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The company launches a new hiring campaign for talent that ‘can embrace diversity, collaborate and can ask questions’
Those of you who cannot work in a conventional set ups with the conventional techniques, Sapient is looking to hire you.
Sapient’s latest hiring campaign ‘Troublemakers’ is as unusual as the name itself. And it comes at a time when the IT industry fears a possible slowdown. The company is planning to increase its headcount by 20 per cent by the end of this year.
TechGig.com caught up with Rajdeep Endow, managing director India, Sapient Consulting Limited, and discovered what kind of disruptive talent are they looking for and what will be the effects for the possible slowdown on their hiring pattern.
We have experienced Sapient’s latest hiring campaign’s website ‘www.troublemakers.co.in’, and saw the interface inviting ‘mis’fits. Why do you actually want to invite ‘troublemakers’ in your otherwise peaceful setup?
The world is undergoing change. There are changes in technology, consumer behaviour, business models, competition, and everything else. There’s a recession happening every year. So the companies are under tremendous pressure to figure out how to be relevant in this world. And that is exactly what digital disruption is all about. But it is less about the technology itself but more about what the technology is allowing people to do and how it is changing people’s expectations. So in this world for companies to reimage their future, they have to start with the re-imagination of their consumer experience.
Look at Uber or AirBNB. One could argue that it is the traditional business, which is true. But the way the business is conducted is radically different. The taxi driver still drives the same way, taking passengers from point A to point B, but it is the consumer’s expectations that have changed. Companies like us help the clients sail through this. Sapient is an aggregation of strategy firm, an advertising agency and a technology company.
Coming to the jobs that you see on our portal, they are quite conventional and have been existing ever since. But what has changed is that the way these jobs now interact with each other. What we are trying to do is use traditional capabilities in a non-traditional way. There are people who can ideate and then there are people who can execute. We are asking the executors to ideate and vice-versa. That is what is really changing.
We are looking for the kind of people who can embrace diversity, can collaborate and can ask questions, than provide answers, can get to the right problem and who are happy to fail. We are looking for that mindset, that hunger, that imagination and that passion, and we call them troublemakers.
How many ‘troublemakers’ are you willing to hiring this year and how do you see the impact of recession on your current workforce of 8,500 people?
By the end of the year, we will increase our headcount by roughly 20 per cent. We are looking to hire people across career stages and across disciplines. We are looking to hire strategists, brand creatives, storytellers, technologists, architects, mobile app developers and all kinds of people associated with our business goals, but everybody with the spirit of troublemakers within them. To the second part of your questions with respect to recession, I can say that there are geographies where the decision making has slowed down, but overall our business is growing. We are not seeing any immediate effects of slowdown. There is no recession effect that will happen in terms of firing people. We are looking to hire people and it would be a rather silly idea to let go of people.
The other point you touched upon is that you do not want traditional jobs to change, but you want the way they are handled to be changed. Has this message percolated to your existing workforce?
I want to clarify: it’s not that traditional jobs will not change. They will change but it will not be an overnight process. New ways of working will come in first. A business strategist will require working with the technologists and the storyteller. They need to have some synthesis and then something new and innovative will be created. At this point, we are not concerned about how will the workforce get transformed or how will jobs get re-imagined. That is happening but that is a gradual process. We want to create the conditions in which this diversity can flourish, in which we encourage diverse perspectives, and we encourage the synthesis of diversity.
For the second part of your question, allow me to explain that although the campaign has been launched at this point in time, this has been a journey for us. We started our transformation in 2004 when we saw a shift in the media consumption patterns. We were committed to become a company which can help businesses solve their problems. This has also involved shifting of our talent and how they work.
Almost 67 per cent of our global work happens in India. If you look at the kind of clients that we work with, whether it is a Citibank or Unilever or a Coca Cola company, we are helping them make shifts in their business. If that kind of work happens in India, it speaks a lot about the fact that we don’t do it just by traditional ways of working. We are already helping clients re-imagine their businesses, create disruptive experiences and connect to consumers in different ways using technology. Our culture, which is very celebrated, plays a key part in that. What has helped Sapient changed over the years is not the fact that we are willing to take risks. We were always more committed to solve a client’s problems than in protecting our image of being an IT consultant or an agency. That’s been our promise right from day one. We definitely look for a certain kind of talent and that fundamental spirit hasn’t changed ever. We have now given it a name called ‘troublemakers’.
What are the qualities that you will look for in ‘troublemakers’ going forward?
He should be curious and should have the hunger to learn. He should have the ability to collaborate with diversity. He should have the ability to speak his mind.
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