The better the question
Is sales force attrition a necessary cost of growth?
With a finite talent pool to tap into, an insurance company was seeking a technology-based solution to help it hire and retain the best talent while keeping costs low.
One of India's leading life insurance companies, a joint venture between two global conglomerates, registered phenomenal year-on-year financial growth in the past few years. It aimed to be one of the top five life insurers in India in the next 3-5 years. However, controlling the attrition rate of the sales force posed to be a major hindrance and was impacting its bottom-line.
The company operates in an industry which traditionally observed high attrition rates along with a finite talent pool. Reducing the attrition rate and driving sales productivity became a strategic priority for the company. The company was also aware of the need to build a digital-led modern organization with minimal disruption of existing business and people processes. Hence, the company wanted to drive a strategic people initiative to control attrition, hire and retain the best sales talent available in the market on the back of an efficient data-backed process, and thereby, improve the bottom-line of the company.
The better the answer
An AI-focused solution helps diagnose core HR issues and make better decisions.
With the help of AI, the company was able to obtain a better view of its HR processes and make data-driven decisions.
EY conducted a detailed diagnostic of the organization structure and developed imperatives to understand HR processes better. Key focus areas for the organization were:
- Finalize current baseline attrition metrics and project success measures to review overall performance improvement directly resulting due to EY intervention
- Have a scalable AI based algorithm to determine quality of every new hire and incorporate renewed technical assessments of candidates
- Establish control levers to reduce dropouts across the hiring funnel
- Establish an integrated and centralized HR function to build an accountability-based ecosystem to ensure improved retention of sales force and higher sales productivity measures
- Develop robust data architecture to institutionalize factual decision making
EY worked on a 10-month-long HR transformation journey, while leveraging EY TalentMiner (an AI based digital hiring solution), which changed the way the client was functioning across its entire value chain.
The key initiatives of this digital transformation included:
An AI-based customized hiring algorithm was developed for each hiring outlet of the client. The degree of customization was basis the client’s existing data maturity and nature of the problem, i.e. specific to each role, channel and location.
The integration of the algorithm to the technology platform enabled mass screening and selection of candidates. This led to significant improvement in the quality and speed of hiring.
Streamlining the entire employee life cycle and increasing the employees’ awareness of on-ground experience.
Significant improvement in the data maturity index of the organization with single source database of every new joiner, which enabled easy access to any employee related information. This aided reporting and intelligence provided to the senior management anchored by the HR workstream.
Month-long transition process included role-based plans across HR-business-strategy stakeholders, detailed knowledge transfer dockets and one-to-one training workshops. Cadence around periodic audits post exit were also implemented.
During implementation, the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic was observed. The EY team extended the program duration and adjusted the key levers of the initiative to assimilate the impact of the outbreak on the changing business environment.
The better the world works
The manufacturer increased market coverage, built customer loyalty and boosted sales.
The company witnessed better performance across all aspects of their envisioned growth targets.
Over a period of just 10 months, the client started to reap the benefits of the integrated business and HR transformation initiative. The benefits came in the form of significant reduction in attrition related costs, enabling the client to improve its growth trajectory. This included:
Some of the more qualitative benefits delivered included efficient, scalable and robust HR processes, which were enabled and automated by an integrated technology backbone. Another key benefit included adoption of a data driven culture within the organization.
The overall HR transformation process helped the client create a more resilient and efficient recruitment ecosystem backed by modern technologies such as AI, which are not only future-ready, but also equipped to better manage market volatility.
Arijit Chakraborty and Gautam Kumar also contributed to the case study.