Samsung India has hired over 1,000 engineers to work on new- age domains like AI, IoT, ML: Sameer Wadhawan, Sr VP & HR Head
Recently, Samsung hired 221 fresh graduates for Samsung R&D (SRI-B), centre at Bangalore. These young minds have honed their skills at top institutions like Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and National Institute of Technology (NITs). In order to know more about their hiring process, what they look for in fresh talent, how company is contributing in shaping their career and more, Careers360 caught up with Sameer Wadhawan, Senior Vice President and Head of HR- Samsung Electronics India Limited...
Q. How has technology intervention impacted the hiring trends, could you share some of the new practices being involved?
A. Technology today has changed the way an organisation functions while playing a key role in designing most HR processes used in recruitment today. Online job portals, online attendance management systems and in our case and online learning platform Samsung University (Samsung U) are some of the basic examples of technology integration into HR.
At Samsung, we use ‘Workday’ as our cloud based human capital management tool. The platform allows a more transparent working platform for employees, whilst leveraging the advantages of technology.
Q. How critical it is to hire a right talent for the company’s growth?
A. Hiring the right candidate and talent is essential for a company’s growth. At Samsung, we pay special attention to the potential of the candidate along with his/ her passion towards his work.
Q. While hiring a fresh graduate from IIT's and NIT's, what all qualities or skills do you look for?
A. Different job roles require different skill sets and aptitude. For instance, for a technical job, we gauge the candidate’s inclination towards research and emerging technologies, by asking them to find solutions to real life problems. This helps us in understanding the candidate’s approach towards problem solving along with the capacity to develop futuristic solutions. For sales and marketing profiles, we try to understand the candidate’s inclination to learn and willingness to work on-ground.
In 2018, Samsung had hired 72 management trainees from top B-schools such as IIMs, XLRI, SP Jain, ISB, JBIMS as well as others from different specializations including chartered accountants, National Institute of Design graduates and also students of supply chain management from NITIE.
Q. How many candidates you have hired in 2018?
A. Samsung India has three R&D centres in Bengaluru, Noida and Delhi. This year, these three institutes have hired over 1,000 engineers from top engineering colleges. Around 300 from IITs and the rest are from NITs and IIITs. These new graduates will be working on new- age domains such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, biometrics, Natural Language Processing, Augmented Reality and networks including 5G.
Q. What would be your suggestions to bridge the industry-academia gap so that it’s a win-win situation for both?
A. With technological advancements, it has become imperative for educational institutions to maintain a balance of theory and practical in their course structures. For this, more industry-academia collaboration is required in curriculum design, industry sponsored finishing schools, internships and campus engagement programs where students are exposed to live business issues.
Internships are the best way for student to understand the corporate environment and will also help them to get an idea of what would be expected of them once they enter the corporate world.
Q. How important is the first job for a freshly graduate? Is it advantageous for a young grad to kickstart his/her career from a brand?
A. The first job is the foundation stone of an individual’s career and is one of the most important experiences of life. A fresh graduate gets a chance to understand his/her true potential and professional inclination. An organization which supports these two is an ideal place to start with.
Q. How Samsung contribute in order to shape their career?
A. At Samsung, we make efforts to ensure that we promote engaged learning from the very beginning of a candidate’s corporate journey. We believe in inculcating a knack for learning amongst employees across levels and develop special programs to help fresh graduates understand the company’s core business values and its way of functioning.
Q. Do you have any training programmes to make them job-ready?
A. The transition from college to corporate life is sometimes difficult. To ensure that our campus recruits feel confident on the job, and to ease their adjustment process, we have designed special training programmes. These programs are defined as per different learning objectives, their role assignment and also to allow for an overall understanding of the business and team context.
For the interns, we give them an opportunity to work on real time projects while being mentored by leaders. This ensures a good industry exposure to the students and the leaders get a chance to extract innovative and fresh ideas.
Q. Kindly share some of the best HR practices to adhere to for creating a happy workplace for employees?
A. The key of creating a happy workplace for employees is constantly upgrading its workspace dynamics and building capabilities to keep the employees’ motivated throughout. The needs of employees from different generations differ. At Samsung, we have employees from across generations and we ensure that we cater to the needs of all the employees. Our office brings in a balance of ‘me’, ‘we’ and ‘our’ spaces for employees and encourages collaboration, team bonding and pride in the brand. For an instance, our office is built in a way that we provide cubicles, which are liked by those who like to work without disturbances, while we have breakout zones and open spaces where employees who do not prefer stagnant workstations can work from.