6 Secrets to Success in Labour Dependent Industries

India still requires a huge labour force for its economy and let's have a chat on the subject of our dependence on unskilled and skilled labour

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By Anupam Bonanthaya

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Did you know that ~ 75% of the people employed in the blue collar segment in our country are migratory? India is on the path to become the 3rd largest economy by 2030 at $6.84 trillion. We will also have the highest population of youth with 600 million inside the age of 25. This means that manpower driven services will continue to grow at higher rates and the migratory trend will not change. If you are in any of the industries where blue collar manpower is critical, then you should read-on. The following 6 areas should be on top of your priority list.

  1. Right sourcing of manpower

The irony of an economy like India is that there is a huge shortage of manpower, inspite of a large population being jobless. One of the most popular recruitment grounds are the railway stations and bus stations in the cities, given that 75% of the blue collar workforce are migrants coming to tier-1 cities from villages, from across the country, in search of better life. The government, both at the centre and in the states usually give special attention to skilling of rural youth, in order to support job creation. Eg. The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), has partnered with Training Institutes to skill people across various job roles as per the National Occupational Standards (NOS). Around 4,000 training institutes train around 10 Lakh people annually across the country in 2,000+ job roles under the charter of ~40 Sector Skill Councils (SSC), as part of the flagship PMKVY (Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana) initiative under the Ministry of Skill Development. Other ministries and states have similar programs. In total more than 1.25 Cr youth are trained every year. In manpower centric industries, hiring the right people has a direct impact on your bottom line. These institutes and candidates trained here should be on top of your manpower sourcing channels.

2. Ensure background is checked

A bad mango can spoil the entire lot. It makes a lot of sense, both legally and business-wise to avoid people with criminal background and habitual offenders. Also, in today's world, your workforce is the brand ambassador of your business, who come in touch with your end consumers. An unpleasant incident grabs headlines and depletes your hard earned credibility within a matter of hours given today's socially connected world. Avoid it. With every 2 in 100 people in the blue collar segment having a criminal antecedent, it is definitely not worth taking a risk. Check for 3 things. ID check to ensure the person is who he/she is claiming to be. Address check to know where to look for in case the need arises. and lastly, but the most critical - Criminal antecedents check to ensure you are not hiring criminals.

3. Quick HR on-boarding

There are 2 things to keep in mind while on-boarding your employees 2 1. Time is money. The more time the employee spends in the induction process, there isa loss of productivity, but more importantl,y a high % of dropoffs happen within the first few days of joining. The quicker he/she gets busy with work, the better it is for both. 2. You need to ensure you are capturing all the details needed for the HR records, including all the various compliance related forms like ESI, PF, Gratuity, etc. This is an area where using technology solutions based on Aadhaar KYC processes can be a huge win. It will fasten on-boarding to a few mins compared to days earlier, at the same time ensuring you are capturing all the needed details for the HR records. You are killing both birds in 1 shot.

4. Technology solutions for day-day operations

There are lots of areas in day to day operations where technology use can benefit. One special area is the attendance management. Almost all labour related industries need to track in-out of their employees because the # hours at work is directly related to productivity. It is also a mandate to maintain a muster roll from a labour compliance perspective. But most businesses still use a log-book with pen-paper use, leading to erroneous entries. Also consolidating it into something useful is a Herculean task with high scope for mistakes. It is an activity whose potential is underutilised. This is an area where using a tech based solution can bring a lot of valuable insights. It will also bring in the much-needed transparency. It can easily save you 6-7% on your labour costs.

5. Regular training & re-skilling

Trained and engaged workforce improves your productivity significantly. Also the attrition rates are lower when the workforce is aligned with the company's vision/ mission. Training is easier said than done. The following are the characteristics in almost all industries today: it is a heterogeneous mix with workforce coming from across the country, the workplace is distributed (not in 1 location), under-staffed (no time for training), nobody looks forward to boring classrooms lectures, etc. 3 This is another area where technology use can help dramatically. If you can deliver both job skills and soft skills, in an interesting engaging format, in byte sizes at their doorstep without they having to come anywhere, then you have a winner. This also helps keep them motivated, engaged and more closely aligned with your company values, in a consistent manner.

Anupam Bonanthaya

Chief Marketing Officer - BetterPlace

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