Fast evolving auto industry needs befitting HR solutions | Autocar Professional

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It’s no secret that the Indian economy witnessed a great year, closing 2023 with a GDP of USD 3.73 trillion, GDP per capita at USD 2,610 and a projected GDP growth rate of 6.3 percent against the global average of 2.9 percent. And the automobile industry in India is a significant contributor to the country’s economy. It is well-known for its quick expansion, technical breakthroughs, and contributions to creating job opportunities. On the other hand, just like any other sector, it is confronted with several issues in human resources (HR), particularly in the context of new businesses or established businesses that want to grow.

Finding talent is an issue

One of the critical issues that automotive firms, particularly those expanding or just starting, confront is the challenge of acquiring and retaining top personnel. As a result of the dynamic nature of the sector and the ongoing technical breakthroughs, there is a significant demand for talented people in various fields, including engineering, design, production, supply chain management, and sales.

The way forward is to adopt comprehensive recruitment strategies that attract qualified employees through various channels. An organisation may increase its chances of keeping exceptional personnel by providing employees with competitive compensation, opportunities for professional growth, training programmes, and a healthy work culture. Companies can implement an incentive and variable pay concept to manage compensation.

The automotive sector is undergoing rapid transformation, which necessitates the need for personnel to possess a varied range of skills. These skills include expertise in future technologies such as electric vehicles (EVs), autonomous driving, networking, and data analytics. However, there are currently shortages of these skills.

Training helps

To solve the issue of skill shortages, companies are investing in training and upskilling programmes. They are also focusing on partnerships with educational institutions and overseas organisations. Some companies are also implementing in-house training workshops which facilitate employees to remain abreast with recent technological developments and trends in their respective industries.

Diversity and inclusion in the workforce can foster innovation, creativity, and a competitive edge in the market. On the other hand, throughout its history, the sector has been controlled by men while women and members of minority groups have very little presence.

Transparent recruitment processes

Through the implementation of fair recruiting methods, the provision of equitable chances for career growth and promotion, the creation of a supportive work environment, and the cultivation of a culture of respect and acceptance, companies should take the initiative to promote diversity and inclusion programmes. Building a more inclusive culture in the workplace may also be facilitated via the use of employee resource groups (ERGs), mentoring programmes, and diversity and inclusion training sessions. The automobile industry has always been experiencing disruptions and now experiencing substantial technological disruptions, such as the transition towards electric and autonomous cars, connected car technology, and mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) solutions. These developments are causing several challenges for the sector. The workforce has to be flexible, creative, and willing to engage in ongoing disruption to successfully navigate these changes.

Organisations should foster an environment that encourages innovation and experimentation, in which employees feel empowered to suggest new ideas, accept change, and cooperate across teams. It can assist the move towards new technologies by investing in research and development activities, cultivating connections with technology startups and research institutions, and providing staff with access to cutting-edge tools and resources.

The environment in which the automobile industry operates on statutory norms includes safety requirements, environmental regulations, labour laws, and trade policies. The solution is that human resource specialists and the leadership of the organisation need to be current on the pertinent rules and regulations that are affecting the automobile sector. Establishing solid compliance systems, performing frequent audits, getting legal guidance when necessary, and providing personnel with appropriate training on compliance needs are all ways to reduce risks and guarantee that laws are adhered to.

Way forward

The Indian automotive ecosystem offers various opportunities for growth and innovation. Businesses facing human resource challenges must take measures to address talent acquisition and retention. They should also address skill shortages, diversity, technology disruptions, and regulatory compliance.

G S Ramesh is the Chaiman of Layam Group. Views expressed are of the author.

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