Retaining Top Talent in Your Offshore Captive

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Suma Subramanian

Partner and Director, CaptiveAide

So you have set up your captive center and think all the hard work is done – all the compliance issues, infrastructure, hiring the people you want, vendors are on board, your transitions have begun. But, how do you keep your people?  The crucial factor for the center to do well your team and now is when the hard work begins.

Some ways you can get the best people to work for you are obvious –  pay them handsomely, promise them stock options so they have a long-term stake in the company, give them attractive work designations, ensure they get a decent amount of travel opportunities to other centers and so on.

There are other, less tangible ways in which bright people will want to work with you rather than for the competition.

Challenging Work

Physical proximity to headquarters should not be the criteria for sending across only back-end development work. Understand the team’s skills and engage them in doing challenging project work, give them a sense of being valuable, seek their opinion on issues. In short, forget that they are “offshore” and give them complex tasks.

Trust Them

Your offshore colleagues may not have education qualifications from your country, but the language of technology is universal! By giving them complex tasks and projects, you show them that they have your trust. Believe me, the best employees are those who want to surpass all your expectations and deliver far beyond the challenge you have laid before them.

Cutting Edge Projects

It would be a poor show all around if you hire well-qualified people and expect them to just follow instructions. Trust them to go all out and do a great job with cutting edge technology – and the best in the field will come looking to be part of your team. Experienced hires can jumpstart your captive quicker than you might imagine, bringing with them a work ethic and sense of responsibility that younger, fresh graduates can emulate.

Respect their time

This is a sensitive issue and there was a time when Indian (or any other offshore) employees were available on call at any time of the night for discussions, after working through the day. The best employees have earned their right to a good night’s sleep and undisturbed holiday breaks – and if you respect that, I guarantee you the attrition rate at your captive will be among the lowest in the industry. The best people will attract other good people and your virtuous cycle can continue undisturbed.

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