ValueLabs cares for its people

Express Computer Online,01 August, 2005.

ValueLabs is a software services company involved in Internet applications, mobile Internet, interactive TV applications and client/server enterprise solutions. It is now in the process of increasing its headcount to meet its wide-ranging business requirements. With headquarters at Hyderabad and several offices in the US and Malaysia, ValueLabs has a current employee strength of 550 and plans to add about 100 more. The company is setting up its own campus in Cyberabad (Hitec City area) that will have a recreation hall, gymnasium and other facilities for more than 1,600 professionals.

In order to build a sustainable and competitive talent pool, ValueLabs practices an integrated approach that meets the business requirements of the organisation and also benefits its associates. For this, it has developed a system in which every project manager is an HR manager. It encourages all project managers to take care of their associates’ personal requirements apart from professional responsibilities, thus fulfilling the philosophy of the company: ‘recruit the best, retain the best, reward the best.’ The organisation does not have any hierarchy system, and practices an open-door policy.

Explains Krishna Reddy, Manager, HR at ValueLabs, “Our organisation has world-class HR functions that align with business goals and benefit our associates. We help them solve their personal problems. Only if they are free from that can they focus on their work and deliver in a professional manner. Perhaps this system has resulted in bonding with the organisation. The attrition rate is very low at ValueLabs-only 6.4 percent, which is well below the industry average of 18 percent. We also plan to provide our associates with housing finance to the extent of 50 percent; for this, we intend to tie-up with a commercial bank. However, this is yet to be finalised.”

Focus on smaller cities

Most IT companies follow two methods of recruitment-campus interviews for entry-level openings, and media ads and employee referrals for senior positions. The unique feature of ValueLabs’ recruitment strategy is that the company prefers B and C grade institutions in smaller cities. Explaining why preference is given to these rather than top institutions in the state capital, Krishna Reddy says, “We pick them because we believe that talent is available everywhere. Yes, we also go to IITs and RECs for recruitment, but the problem is that engineering graduates from these prestigious institutions don’t stick for long. Therefore we prefer to pick the best talent from B and C grade institutions in tier-II and tier-III cities, and then train them on every aspect of the profession, right from soft skills to technology.”

Recruitment Factory

The company has set up the Recruitment Factory, a dedicated team that conducts and monitors the recruitment process in order to meet all types of requirements of the company. Since the recruitment process continues every week, the Recruitment Factory performs two key functions. One, it co-ordinates with the management, project managers, team leaders and other higher-cadre people to find out manpower requirements; it is also involved in releasing media ads and organising interviews. Two, it interacts with headhunters.

“We give preference to our associates’ references. This has been a proven method of recruiting professionals because our associates are the best judges in assessing their friends before referring them to our organisation. We offer job rotation that facilitates exposure to different platforms. All associates who complete one year at ValueLabs get an opportunity to work on cutting-edge technologies. Our comprehensive training methodology and work environment enhance their professional growth. We find that this method provides job satisfaction to them. Our policies make them enjoy their work, and when they do so, work is fun,” asserts Krishna Reddy. The associates have three types of career options-technical, quality and project management.

To measure the satisfaction level among associates, ValueLabs has formulated a methodology to assess job satisfaction and other aspects related to performance. If somebody has a grievance, it is immediately conveyed to higher officials, and the necessary steps are then taken to sort out the problem.