with its overall people strategy imperatives as well as the well laid out competency framework. It has a blended approach of learning with significant facilitator-led, leader-led and individual-led interventions. One of the highlights of this approach is the 70-20-10 model, wherein Dell believes that most of the learning (70%) happens through hands-on, on the job experiences.

Dell front-ends its learning initiatives through the one stop, 24/7 learning portal called ‘Career Resource Centre (CRC)’.  The CRC provides employees at all levels with learning resources on a 24/7, on-demand basis.  The resources are structured into solution sets which cater to building a specific competency, skill, behaviour or approach.

It also provides employees with timely toolkits which help them cement the learning through application. CRC is an in-house platform, maintained by dedicated teams of experts. It is nimble enough to cater to the ever-changing requirements of a quickly evolving business world.

  • What is the future of HR in India and Asia Pacific? 

Talent has become the key differentiator and contributor to the success of an organization. With the start-up eco-system gaining momentum and large corporates on a hiring spree in many parts of Asia, there is a constant struggle of hiring and retaining the best talent.

Talent management is one of the core charters of every CEO and CHRO. In that respect, HR has become a more critical and strategic function contributing both to the bottom line and top line of the organization. Criticality of talent to the success of business is so high that if you don’t have talented people to run your business, you will probably not have the business either.

Technology, Analytics, Social Media and Cloud are the evolving trends in HR. Organizations need to ensure that they continue to invest and build on these capabilities.

  • How do you see the emerging HR tech trends boosting the recruiting sphere and facilitating better payroll management? 

Social media is an important development; the advent of social media has made the visibility and availability of active and passive talent easier. This creates the need for employers to manage their social media strategy effectively.

While it helps employers to have access to the potential hires, the candidates also have access to insights on what it means to work for an organization through platforms like Glassdoor. Social media sensitivity on the part of employers is critical to be an employer of choice.

Also, payroll has been an area hosted either under HR or Finance. At Dell, we host it under HR. Our core strategy for payroll is vendor consolidation, shared services, simplification of processes, time and attendance, and driving employee experience through timely and accurate payroll.

Image credit: media.glassdoor; businesswire.com; and dell.com

Also read: Top 10 Talent Trends Shaping the World of Work and HR in 2015

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