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EFC HR/IR forum discusses recruitment, retention and succession PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 October 2017 15:11

The third edition of the EFC HR/IR Forum, for 2017 was held recently at the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC). The forum which provides a platform for sharing best practices and discussion of common issues faced by employers deliberated on the topics of ‘recruitment’, ‘retention’ and ‘succession,’ according to a media release from the EFC.

The panel comprised Roshan Rajadurai- Managing Director, Kelani Valley Plantations PLC and Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC; Dharshi Talpahewa- Head, Human Resources, Legal, Corporate Communication and Sustainability, Group Security, Hayleys Group; Roshan Kulasuriya, Human Resources Director, Coats Thread Exports Pvt Ltd; Chandi Dharmaratne, Senior Director, Human Resources, Virtusapolaris Sri Lanka and Chamindra Dassanayake, Head of Group HR, Hidramani Group. The panel discussion was moderated by Kanishka Weerasinghe, Director General of the EFC.

EFC Mr. Weerasinghe stated that this event will be considered as the first in the series of stakeholder interaction on these important issues which he hopes to make use of in addressing growing youth concerns and finding feasible solutions to issues faced by an ageing workforce.

During the discussion, Ms. Talpahewa from Hayleys observed that the applicant’s skills as per job requirement, his/her ability to fit into the job role as well as into the ‘culture’ of the company are imperative. She also emphasised on the importance of ‘soft skills’. Commenting on pre-recruitment aspects, Ms. Talpahewa further noted that third party assistance such as reference systems are used in the recruitment process and situational tests to assess applicants.

Hiring for potential, cannot be underpinned, observed Mr. Kulasuriya of Coats Thread Exports Pvt Ltd. He said that those with the necessary drive to achieve, will be the most suitable for recruitment, given their ability to adapt to changes in the business environment.

Mr. Dassanayake of Hidramani Group noted that unavailability of labour is the biggest stumbling block faced when recruiting blue collar workers. In response to an observation made by a member of the audience that despite many applications being received for blue-collar jobs, only a few applicants actually turn up for interviews, Chandi Dharmaratne of Virtusapolaris remarked that technology can be used to make the interview process more expeditious and thereby increase participation.

The challenges placed before the plantation sector which has to compete with leisure, industry, service and manufacturing sectors, are unprecedented today, especially in retaining talent remarked Mr. Rajadurai. The role expected of managers in the plantation sector, who are considered the focal point become even more demanding in such a context, he added.

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