Daimler Truck Innovation Center offers a combination of opportunities, job content and conducive environment to attract talent

Harshavardhan Kundalkar, HR Manager, Daimler Truck Innovation Center India, says they want to hire candidates with problem-solving skills and a fire in their stomachs to make a difference.

What is your recruitment target for FY2023?

We are growing at a very rapid pace and aim to increase our workforce by 35% in FY2023. At DTICI, we are building a rich talent pipeline with the primary goal of accelerating the process of technology adoption on the road. Our strong hiring figures help strengthen our technical leadership and our partnership with Daimler Truck AG.

What are the main soft skills you look for when hiring freshmen?

It is the passion and positive attitude that makes a candidate stand out. While professional degrees are sacrosanct, we are looking for people who have the problem-solving aptitude and the fire in their stomachs to make a difference.

When hiring new talent, what are the different education/qualification pathways that may apply to your company?

We give priority to students with degrees in control systems, mechanical engineering, computer science and electronics. These young engineers and trainees are integrated as graduate apprentices and improve their skills.

What challenges do you face when hiring new talent?

The shortage of relevant skills remains the main challenge. Today, demand exceeds supply and skills are scarce. Another hurdle we face is that although we are an established name in the industry and our expertise in product engineering is well known, it has been observed that to attract IT talent we need a increased candidate engagement, especially in helping them understand how a modern utility vehicle is a complex combination of advanced engineering and modern software.

What are you doing to attract, train and retain young professionals?
The engineering issues we address and solve at DTICI have proven to be the most crucial factor in attracting talent. We work at the cutting edge of engineering and innovation for products that are global in nature, and opportunities like this are what engineers are excited to work on. At DTICI, we also give them the opportunity to explore many careers within a career by helping them develop their cross-functional capabilities. We encourage our employees to explore various career options within the company and provide them with the necessary tools and a conducive environment to enhance their skills and abilities.

What policies are in place to ensure the balance between professional life and private life of your employees?

Our people are at the heart of everything we do, and they are our greatest asset. Our policies are designed with our employees at the center. We ensure both mental and physical well-being and offer our employees different types of leave that cover the majority of crucial events during a human life cycle. There are programs where they can benefit from professional advice from experts for their mental well-being. At regular intervals, we also organize campaigns/initiatives that facilitate the overall well-being of our employees. Additionally, we also have a flexible working policy where we empower and encourage our employees to design their own unique working model with their teams and managers. This ensures that they are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

How do you ensure you retain your hard-working employees? Are tax incentives the only way to motivate employees?

Although tax incentives are an important aspect of motivating employees, we believe they are not the only way to achieve this goal. Employees further need an employer who can provide them with a comprehensive package that includes great job content, learning opportunities, and a conducive environment to excel in their jobs. Apart from this, corporate culture that promotes fairness, transparency and inclusiveness also plays a pivotal role.

Are there additional training programs or courses that you have incorporated to improve the skills of your existing workforce?

We have invested heavily in on-demand learning through online content as well as the specific skills needed by employees to grow in their jobs and gain cross-functional capabilities. We recently launched a series of initiatives as part of our ‘Unlock Your Potential’ campaign, aimed at providing our employees with a variety of top-notch learning and development opportunities.

Do you think there is a gap between academia and industry? How can this be filled?

Today, there is a gap between academia and industry, and it can only be bridged by better collaboration between them. Platforms need to be put in place to craft industry-relevant course content and better opportunities need to be created to train faculty and students to align with market needs and technological changes. The entire ecosystem, including academia, industry and government, must work together to ensure the sustainability of our workforce.

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