Teledirect Telecommerce’s new way of hiring

Gaurav Hirey, Group Director of HR and Talent Development at Teledirect Telecommerce, discusses his team's digital recruitment and employee coaching efforts.
By: | April 24, 2018

Don’t forget to check out part one of our spotlight on the regional HR team at Teledirect Telecommerce here.

With the introduction of Flash, one major activity that Teledirect Telecommerce has been able to effectively digitise is recruitment. This is a big deal, considering that the company is on track to grow its headcount by another 1,000 employees across the region in 2018 alone.

Today, the entire recruitment process – from sourcing, screening, and profiling, all the way to assessment and selection – is hosted and carried out on Flash.

Most significantly, interviews – the most laborious part of the hiring process – can now be done at any time and from anywhere. Paperwork and other manual tasks are now a thing of the past.

Because of the nature of the job and the large number of non-English speaking countries that the company operates in, HR has also started to utilise video interviews, as a widget within Flash itself.

This new feature, which is already in use in Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, and the Philippines, allows interviewers to gauge the speech abilities of candidates without having to meet them in person.

It also allows more than one recruiter to rate a candidate, which minimises individual biases and inaccuracies. Each recruiter simply has to review the video, give their ratings, and an average score will be tabulated. This will let hiring managers see how suitable an individual is for a particular role.

Gaurav Hirey, Group Director of HR and Talent Development, perks up as he breaks down the entire process for HRM Magazine Asia. He explains that job applicants are first sent a link, after which they log onto the conference portal, film their responses to a set of five pre-determined questions without going over the given time limit, and then click to submit.

Once the video responses have been sent out, hirers are able to view on the system, in real-time, the number of questions that have been answered by the interviewees.

“A green sign means a question has been answered, and blank means the candidate has not responded. A red mark is given when candidates are seeking a re-test, or when the recruiters want a do-over,” he explains.

This functionality, Hirey notes, increases the speed of hiring, and also improves the quality of hire. More importantly, it creates sets of useful data that he hopes will lead to the eventuation and proliferation of predictive analytics across the organisation.

“That’s where analytics is right now, it’s all about predicting. What’s the point of collecting data if we don’t get there?”

Gaurav Hirey, Group Director of HR and Talent Development, Teledirect Telecommerce

Re-evaluating employee evaluations

Performance reviews, another major HR purview, have also been updated. Last year, the company completed all employee evaluations online for the first time.

Instead of having to rely on HR and refer to multiple documents concerning a subordinate’s job scope and key performance indicators, team managers now have easy access to all the necessary files and information they need on a single platform.

To ensure transparency, every staff member’s performance and targets are also recorded on a monthly basis.

Hirey believes this approach is beneficial for all parties involved. For team leaders whose goals are based on the entire team’s performance, this allows them to be in control of things during down times.

“In this way, everyone knows how they are performing, and there are zero surprises. The monthly targets and achievements are all recorded, so individuals know which areas to work on,” says Hirey.

Closely linked to performance reviews is the concept of coaching, which Hirey says is a “way of life” across Teledirect Telecommerce’s offices.

Coaching has become a mandatory weekly activity. This keeps things personal between managers and their team members, going beyond just targets and outcomes.

“We believe that coaching is more important than performance because our people are facing different and diverse situations every day.

“We are able to see whether a person is stagnant, growing, or becoming worse,” says Hirey, who shares that he actually has a coaching conversation with his staff every morning.

This emphasis on coaching, coupled with the ample staff development opportunities, has helped individuals like Melvin Chew rise through company ranks rapidly.

Chew joined Teledirect Telecommerce Malaysia as an intern in 2015. Six months later, he was hired full-time as a junior recruiter. By the end of that year, he was promoted to the role of senior recruitment specialist, before being given the opportunity to move to Singapore and take on his current position as senior regional HR expert.

Moving beyond building capabilities

Stories like Chew’s are common at the company, but with so much automation happening, the popular “doomsday” rhetoric – that artificial intelligence will replace jobs – naturally comes to mind. But Hirey is not worried, either for himself, or for his staff.

“Automation will eliminate the task, but it will not eliminate the job role. Tasks like picking up the phone, calling job candidates – those will probably get eliminated,” he explains.

“But evaluating the interviewee, that will not. A human will always have to grade that candidate.”

Fortunately, Hirey and his team seem to have all that covered, with more reorganisation to come.

“At the end of 2018, our whole plan will become very different. It will be all about improving and taking things to the next level, rather than about building capabilities,” says Hirey.  Stories like Chew’s are common at the company, but with so much automation happening, the popular “doomsday” rhetoric – that artificial intelligence will replace jobs – naturally comes to mind. But Hirey is not worried, either for himself, or for his staff.

One of HRM Magazine’s cornerstones, the monthly HR Insider series is an in-depth feature exploring the people management teams of some of the region’s most prolific organisations.