Digit captures talent early; hires undergrads

The insurance firm is working on acquiring talent at a very nascent stage and imparting training through its UGT programme


The current talent climate across the world, seems to be favouring those with technical skills. With large-scale digitisation of businesses following the pandemic, finding and hiring tech talent for an extended engagement has become one of the biggest headaches of talent acquisition teams, irrespective of the sector. With companies vying for quality techies from the same coveted talent pool, recruiters are continuously coming up with ways to stay on top of this war for talent.

One of the leading General Insurance companies in India, Digit Insurance, came up with an interesting solution to address the tech talent deficit as well as the attrition rate. Unlike many other companies, the business for Digit only grew during the pandemic. The Company’s consolidated revenue from operations surged more than 56 per cent to Rs 1,943 crore, taking the total consolidated revenue to Rs 2,324 crore in 2022. The increase in business led the Company to adopt a different working model, hiring more young tech talent due to an increase in demand.

Trainee hiring

Amrit Jaidka Arora, head – HR, Digit Insurance, reveals to HRKatha, that hiring never stopped for Digit in the last year, as the business was expanding. However, she does admit, “the one department in which hiring was a bit challenging was tech”.

She goes on to explain that “every candidate holds multiple offers and it is impossible to know their status of onboarding until they actually get onboard”. Jaidka further reveals, “To counter that, the strategy that has helped us is trainee hiring”.

“Back in 2020, we were seeing a lot of attrition amongst our call centre employees, basically owing to uncertainty around their future as telecallers. We launched a programme called ‘Accelerate’, through which we assisted interested employees to clear qualification exams to work in the insurance sector. Now, they are free to move in any vertical within Digit”

Jaidka Arora, head – HR, Digit Insurance

With the Undergraduate training (UGT) programme introduced by the Company, Digit hopes to acquire talent at a very nascent stage, that is, after they pass their undergrad. The Company hires from government schools, through NGOs and also through churches that run foundation programmes

Arora feels that this shift in focus from lateral hiring to trainee hiring has helped Digit develop internal pipelines of talent that are less prone to attrition. Right after their Class 12, the Company offers an opportunity to work with them for three years as UGTs. While they complete their graduation through correspondence, they are trained on different technologies with Digit.

Last year, Digit Insurance hired 125 trainees across teams and over 400 employees overall. This year too, the young talent hired is over 250 with over 150 trainees in the technology vertical alone.

The hiring rate of the Company was 15 per cent during the financial year 2020-21. Post-Covid, Digit has hired 240 young tech talent and plans to double the figure this year.

When it comes to new hiring, Arora admits that referrals serve as the key in the lateral hiring strategy. Further, Digit is proactive in giving opportunities first to their existing workforce.

“Back in 2020, we were seeing a lot of attrition amongst our voice process employees, basically owing to uncertainty around their future as telecallers. We launched a programme called ‘Accelerate’, through which we encouraged interested employees to clear insurance qualification exams and offered opportunities to work and graduate to other functions within Digit. Over 25 employees in the last year have taken up roles in other teams,” Arora shares.

Retention strategies

While the Company is working on building a young workforce, which is less prone to attrition, offering benefits is another way for them to curb retention.

As per Arora, Digit emphasised heavily on its employees’ as well as their families’ mental health and well-being. She reveals that they have started many well-being programs through Digit Health Plus – their health & wellness initiative! “We have organised webinars, tele-health sessions, gave access to counselling & therapy for promoting a healthier lifestyle.”

The Company has also tried to ensure that the workforce remains physically fit.

“We launched ‘Digit Walkathon’ recently, where employees were asked to clock in the steps they take on a daily basis. Further, we also initiated ‘Digit Workout Warriors’, where people uploaded their 60-second workout videos,” she says.

Participation in these activities leads to recognition and rewards within the organisation. Most importantly, “these serve as a great employee-engagement tool,” points out Arora.

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