Wipro, the Indian IT major, has launched a new program called ‘Begin Again’, which specially caters to women professionals re-entering their careers after a break of six months to a year or more. Wipro’s Inclusion and Diversity will be in charge of helping the women recruited under the program to restart their careers post their sabbatical or career break.
The Company aims to reorient the women towards the present professional requirements of the industry. “The initiative enables talented women to explore career opportunities that will harness their potential and allow them to get back on track with the present demands of the industry,” the company said in a statement.
In conversation with HRKatha, Aji George, head – organization effectiveness: Inclusion & diversity, culture transformation, special initiatives, Wipro informed that the initiative enables Wipro to access a talent pool that wasn’t as accessible pre-pandemic, given the flexibility in working introduced by the work-from-home and hybrid work models.
“Begin Again is a second careers program for women, essentially catering to those who had to take a career break due to any foreseeable reason. We are aiming to provide an opportunity to such a talent pool that had to take a break and is willing to kickstart their careers again. Since the pandemic has introduced a lot of changes in the way we work, this talent pool has become more accessible, and Begin Again is an enabler for women to jump back into their professions,” George enumerates.
He further says that the Indian multinational corporation was looking to launch the initiative earlier, but had to defer the launch due to the pandemic. With this initiative, he shares that they have been able to tap into a vast talent pool of skilled women with gaps in their careers, looking to enter the market again. The pilot will be launched at a smaller scale first, to gauge the response and the plan will be expanded accordingly in the future.
George believes that one of the major roadblocks that they may face during hiring may be at the recruitment stage, particularly the interviews. To guide them through this, Wipro will offer a unique enablement program to help shortlisted candidates after an initial screening and maintain an even keel during the interview process. “A break in career impacts one’s confidence levels during interviews. Keeping that in mind, this 2-hour workshop is being implemented to help the candidates in the process,” George explains.
The orientation program will see specific experts from Wipro’s learning and development function engage with the shortlisted candidates to give them tips to clear the interview process as well as help them build their confidence.
Another interesting aspect George highlights are that the company will be adding these women in batches or cohorts in their workforce. This is beneficial as it will give the company a focused approach in nurturing the talent along with giving the talent group an opportunity to connect with similar people across multiple functions in the organization. The batch will collectively undergo training of three months, where technical training relevant to the job description of a candidate will be imparted.
Along with this, behavioral training will also be imparted, encompassing a few relevant topics spaced out over a three-month time frame. “The first three months of the training will be crucial and the behavioral program will act as a pit stop for us to gauge how the new hires are doing, and hence, enable us to provide a good employee experience to them,” George adds.
The company will provide structured learning and enablement programs along with an integrated framework for a smooth transition to their job roles. Further, there will be a buddy program with which real-time assistance to the queries of the new hires will be given. “The same employees, who are to be engaged in the orientation program will also assist the new hires in the buddy program for the first three months. They will enjoy the initial hand-holding that is required to understand the organization better,” George says. He adds that the program is used by Wipro while hiring for senior leadership roles as well.
Under Begin Again, Wipro has announced multiple hirings across multiple functions pan-India and the details of the roles are specified on the official website: https://careers.wipro.com/begin-again.
Further, job postings have also been made on multiple online boards. George says that the response they have received until now has been phenomenal. The first batch of Begin Again will begin in a couple of weeks from now, employing 50 -150 women re-entering their professions in the first quarter. George explains that the company will be looking to broaden this number in the future, depending on the experience with the first batch.