- The company has 850 permanent employees and over 1200 casual or contractual employees who operate from factories or the shopfloor.
- There are three ways how ‘no bar on minimum education policy’ in Duroflex is carried out – hiring of blue-collar professionals, internal mobility within departments and cross-functional transfers, and a complete skill-based hiring on a case-to-case basis.
- If a candidate has relevant experience, the required skill sets and the right attitude, they can get internally transferred to another team or, they are freshly hired despite not possessing a certain minimum degree of qualification for the job function.
Duroflex, a player in the manufacturing sector, founded some five decades ago, is in the business of mattresses, sofas, beds and sleep accessories.
With the corporate office headquartered in Bengaluru, the company has seven manufacturing facilities in Hosur and Kariyamangalam (Tamil Nadu), Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Hyderabad (Telangana) and Pala (Kerala).
The company has 850 permanent employees and over 1200 casual or contractual employees who operate from factories or the shopfloor.
In an exclusive interaction with ETHRWorld, Ritu Bhardwaj Moitra, Chief Human Resources Officer, Duroflex, talks about the company’s ‘No Bar On Minimum Education Policy’ or skill-based hiring policy, and a unique Sleep Pods Programme.
“In our recruitment process we focus more on the job role requirement than on the education requirement,” says Moitra.
Vision and plan around no bar on minimum education hiring
Moitra says, “I will definitely respect the educational background. It is not that we can discount it completely, but there are definitely roles and functions in which the educational qualification does not play a very big role as much as the skill of a person does.”
There are three ways how ‘no bar on minimum education policy’ in Duroflex is carried out:
- Hiring of blue-collar professionals,
- Internal mobility within departments and cross-functional transfers, and
- A complete skill-based hiring on a case-to-case basis.
The company started off its hiring through ‘no bar on minimum education’ first with blue collared roles long after the organisation had commenced.Moitra says, “The idea initially was helping society and providing an opportunity to all those people who can’t avail even a minimum or a basic education, say even till the 5th or 6th standard.”
So, factory workers or workforce on the shop floor were hired and are still being hired through this strategy.
The criteria is that they just are required to be able bodied, willing to work, and get trained.
By and large, if a candidate has relevant experience, the required skill sets and the right attitude they can get internally transferred to another team or, they are freshly hired despite not possessing a certain minimum degree of qualification for the job function.
“We first broke the silos within the organisation and made it easier for employees to move from one team to another without the basic minimum qualification and just skills and attitude,” says Moitra.
Hence, what started off years back, for the upliftment of society through a unique policy of hiring blue collared professionals only, is gradually being brought down to the white collared roles as well.
“The point is overcoming our ingrained biases. We never discriminate with the person having the skills but no education, but on the other hand if the person has an education but not the skill set, he is considered unsuitable,” says Moitra.
This recruiting strategy has percolated to the creative functions of the organisation.
Moitra feels that in some roles and functions such as legal, in finance or in operations, a minimum qualification might be necessary to some extent to have the subject matter expertise. But for creative functions this is not the case.
She says, “If the skill is there and the person has a right attitude, but just could not pursue the education, or chose to not do it, we are open to discussion for recruiting, and we might still present the opportunity to them.”
Professionals hired based on skills
The company has recently hired a Digital Artist (graphic designer) who is not even 20 years old and is a drop out, yet has great skills.
Recently, an employee from the supply chain team not having a background in finance has moved to a finance role in the company as well.
Duroflex has only a handful of about five professionals in white collar roles recruited on skills basis, the first recruitment having taken place only last year.
Hiring plans based on this strategy
Apart from blue collared professionals and creative roles, the next job role in line is Sales.
Candidates can be from any stream or they can also be dropouts. If they have the skill sets, the opportunity would be open for them.
The company has also recently opened up a recruiter role that does not have an MBA-HR or any people function qualification as minimum qualification.
About 60 percent of the hiring at the organisation happens through employee referrals and the remaining 40 percent happens through consultants and social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Naukri.com and the likes.
Sleep Pods Programme
Rolled out on March 18, this is an initiative by the organisation which allows all the permanent employees in the corporate office in Bengaluru, to take a nap after 3 or 4 hours of working.
“We understand human physiology and the need to lie down after four or five hours of strenuous working in front of screens and sitting on a chair in a certain position, hence, the initiative,” says Moitra.
The office in Bengaluru currently has four ‘sleep pods’ for employees to nap in, and more rooms are coming up in the days to come.
Another interesting practice at the company is that on Fridays, everyone wears their sleepwear (night suits and pyjamas) to work.
This is a practice to emphasise the importance of comfort and be able to work in a relaxed manner at the workplace.