How this digital agency acquires, retains & develops talent

Social Beat has introduced many initiatives to ensure continuous development of its employees in the digital marketing space


As a relatively young industry in terms of talent, the digital marketing landscape undergoes constant transformations with the emergence of novel tools and technologies. Amidst this ever-changing environment, one element remains unwavering — the clients. They remain at the centre of everything. Therefore, Pavan Ramchand, CHRO, Social Beat, emphasises that every aspect of the human resources function at the firm revolves around enabling the success of not just its clients but its internal team members.

Throughout Ramchand’s tenure as the chief human resource officer, his focus has been on harnessing the inherent potential of the existing talent pool, while also attracting exceptional individuals to drive clients’ aspirations.

He admits that his primary endeavour is “to drive the substantial growth of Social Beat in the coming years”.

So, what are the key priorities of the company?

The company that serves as a digital agency to several brands, has an ambitious goal to expand the workforce and build a team of over 1,000 professionals across India.

“To achieve this, our HR strategy emphasises three key priorities — acquiring top talent, retaining our valuable team members and fostering their continuous development,” reveals Ramchand.

“Our culture serves as a testament to our values and speaks for itself, making Social Beat an appealing destination for talented individuals seeking career opportunities in the digital space.”

Pavan Ramchand, CHRO, Social Beat

“These priorities align with our vision of establishing Social Beat as one of the most desirable companies in the digital marketing space,” he adds.

Behaviour-based interviewing (BBI)

To facilitate its growth objectives, Social Beat has invested in Behaviour-Based Interviewing (BBI) and provided comprehensive training to all its leaders in this approach. While BBI is considered an older technique, Ramchand feels that it has stood the test of time and proven to be highly effective. Many leading organisations continue to prioritise BBI as their preferred interviewing method.

Recognising the deep connection between the organisational values and the operations at Social Beat, the company has integrated these values as core competencies within the BBI framework. This ensures that the interview process aligns closely with its values-driven culture.

Experienced recruiters

Social Beat has significantly expanded its talent-acquisition team by bringing in experienced recruiters from top companies. Ramchand believes that “their expertise will fuel our growth engine by attracting exceptional talent to join our ranks. To further strengthen our talent pipeline, we have established partnerships with prestigious universities across India and implemented a robust campus programme, particularly in the creative space”.

Organisation culture

Social Beat takes immense pride in its strong organisational culture, which has become synonymous with the brand.

“Our culture serves as a testament to our values and speaks for itself, making Social Beat an appealing destination for talented individuals seeking career opportunities in the digital space,” asserts Ramchand.

This is reinforced by the testimonials of former team members, who can attest to the unique experiences and opportunities provided within our organisation.

Ramchand admits how gratifying it is “to witness several of our former team members returning to Social Beat, which serves as a testament to our thriving culture”.

This has encouraged the firm to actively work towards establishing a robust alumni programme. This initiative aims to create a strong network that facilitates the seamless re-engagement of talented individuals who wish to rejoin our organisation in the future.

Learning & development

The firm’s commitment to fostering a learning culture is unwavering. Amongst the various initiatives implemented to support this vision is the establishment of the ‘I am Possible’ academy. This offers a comprehensive range of online and offline learning opportunities within Social Beat. Additionally, the company recognises the value of external programmes in complementing its leadership-development efforts. Therefore, it invests in such programmes to further enhance its associates’ growth.

Succession planning

“Our focus on development aligns seamlessly with our succession planning practices,” points out Ramchand. Through these practices, Social Beat identifies emerging leaders within the organisation and provides them with ample opportunities to develop and progress. “A significant majority of our leaders have been nurtured internally and now hold prominent positions across the company. Moreover, these leaders have taken up the responsibility of cultivating the potential of our aspiring talent, perpetuating a cycle of ongoing development throughout the organisation,” shares Ramchand with pride.

Dynamic environment

Clearly, these initiatives and practices are deeply rooted in the strong culture established by the founders. The firm strives to create a vibrant and enjoyable work environment. “We prioritise flexibility and ensure that our team members have the freedom to augment their creativity, brainstorm ideas on the go and have fun while doing so. This dynamic environment fosters an atmosphere of innovation and collaboration, enabling our employees to thrive,” enunciates Ramchand.

Performance management

The comprehensive and effective performance-management process at Social Beat encompasses various components that ensure that the evaluation of individual performance is robust and aligned with the organisational objectives.

To gauge performance, the firm has established performance metrics that are directly linked to customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores. This approach allows the measurement and assessment of how effectively the team members contribute to delivering exceptional customer experiences.

“We believe in the power of 360-degree feedback, which involves gathering input from project teams, or ‘PODs’ as we refer to them at Social Beat,” says Ramchand. This multi-dimensional feedback mechanism enables the company to obtain a holistic view of an individual’s performance, incorporating insights from colleagues, managers and stakeholders involved in the project.

The performance-management process is intrinsically connected to the organisational culture and values. “We provide specific feedback and guidance to team members, highlighting how their performance aligns with our core values. This ensures that our employees are not only assessed based on their outcomes but also on how well they demonstrate and uphold our cultural principles,” enunciates Ramchand.

By implementing these performance-management practices, Social Beat has created a framework that encourages continuous improvement, supports professional development and reinforces our organisational culture and values.

Social Beat understands the importance of adapting and evolving its policies and processes to meet the needs of a growing organisation. It is, therefore, committed to continuously improving these aspects to enhance the overall experience and well-being of its team members.

Artificial Intelligence

In Social Beat’s pursuit of growth and efficiency, the company recognises the significant role that artificial intelligence or AI plays. To harness the potential of AI, we have formed an AI task force. This dedicated group is responsible for exploring and evaluating various AI technologies that have the potential to benefit the team members throughout Social Beat.

“By leveraging AI, we aim to streamline operations, improve productivity and create a more seamless and efficient work environment,” explains Ramchand. The focus remains on identifying AI solutions that can augment the capabilities of the team members and enable them to achieve their goals more effectively.

“Through ongoing innovation and the integration of AI technologies, we strive to stay at the forefront of industry advancements and ensure that our team members have access to the tools and resources necessary for their success,” shares Ramchand.

As Social Beat continues to expand its operations and establish a stronger presence in the market, its unwavering dedication to its clients and team members remains paramount. The primary goal remains to provide exceptional services that set it apart as the best in the industry. Simultaneously, the firm is deeply committed to ensuring that its team members have the opportunity to learn, grow and flourish in their roles. As Ramchand put is, “We firmly believe that success is not only measured by achieving targets but also by fostering an environment where our team members can have fun while accomplishing remarkable results. By upholding these principles, we are poised to thrive as an organisation, while delivering outstanding value to our clients and nurturing the professional development and well-being of our team members”.

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