Hand in hand, Bangalore couples feel at home in office as well 

Monday, Jun 10, 2013, 15:01 IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA 

Suparna Goswami Bhattacharya Bedevilled by high attrition rates, IT and BPO firms seemed to have found an ingenious solution to retain talent: Spousal hiring. When vacancies open up, HR departments tracking the internal job portals and CVs forwarded by employees are keen on hiring the spouse of the employee. Though niche, companies, especially the IT and BPOs, are following this policy, popularly known as ‘spousal hiring’, to retain valuable employees.

 The policy is a win-win situation for both employee and firm. Take the case of Suman and Arav Mohapatra, who worked in the recruitment department for rival firms.

Suman’s employers always kept her away from campus hiring citing Arav as the reason. Since Arav worked as a recruiter in a rival firm, her manager regarded this as a drawback. “It was quite upsetting. I would vent my anger on Arav, who was not at fault.”

 Suman resolved the vexed problem by applying for a job in Arav’s company. “I guess rivalry is more pronounced when you work in similar roles for different companies. Now, we sit together and draw hiring plans for the same company. It is actually fun. Our managers are different and hence there is no conflict of interest,” she says. For many employees, this is as an opportunity to travel to office together and spend time during lunch breaks. “Earlier, my wife’s office was in Whitefield and mine in Electronic City. Since our offices were in opposite direction, we could not find a place which could be close to our workplace. One of us had to spend hours commuting,” says Satadru Basu, who works in Electronic City.

 However, the matter was resolved when a vacancy came up in Satadru’s company for which his wife was eligible to apply. The HR manager of the firm which hired Satadru’s wife said they decided to hire her as they found her suitable for the position which was vacant. “This adds to ‘stickiness factor’, as now they would also have an emotional bonding with the company.” In fact, employees are now making it a point to upload their spouse’s CV forward if any suitable position comes up in their company.

 “My wife is two months pregnant and has to travel alone to her office on Bannerghatta Road. Therefore, I have uploaded her CV on the company’s internal job portal. If she gets a call, I would be able to drive her to office,” says Vinod Shankar, whose office is on Richmond Road.

 According to Sunil Goel, director, GlobalHunt, an HR consultant firm, BPOs, aviation and hospitality sector have the maximum instances of employees getting married to each other. “These industries have erratic long hours, hence employees end up spending lot of time together. As long as it is not a reporting relationship between spouses, firms do not take a conservative view on couples working together.

 It is viewed as a tool to fight high attrition, which is common in these industries.” Also, the policy can improve the gender diversity (employing more women for important roles), an issue which is pretty much on priority list of most companies. “I was handed the responsibility to improve gender diversity ratio in my company. The first thing I did was to issue a notice wherein husbands could put up their partner’s CV on company website. As and when there a vacancy came up, we check those CVs before going for external hiring,” said a HR manager of an IT firm