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Poaching and retaining have got nothing to do with salary inflation, feel HR experts

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Poaching and retaining have got nothing to do with salary inflation, feel HR experts

To delve upon the functioning of the Human Resource industry in media companies, exchange4media organised the Media HR Summit 2010 in Delhi on July 30. Several veterans from the field of media and HR took part in the discussions, which covered diverse facets of the HR industry and the challenges it faces.

The first panel discussion dealt with the topic ‘Does organisation culture in media companies need an overhaul?’ Commencing the discussion, Suresh Balakrishna, COO, Mail Today, started off with the definition of ‘Organisation Culture’ and said, “What we do, how we interact in our workplace is a part of organisational culture.” He further said, “We need to bridge the gap between editorial and business side of media. There is no right or wrong culture of work if the system is working effectively. However, organisational culture changes with every generation.”

Speaking on the media organisation culture, Bharat Kapadia, Director, Lokmat Prakashan, said that there was a conflict of supremacy in media organisations. He noted, “Editorial guys think that they bring the audience, so they are superior, and sales guys say as they bring the business, they are superior. We need to understand as one organisation, we are not a compartment, but a department.” He further said that media organisation needed to understand the role of HR.

Geetanjali Pandit, Consulting Director - HR, Perfect Relations, pointed out, “Leadership and the vision in the organisation are missing these days. One need not worry about profit if integrity and trust is in place, it will lead to higher profitability and productivity.”

On a similar note, Alok Sanwal, Project Head & Editor, iNext, said that lack of good leadership was a challenge. He said, “If a leader quits, everything goes haywire. Not only in media, but every organisation goes through various dilemmas related to organisation culture.”

Speaking about creativity and journalism being ignored, Gauri Sarin, President, Approach Talent Solutions, asserted that in the last five years, media companies had become extremely business oriented, and creativity and journalism had taken a back seat. “Over a period of time, media culture has also changed and a more managerial system has come in with added values. Professional HR is being picked by the media companies, which is a good sign,” Sarin added.

According to Rahul Taneja, Senior VP & Head - Corporate HR, Essar Group, “There is nothing good or bad about the organisation culture. If media companies are sincere to themselves, they get respect, and once you are a respected brand, it is not difficult to get business.”

Do we need to poach or retain?

The topic of second panel discussion was ‘Finding the balance between need to poach with the need to retain, without fueling salary inflation’.

Speaking on this topic, Ujjwal Kumar Chowdhury, Executive Director, ISB&M, said that there was a mismatch between demand and supply of talent. “Media education needs to move out of classrooms and focus more towards the learning by doing techniques to generate good talents,” he added.

Does poaching and retaining talent take place because of money? Rajendra Mehta, Head - HR, DSCL, replied, “Poaching and retaining have got nothing to do with salary inflation.”

Speaking on the need to retain talent and hiring outside talent, Archna Soin, GM - HR, TV Today Network, said that organisations needed to retain inside and hire outside talent and maintain a balance as it gave long term profits. Speaking on the poaching in media organisations, she said, “In media, poaching is because of available creative talent. In other industries, you can train people, but you cannot make a person creative. Hence, in search for the creative talent, poaching takes place in media organisations.”

Speaking on internal talent, V Nagarajan, VP - HR, Times Internet Ltd & TBSL, said, “Most of us want to develop internal talent and hire from outside at junior levels. This problem will persist, and learning and development is the only way to tackle it. It is good to develop own talent and many companies have already started doing that.”

Malika Nanda, GM - Marketing Access Atlantech Edutainment (I), added here, “Talent requirement takes to poaching. A corrective step to attract right talent is necessary.”


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