HR profession is a high-impact job, yet provides ample time for family – says Vaibhav Zarkar (Human Resource Professional)

Vaibhav Zarkar (Human Resources (HR) Professional at Zim Laboratories)

Insights

  1. One of the major challenges in HR career is that one has to deal with a lot of non-quantifiable variables like maintaining “goodwill” among employees and managing people’s “expectations”. If expectations are not met, then ascertaining who are the “right” people for the job.
  2. Since HR is a job which deals primarily with people, a person’s soft skills should be such that they can seamlessly adapt to the organization’s overall work culture and any individual tricky situations that may come up on a day-to-day basis.
  3. This job is relatively less stressful as compared to some of the other professions. It does not involve long or odd working hours on a regular basis. At the same time, it offers plenty of room for financial growth not to mention the high impact role you get to have within an organization.
  4. Working in HR means you should be intuitive enough to judge if a person is a right fit for the job in the long-run. You should be adaptive enough to respond to changes, which will yield results in the future.
  5. Though, this job requires the ability to handle any inherent pressures of a high-impact job.
  6. The trickiest part of this job is to handle situations where employee’s grievance against management hasn’t gone in employee’s favor.

Profile Details

Name – Vaibhav Zarkar

Profession – Human Resources (HR) Professional at Zim Laboratories

Age – 34

Gender – Male

City – Nagpur

Industry – Human Resources

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/vaibhav-zarkar-29b52a8/

Where have you been born and raised?

I was born in a small village called Barwa and raised in Nagpur.

My father is a retired bank professional and mother is a housewife. I have a sister who did her Masters in Veterinary Sciences and is now settled in the US.

Who all had the most influence on you and how?

I cannot recall any one person or some special circumstance that drove me towards this profession rather I choose it of my own volition.

Please give us a summary of your career.

I did BE (Bachelor in Engineering) in Mechanical Engineering from Yeshwantrao Chavan College of Engineering, Nagpur, and PGDBM (MBA) from ITM Business School, Navi Mumbai.

I started my career with SI Group India Ltd as a management trainee. After 3 years, I joined RPG Life Sciences as a manager. A year later, I joined HDFC bank for a brief period but went back to RPG Life Sciences. I worked there until January 2015. After which, I joined Zim Laboratories in Nagpur as HR manager.

Which institutes are best for the education/training of HR?

Some of the best institutes for post-graduation in HR are Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), XLRI, XIM and IIMs.

In this field, both government and private institutes are at par.

What are the costs associated with the education/training of HR?

For post-graduation course of 2 years, the fee can range from 10–20 lakhs depending on the institute and the city.

What are the typical entry-level jobs in this profession?

HR itself is divided into numerous divisions such as training, recruitment, policy making etc.

Mostly beginners join as management trainees in one of these domains, where they undergo training for about a year.

After that, based on your skills and interest, you can join one of the divisions within HR and then grow to become HR Head/Partner.

What is the range of income one can expect when starting out in HR career?

5 years experience – 10,000–25,000 INR Monthly

10 years experience – 1,00,000–1,50,000 INR Monthly

15 years experience – 1,50,000–2,00,000 INR Monthly

20+ years experience – 2,00,000–3,00,000 INR Monthly

Please describe your work.

As head of the HR department, I spend most of my time on recruitment i.e. finding the right people for the job and getting them on board.

The performance management system is another thing that takes up a lot of my time. My time also goes in defining and disseminating HR policies, salary management etc.

What are some of the positives, which would encourage someone to consider this career/job?

HR is a high-impact job and I love this aspect of it.

This job is totally about people, and I love to interact with people.

Organizations are created by people so finding the right people for the job and keeping them motivated is what helps an organization progress. This is something an HR professional is accountable for and making these executive decisions is thrilling. Though, this comes with responsibility and accountability.

As for my working hours, it’s usually an 8-hours a day and 6-days a week job. Only when we performance management cycles, we do have extended working hours. But this is an activity that happens once in a year.

In contrast to a lot of other professions where people carry work home, but it rarely happens in HR. Therefore, we have a perfect work-life balance.

This job, in general, is less stressful than most other professions.

What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering this career/job?

There are certain golden rules in HR. If we aren’t able to tackle those, then this job can pose real challenges.

If we have to fill a hiring position, then we have to work smartly and diligently to hire a person on a fixed timeline. We have to also ensure proper onboarding as well keep an eye on their motivation level. Usually, it takes a year to realize whether your hiring met expectations or not.

Also, there are a lot of unquantifiable variables in HR. For example, when we are asked to hire good people, then the definition of “good” can’t be easily quantifiable. This makes our job much harder.

Additionally, you need to maintain goodwill among people. They usually see HR personnel as their confidants; they share their doubts, grievances and expect things to be sorted out. Accordingly, it is our job to manage people’s expectations from the management.

Employees like HR department, when the outcome of their grievance is in their favor. But, that can’t happen always. So, the challenge in HR is to manage such situations and this is probably the trickiest aspects of this job.

What kind of person would be happy in your career?

When we review applicants for a job in HR, first we judge their measurable qualities like their qualification, basic job knowledge, and relevant work experience. Then, we focus on their soft-skills and if fit with organizations’ value system and work culture.

A prime example of work-culture is that some companies want quick results, so they will assess whether a person can respond and act quickly; whereas, some other companies are more prudent, so they will assess whether a person can make a rational and informed decision.

Therefore, somebody who can adapt to different work-cultures and varying needs of the company, can deal with a somewhat chaotic environment and can accurately make future predictions with regards to people’s skills i.e. foresee whether they will be a good match for the company would be happy in HR.

Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?

No, I wouldn’t have gone for anything else.

What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to yours?

In HR, you have to be constantly on your toes. You have to respond to changes that are going to yield results in future, so in a way you not only have to be intuitive, but you should also be able to sustain that pressure and preserve despite it.

This is the kind of thought-process that I would advise people to cultivate if they want to come into HR.

Contributing Writer – Shtakshi Gupta