'Ford India is on track for hiring at the new Sanand plant.'

Dhananjay Nair, GM, HR, Ford India , tells Brian de Souza that the carmaker has factored in time for training on technical aspects including soft skills in the run up to the new plant's commissioning.

By Brian de Souza calendar 09 Jun 2014 Views icon6288 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
'Ford India is on track for hiring at the new Sanand plant.'

Dhananjay Nair, GM, HR, Ford India , tells Brian de Souza that the carmaker has factored in time for training on technical aspects including soft skills in the run up to the new plant's commissioning.

As Ford gets ready to inaugurate its Sanand facility, has the hiring process begun in right earnest and how is the company going about this?
The Sanand Vehicle Assembly and Engine plant are progressing well. It will be operational towards the end of this year, with vehicles and engines rolling out sometime in 2015. For the upcoming facility, we have begun hiring for positions across technical and non-technical domains which encompasses positions right through all levels in the organisation – from the managers running operations to shopfloor supervisors to team leaders and team members in the production, maintenance, engineering and quality functions.
We are using a variety of sourcing and selection processes, in line with our internal guidelines. In addition, we are also factoring in time required for training on the various aspects of the functions and the roles they are expected to perform when we begin operations.

What are the skillsets that Ford India is looking for at the shopfloor in particular and are these readily available or would staff be deputed from the Chennai-based unit?
Domain knowledge is surely an important skillset amongst others one considers while hiring, and the skillsets are diverse across various levels. In addition, we are partnering with an engineering college to co-design and co-deliver a structured curriculum of modules on Ford safety and production systems, basic engineering skills, cultural and soft skills training and quality tools for fresh graduates.
More than the skillsets, at the heart of the One Ford plan is the vision of fostering ‘One Team’. We expect the team to be committed to the enterprise and to each other. They are working for more than themselves. In line with the vision, we are, so far, on track with our hiring and on-boarding plans and we forecast to have the team hired, on-boarded and trained in time to start our operations. Hiring for the upcoming Sanand plant is being supported from Gujarat as well as the internal succession and development planning processes for existing workforce.

One of the issues that a company in Sanand would face is retaining those who are hired. Given that it is an upcoming area, it is likely not easy to attract employees from outside Gujarat. How does Ford plan to go about this?
We are committed to retain talent and have designed employee engagement aligned to our key employer value proposition pillars of employee growth and development, working together, transparency and communication and inclusive culture.
At Ford, an employee is welcomed into an open culture with a clearly-defined growth path. All facets of an employee’s life are taken into consideration, including work-life balance and mental and physical well-being. The organisation also conducts structured processes where employees discuss their career development with their peers and jointly develop a programme to achieve clearly defined goals.
OEMs typically look at tying up with an ITI or similar institute to get staff and invest in training materials. Is this on Ford’s agenda?
We are using multiple sourcing strategies to meet our staffing needs. One critical source is through the campus hiring in ITI and diploma institutes in Gujarat. As mentioned, we have also developed a structured curriculum for training fresh inductees and have partnered with an engineering college to co-design and co-deliver this training. Similar training regimen have been developed and delivered to other skill trades – all these act as foundational courses on which we build the competency and versatility of our teams.

 

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