Hero Housing Finance, the financial services firm which provides home loans, has kick-started its campus hiring and fresh talent-development programme called ‘Young Hero Programme.’ Under this new initiative, the Company has hired freshers from campuses for front-line sales roles and trained them to hit the ground.
Speaking to HRKatha, Gaurav Paruthi, head-L&D, Hero Housing Finance, shares that it wasn’t the usual practice for the Company to hire freshers for front-line sales roles. In fact, Hero Housing Finance was majorly dependant on lateral hiring for front-line sales personnel. Now, however, the Company wishes to hire some fresh talent to bring some newness to the sales team at Hero Housing Finance.
Paramjit Singh Nayyar, CHRO, Hero Housing Finance, says that the Young Hero Programme will cater to building talent in the organisation. “We have been following the ‘buy’ talent model for a long time. Now, we want to also focus on building talent within the organisation,” he enunciates.
Another primary purpose of the Young Hero Programme is to give opportunities to the youth of the country and make them employable. “We truly believe in the youth of our nation and we want to bring as many of them as possible into the employability bracket by hiring them in their early stages, training them and making them job-ready in the talent market,” tells Nayyar.
Paruthi believes that the quality of talent derived from lateral hiring is not the best. “No star performers would want to leave their company and join another. Therefore, the Young Hero Programme gives us an opportunity to explore new and fresh talent in sales roles,” says Paruthi.
“We have been following the ‘buy’ talent model for a long time. Now, we want to also focus on building talent within the organisation”
Paramjit Singh Nayyar, CHRO, Hero Housing Finance
Adding a pertinent point here, Nayyar says, “Experienced people come with a lot of baggage from their past assignments. Freshers, on the other hand, bring in newness, innovation and freshness to the whole team”.
That is not all. Hiring freshers from campuses can also result in the grooming of leaders of tomorrow for Hero Housing Finance.
The home-loan providing company has targeted graduation institutes in the northern and western parts of the country, where the firm has a strong presence. Freshers from colleges were selected and hired through a stringent process of psychometric tests and personal interviews.
Hero Housing Finance usually conducts psychometric tests for all kinds of roles in the Company. As part of this, the Company uses a sales tool comprising some competencies required in a sales professional. Paruthi explains that the test analyses and evaluates candidates on competencies such as communication skills, relationship-building skills, go-getter attitude and more.
The threshold for each skill, Paruthi elaborates, is very basic and acts as an indicator for interviewers to probe some areas where the candidates may be lacking.
After a psychometric assessment, the students go through one-on-one interview rounds. The 60 odd students that the Company hired from campuses under the programme, were put through a two-month learning and development journey before they were allowed to actually hit the field.
“No star performers would want to leave their company and join another. Therefore, the Young Hero Programme gives us an opportunity to explore new and fresh talent in sales roles”
Gaurav Paruthi, head-L&D, Hero Housing Finance
The two months of learning was bifurcated into two weeks of classroom learning and five weeks of on-the-job learning. In the classrooms, the participants were taught the ‘Hero way of selling,’ as Paruthi puts it.
Giving further details Paruthi says that the new hires were taught things from ‘how to give your card to having a face-to-face meeting with the client,’ and practising skills repeatedly to master the same. During the on-the-job learning, the new hires were provided coaches and mentors by the learning partner of Hero Housing Finance.
The freshers were trained on the job, under experienced sales coaches to understand and practically master the skills. Post the two-month learning journey, the participants were deployed as relationship managers. As part of this programme, the Company specifically targeted institutes from tier I and II cities as its client base comes from the same background.
The Company has made a two-year career-progression plan for all the new hires. “These freshers can look to make a great career at Hero Housing Finance. Post two years in the role, they can go on to become sales managers and enjoy the opportunity to choose to become team leaders or remain individual contributors in the Company. They can also opt to become direct-selling agents (DSAs),” suggests Paruthi.
As Paruthi explains, DSAs are people who choose to take the entrepreneurial career wherein they can work with different companies as agents.
Given the success of the Young Hero Programme and the way it has benefitted the front-line sales team, Hero Housing Finance is now considering introducing a similar initiative for the credit team as well, reveals Paruthi.