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Understanding

Human Resource
Challenges
in the Indian Social
Enterprise Sector
April 2012

About Intellecap Acknowledgements
Intellecap works at the intersection of the private sector and This study was made possible with funding and support from
development. It provides consulting and investment banking Potencia Ventures and the International Finance Corporation
services driven by innovative thought processes, to business (IFC). The Intellecap Research Team would like to thank Kelly
and development communities globally, helping them bring Michel and Vivianne Naigeborin of Potencia Ventures for their
entrepreneurship solutions to development challenges at the feedback and suggestions through the course of this study.
Base of the Pyramid and beyond. Intellecap’s interventions are
designed to catalyze initiatives for both large corporates and The Intellecap Research Team would also like to thank all the
social entrepreneurs in pursuit of rapid global development. Intellecap Social Enterprise Landscape Survey respondents
Our footprint extends to several locations globally, and we and interviewees who generously shared their experiences
service a prestigious global client base including Development and insights to shape this study. We are also grateful to all the
Finance Institutions, private sector investors, foundations, sector enablers and impact investors we contacted for their
governments, and inclusive and social businesses. The support, insights and suggestions. (Please see Annexure 1 for
Knowledge & Insights practice at Intellecap adds value to the a complete list of enterprises that participated in this study.)
global development dialogue through publications and events
of varying size and scale that help create a more integrated Finally, our team would like to thank our colleagues at
ecosystem for knowledge sharing. Intellecap, especially the Sankalp Forum Team, in their
unfailing help with names, contacts, suggestions and feedback
at every stage of research.

Contact Information

Supported By For any queries on this study,
please contact Usha Ganesh
or Nisha Kumar Kulkarni.

Intellecap (Hyderabad)
5th Floor, Building no 8-2-682/1
Next to Ohris, Road No 12, Banjara Hills
Hyderabad – 500 034 INDIA
Phone: +91 40 4030 0200

Intellecap (Mumbai)
512, Palm Spring, Beside D-Mart,
Link Road, Malad (West),
Mumbai – 400064, INDIA
Phone: +91 22 4035 9222

policy-makers and aca- demics in making informed decisions about their involvement in the social enterprise industry. stage of development. donors.com or call +91 22 40359222 to receive your copy by email. this report analyzes the state of these mission- driven businesses including their geographic and sector distribution. busi- Contents ness structure. financial viability. funding sources and key challenges. Drawing from an in-depth survey of 101 social enterprises in India.com today or contact us at info@intellecap.com .7 About the Study 08 Inside On the Path to Sustainability and Scale: Survey Findings 11 Major trends defining the landscape Finding the Social Intrapreneur 17 Financial sustainability and social impact Enterprise development across the growth cycle Leveraging HR for Scale.com usha. Introduction 6 . sector enablers.ganesh@intellecap. Sustainability and Social Impact 22 Financing needs and sources of funding Key barriers to sustainability and scale Retaining Talent 27 Recommendations for supporting the industry’s growth Addressing HR Challenges 31 Read On the Path to Sustainability and Scale: A Study List of Study Participants 35 of India’s Social Enterprise Landscape to find out more! The Intellecap Research Team 38 Download your free copy at www. This analysis and the actionable recommendations that follow will assist investors.sankalpforum.On the Path to Sustainability and Scale On the Path to Sustainability and Scale provides insights on the for-profit social enterprise landscape in India. For further information on this report reach out to: kanika.kumar@intellecap.

Intellecap’s online survey of social enterprises them to create avenues for inclusion and set off a ripple effect garnered over 100 responses from founders and leadership in the economy through scaling up. Policy and public sector action form only one part of the equation to achieving inclusive insights will contribute to accelerating the development of the socent ecosystem. who very often wear the HR unable to get the right people at the right time for the right tasks. water and sanitation. and HR systems. HR emerged as a top challenge. of traditional organizations. They operate in different only as effective as the collective passion and drive of their parts of India. first and foremost. the current people practices including hiring. benefits but also help to develop and grow the organization’s human and promotions. Founders. education. manager’s hat. parts of the world. growth and through effective delegation is tougher. This study has mapped in setting up HR systems that not only promote transparency. training. experts. it hopes to also share insights that would be relevant to other growth. have to not only deal with constantly up-skilling In addition to facing severe resource constraints.Introduction Inclusive growth is now on the political and economic agendas of most nations around the world. they are different stages of their life cycle. These socents are in that drive social change in an underserved market. models of corporations – is considered to have stronger and more sustainable potential to achieve inclusive growth. more effective methods of addressing HR challenges in this space. it examines the importance of mission alignment and if it is prohibitively expensive. while this study focuses on India. already juggling to surprisingly. socents and motivating a young workforce. and there are high expectations of interviews. a viable business model and plan and market knowledge. need. These organizations attract and retain a workforce that is achieving social impact against There is a general acceptance of the fact that socents are some difficult odds. although entrepreneurs are likely to avoid investing in it Finally. how socents reinforce the mission with their people. however. Good quality and context-rich training is yet another culture and work environment for people retention in socents. The private sector component – especially the for. Further. Not human resources. about people – with missions healthcare. become sustainable and complex HR challenges that differ substantially from those achieve social impact. They invest heavily. This report shares these and more insights from the survey findings as well as in-depth qualitative interviews of The study aims to deliver findings that might serve as triggers over 50 social entrepreneurs. for the design of new. This Intellecap study on HR Challenges in the Indian Social Enterprise Sector seeks to understand and The study also highlights the need for support to the sector decode the nature of these challenges. It explores the importance of resources. in markets that are both. Socents are. face human resource (HR) challenges that Study findings indicate that socents deal with diverse and could impact their ability to scale. new and on internal training delivered to staff by seniors or internal existing. and hopes that the collected . emerges as a key challenge to scale up. bring together capital. HR management. and energy. If building a second layer of leadership is tough. businesses focused on profit alone. sustainability. Social entrepreneurs. and encourage similar research around HR profit social enterprises (socents) and inclusive business practices in other regions. but also guard against also work in different and difficult markets than do traditional mission drift. urban and rural. handing over the reins to this second layer of leadership then. teams of organizations pursuing a dual bottom line in sectors as diverse as agriculture and livelihoods. The The study comprises an online survey followed by in-depth spotlight is on socents.

healthcare. supporting infrastructure to attract the best talent to this sector. Primary Research Secondary Research The Intellecap team compiled a comprehensive database of social enterprises. agri-business. Finally. the study explored their views on the importance of mission alignment and how The third and last phase involved in-depth interviews that founders reinforced the mission with their growing number of covered questions on HR challenges. 95 responses aimed to achieve social impact in addition to becoming were filtered and used for further analysis in the study. with clear products and/or services that information sources such as business and development cater to the needs of the poor. The database included: conducted secondary research to understand prevailing insights on human resource management in socents and For-profit entities. Two FGDs – one This study seeks to examine the nature of human resource each of sector enablers and social enterprises . The whether they emerged due to lack of resources to invest in FGDs helped build consensus on areas to be further explored people processes or due to insufficient market strategies and in later phases of research. The sample set consisted of 40 social of demand and supply of manpower in this sector. HR challenges faced by social enterprises. water and sanitation. Of these. Each FGD comprised five important step in mitigating these challenges is to determine participants. The survey as retention. Organizations that enabled for-profit entities to cater to the needs of the poor. HR order to collate non-linear data of complex issues surrounding challenges can range from recruitment to retention of talent. profitable and financially sustainable. publications. websites focused on social entrepreneurship and development issues. CEOs and human resources. focused on social impact and financial mainstream organizations. Research Objectives The research comprised three distinct phases. Based on enterprises that were representative across sectors. An additional set of 10 impact solutions and recommendations that can help alleviate the investors and sector enablers were interviewed for their human resource challenges faced by socents in India. focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted in Seen as one of the key barriers to scale and sustainability. UHCISES APRIL 2012 / About the Study / 9 . Networks that support and facilitate social enterprises/ other enablers to better reach out and showcase their products. An out using bridge phone lines. capacity building and training as well were invited to participate and share information. current practices and employees. employee empirical evaluations of the findings. in addition to lists of sector enablers and In addition to primary research. a moderator and one or more documenters. the research team evaluated the nature potential solutions. enterprise websites and publications and Organizations segregated into seven focus sectors – online articles on human resource management. In the first phase. About the study In the second phase. and technology. perspectives on social enterprises’ HR challenges and their current practices. and Impact investors and incubators engaged in funding and supporting social enterprises. financial inclusion. an online survey was conducted using The research explored current people management practices Survey Monkey. the research team also impact investors. education. the study aims to propose size and revenue bands. clean en- ergy.were carried challenges faced by social enterprises in India today. where social enterprises from the database pertaining to recruitment. Recognizing that social enterprises also core members of leadership teams. It examined how social enterprises approached remained open for three weeks and the Intellecap research the need for setting up systems and processes for managing team received over 100 responses from founders. The team primarily scanned online sustainability.

Madhukar Shukla. Founder. XLRI Jamshedpur Ms. Anish Thakkar. India Survey Findings Prof. Pradeep.Panel of Advisors The research team set up an advisory committee comprising key sector stakeholders. Greenlight Planet UHCISES APRIL 2012 / About the Study / 10 . The advisory council comprised the following members: Ms. Pooja Warier. The team shared progress on the study at key milestones with the advisors. Co-founder. and sought their feedback for course correction as well as their perspectives and insights on issues that emerged during the research. Director Third Sector Partners Mr. Aavishkaar Venture Management Services Mr. Chief Operating Officer. P. Co-founder. UnLtd. Professor in Organizational Behavior and Strategic Management. Pari Jhaveri.

educational background is not a primary criterion of enterprises have operations in at least one low-income they seek characteristics and skills that are not always taught for hiring. while just 4% are turning over more than 101 . a large number of socents are looking seek and are likely to find these candidates in a very niche impressive number given the industry’s youth. Education accounted for the lowest number The survey questioned entrepreneurs and leadership teams of respondents. Survey findings indicate that a majority of the surveyed Ciommitment to staying with the company 33 % on what they believed motivated employees to join their socents have small teams.20 experience and technical knowledge when recruiting. The youth of India’s social 14 % 21 . with the healthcare and water & Other 4% levels of hierarchy.000).200 > 200 the company’s social mission as the second most important Other INR 20 crore (USD 4 million). In contrast to mainstream rural parts of the state and to other regions. and this holds true across sectors. report that they are serving over 50. socents have indicated that they are focused on hiring senior management Training for specific roles such as finance or marketing – as opposed to the earlier stage when the founder or founding team members Given the limited pool of talent and the prioritization of other wore multiple hats. Interestingly. These findings could also reflect the at every level in the hierarchy to be committed to the mission. Despite their youth and modest hiring priority. Figure 03 Hiring Priorities Opportunity to take on leadership roles 77 % Figure 01 Rural vs Urban Market The survey statistics suggest that a majority of social 4% Belief in the company’s mission 7% enterprises place greater emphasis on ‘soft skills’ over work 77 % Our survey indicates that India’s for-profit social enterprise 0-5 6 . Compensation 38 % Half of the survey respondents are generating less than INR 50 Sixty two percent of survey respondents selected passion for 22 % lakh (USD 100. while just Educational background 11 % company’s mission were the most common motivations 24 % Both 4% have more than 200 employees. CEOs and core members of the leadership teams of An increase in the average number Drive to learn & perform 69 % Employees are motivated to join social enterprises in India. This underscores the need for strong in-house and Interview findings indicate that while not all socents expect staff presents survey findings focused on HR challenges. information on the socent landscape. This was supported by Company Reputation operational for five years or less. They organization ranked higher than educational background and tend to base their headquarters in major metropolitan areas performance on a skill test. This section to expand their management team. followed by livelihood 40 % to take on leadership roles. Given that most socents are start-ups and have small state. Overall. social enterprises offer candidates greater 41 % sanitation sectors having a greater percentage of organizations Urban with over 100 employees. however. Given their unique concepts and teams. they seek ‘intrapreneurial’ talents over hard functional skills. survey statistics reveal that of employees does not necessarily Passion for company’s 62 % socents as they offer opportunities correlate to the stage of growth of social mission the highest number of respondents was from the agriculture (28%) and energy (25%) sectors.40 41 . and most socents. where the vast majority of India’s BoP resides. rural and urban markets. but disperse from these locations to Many socents are looking to opportunity to move up the ladder. and bring relevant experience and talent idea of combining a reasonable income with the satisfaction of India’s Social Enterprise Landscape”) and reflect socents’ efforts to build a foundation that will get to the organization. the social enterprise. for candidates focused on salary alone would not necessarily correlate to the stage of growth of the social Perfomance on skill likely apply to and join traditional for-profit and mainstream 5% or aptitude test Rural enterprise. commitment to staying with the Figure 04 Employee Motivation another 35% target both. along with their distinct target audience. Prior work experience and development (18%). Nearly 50% of respondents have been to learn and perform was selected as a top hiring priority by 50 % operational for two years or less. This could indicate fact that socents are unable to attract human resources that they do agree that employees tend to be drawn towards the titled “On the Path to Sustainability and Scale – A Study of their growth into the next phase of the business life cycle. there is ample opportunity for employees to showcase than 100 locations. One-quarter of survey respondents also business models. the socents are operating across India.Survey Overview Small workforce Focus on soft skills Employee Motivation The online survey garnered over 100 responses from founders. Number of employees is likely to be impacted by organizations. The survey shows that talent pool. and water and Technical skills 38 % sanitation (11%). Compensation was ranked Strong references from 35 % that an increase in the average number of employees does previous employers 5% much lower.100 findings in the follow-up interviews where founders stated 41 % enterprise landscape can also be seen in their annual turnover. The survey also reveals for joining a social enterprise. Drive 11 % 26 % Opportunity to learn from the founder landscape is young. employees the necessary skills after they are recruited. 41% target rural Figure 02 Staff Capacity where mission alignment was seen as a critical criterion by 0 % 10 % 20 % 30 % 40 % 50 % 60 % 70 % 80 % 90 % markets. In follow-up interviews. Sixty percent hire senior managers for specific The recruitment priorities among social enterprises show that businesses. organizations often teach towards planning for scale up of operations. This could also be seen as a strong move factors over skills in hiring decisions. please read our report teams beyond core founding members.000 BoP beneficiaries – an Increasingly. they their drive and ability to do higher-order tasks. This UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Survey Findings / 12 UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Survey Findings / 13 . achieving social impact. and one-third of the respondents are operating in more functions. healthcare (14%). organizations. at close to 4% of total responses. while 80% have been nearly 70% of survey respondents. them to the next stage. (For more three out of four enterprises have expanded their leadership external training facilities. in educational institutions. in the South and West. Follow-up interviews indicate that at nearly all the sector they operate in. are highly educated. Over 75% of respondents indicated that the Recommendation from 19 % Close to 64% of the respondents have less than 20 employees a trusted colleague opportunity to take on leadership roles and a belief in the on staff and 14% have fewer than 40 employees. This finding was emphasized in interviews 7% size.

Junior or field staff Stock options or part ownership processes such as accounting. emphasizing the None at present 13 % is not seen as an acute problem at the senior levels. These these levels to ensure that strategies and key decisions are challenges indicate that socents possibly struggle to create a 21 . founders have opted to work in a socent in order to scale a level or two stability compared to larger. candidates’ qualifications or experience level in at least one Over 60% of respondents indicate On the job traning from peers or supervtisers 84 % emphasized the need to adopt non-monetary retention out of five hires. Following close Other has been validated by follow-up interviews. nearly a quarter of enterprises employees with functional hard skills such as electricians. Interviews Flexible timings 11 % enterprises from their first hire to indicated that these training workshops tended to focus around written and verbal communication skills and office Compititive salary 10 % most recent. Training is seen to gain prominence as a challenge Disrtibuting decision-making authority beyond the founding team 60% of respondents indicate that retention at the junior level 34 % 41 % as well as something organizations invest in as staff size Establishing HR policies is a challenge. more established organizations. but local talent pool. field staff where candidates change jobs frequently and may even quit Keeping up morale among employees The top three retention strategies of survey respondents 20 % without an alternate job in hand. Positive. These two are followed by poor branding and personal development. Once on board. strong layer of middle managers. Induction or orientation was growth cycle. Many socents easier to access talent at the junior levels – in part. conducted for professional development 11 % in-house or with external consultants or NGOs. make considerable compromises in hiring. retention Figure 10 Most Challenging to Recruit are providing a positive work environment. Social enterprises however. Also. The second and third biggest locational challenges.40% levels. find it Compensation for off site workshops or course human resource challenge in the socent space. fun work environment 16 % While other obstacles appear to 6% ebb and flow across the enterprise Senior Emphasize the social impact On-the-job-training is the most common form of employee 14 % leadership development across all socents. most socents Figure 05 Employee Training talent. the junior levels are the and procedures 26 % Middle increases. 62 % Major Human Resource and Delhi face equally strong. 25 % drivers. At the junior levels. While rural hiring challenges are significant. Socents are keen to ensure that there is mission alignment at common form of employee 18 % making authority beyond the founding team (34%). For most socents. This is found to be a highly mobile and fluid level. across levels of hierarchy. training conducted by senior or experienced Analysis across levels of hierarchy indicates that while some Clearly defining roles and Senior employees was more fruitful than that conducted by external responsibilities 39 % levels are easier to hire. or field sales people with local 24 % Junior or Retention Strategies Managing lower-level employees 23 % knowledge. others are easier to retain. In contrast. perhaps 22 % are growing.sponsored skill-building workshop or course 48 % Challenges applicants. founders shared that in their Recruiting qualified staff 70 % experience. 40% of hires. Having said that. While urban-based organizations have access to a larger pool of Company. UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Survey Findings / 14 UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Survey Findings / 15 . Nearly Internal promotion opportunities good talent is a challenge facing 11 % 50% of enterprises invested in skill-building – this could be Middle Structured opportunities 67 % management through workshops or courses for employees. Over 23 % leadership trainers. On the other hand. Some socents have invested 8% Figure 09 Most Challenging to Retain in leadership training for promising employees at junior levels Compititive benefits package 5% While “perfect” candidates are tough to come by for any with the intention of skilling them up for middle management Minimum service period bond organization in any sector. Figure 08 Compromised Hires In follow-up conversations. In follow-up conversations. social enterprises have had to 2% positions. Around 40% of in terms of hierarchy. Orientation for new employees enterprises based in large urban centers such as Mumbai that retention at the junior level is a challenge. are on the constant lookout for because they are able to compromise more at these levels qualified employees. employees at the senior 11 . and distributing decision. as well as service providers 36 % Retaining employees such as nurses and teachers. This challenge is further emphasized by the limited 10 % 43 % seek to fill junior positions by recruiting locally to mitigate & Professional Development availability of talent to socents. management Training employees in new skills with 0-5 employees offer this kind of training. Given that socents are perceived to than if they were hiring at the middle and senior management Other 8% be more risky and less well paying compared to traditional 17 % Less than 31 . and this social impact and rewarding performance. and therefore. They are also more likely to constraints. while 17% have compromised on more than strategies. On-the-job-training is the most 12 % roles and responsibilities (39%). they tend to struggle with attracting the best drive to learn can be trained more easily. finding and keeping Incentive schemes / Performance bonus 13 % 27 % offered to new employees by over 60% of respondents.20% More than HR challenges cited by respondents include clearly defining 41% levels can at best be sensitized to the social enterprise ethos. employees who demonstrate the 10% organizations.30% aligned to the organization’s mission.focus on training reflects the need as well as commitment of socents to work with a less-than-perfect. This reduces their propensity to move Figure 06 Retention Strategies respondents report that they have had to compromise on the out of the organization. but different challenges. Respondents cite a limited pool of qualified candidates and the 6% in terms of ranking are offering opportunities for flexible senior level employees buy in to the organization’s mission inability to offer a competitive salary as the top two recruitment work hours and work from home as well as opportunities for Figure 07 Biggest HR Challenges and wish to make a difference. competition for the same talent is more acute than Recruitment challenges seem to be more evenly spread out Recruiting qualified staff (70%) is indicated as the biggest in smaller cities and rural areas. development. construction technicians.

particularly when recruiting for remote. Phase 3 involved in-depth interviews with 50 sector enablers.While relocation and limited HR resources come a distinct fourth and fifth. UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Survey Findings / 16 . Limited pool of qualified candidates 42 % Finding the Social Inability to offer competitive salary 40 % Inability to offer the stability and name recognition of larger companies ‘Intrapreneur’ 27 % Limited HR resources in the enterprise 18 % Reluctance of candidates to relocate 16 % Limited resources to provide adequate training 11 % None at present 11 % Other 6% Figure 11 Constraints to Hiring and Retention Deep Dive into Survey Findings Building on the survey findings. The following sections share qualitative findings and insights from this phase of the study. interview conversations indicate that socents face significant location challenges. rural branches. socents and impact investors. the study extracted a representative sample to delve deeper into organization specific challenges and understand the nuances of the challenges discussed above.

In cases where the socent needs to than not in non-city locations – striving to bring necessary this level comprises farmers and artisans. and are more amenable expectations.for socents in agriculture and livelihoods.Survey respondents unanimously voted recruitment as the toughest HR Hiring Practices and their toughest challenge yet. Socents serving the urban Secondly. For energy socents receive determines their ability to pay competitive put the team together. A few socents reported utilizing the services report that recruitment of junior staff is easier. key levels. additionally rely on newspaper advertisements for walk- While recruitment is a challenge across the board. When the requirement from cities and towns to rural and Levels of Hierarchy Socents indicate that they have lost is for a larger number or in a new geographical area. Founders also scan candidate pools for CEOs – a position with. sales staff. they also have competing non-negotiable. which is small to begin bridge the salary gap. founders also rely on online portals firms that are willing to compensate employees better. happens because these supervisory or traning staff are not experience. Given that deliver with little resources. Salaries for nursing currently working to create this layer. engaged in tie-ups with technical training institutions and and urban markets. higher now. Therefore. most and impact investors. focusing instead on resolving critical culturally and perhaps sensitized to the social impact mission. In the healthcare key challenge to scaling up. managing a team and some on-the-ground experience. most founders are looking hiring with a view to cast a wide and comprehensive net. the junior level. senior managers come with significantly more educational qualifications and Constraints notwithstanding. The common wisdom is that meet their compensation expectations. Below is a decomposition of the recruitment these are positions with relatively low mobility and broadly conundrum. Having said this. For these CEO candidates. The talent pool of founders find it tough to attract talent unless they significantly interested candidates for this level. This is probably because they hire at the junior levels in relatively larger inability to meet compensation of HR consultants and agents for gathering applications for junior positions.reported to be hiring for found that many socents are currently working with a mix of the drive to learn and the motivation and ability to work hard admit that they have lost employees because they failed to middle level managers. especially at junior installation crew and cleaners at this level. however. as are the costs of mainstream professionalism and start delivering on profitability salaries at the middle and senior levels. most small and medium mainstream firms. Some founders expressed challenge. they hire the area goods and services to the BoP by traversing the last mile. socents have increased their strategic skills to the table. Founders realize that providing equity as a form of learnt from the more experienced microfinance institutions. and are largely from villages and smaller towns. and are motivated by their belief in him/ findings indicate that the problem is more nuanced. electricians and construction staff form salaries. further shrinks when faced with these requirements. When hiring to fill few positions. Finally. and even profitable. Founders shared that is so fluid and often crippling that they have had to resort to her. Many founders felt that are tougher to fill as this layer forms the bridge between the who periodically travel from bigger towns and cities. they add. available skill sets. are much lower than mainstream such as Naukri and Monster. Upon delving deeper into this challenge in the interview phase. Only 24% respondents work exclusively to compromising on skill sets. Most socents report that they are is not only expensive but also takes away the focus on the levels for a number of reasons. For one. especially at the task – quality is compromised to some extent. junior levels. the kind of funding sales manager or branch manager first and then rely on him to Romantic as the notion is. It is at these levels that events for potential candidates. Educational qualifications are nursing colleges for positions that needed a clear technical in urban markets. helpers. staff in healthcare organizations are also similarly close to at this level seem to again be more focused on aptitude for poor. and employees prefer current higher salary to future Interestingly. compensation is not well accepted in India. This. and as rely for the elusive ‘intrapreneurial’ quality – employees with the ability to work on recommendations from board members. Socents. popular forums and events. as well as popular forums and levels are higher than that in smaller towns. on the other hand. even slightly higher. hiring and retaining talent in cities. and found them to be successful. this layer would include junior nurses. a few socents – especially those that plan From information shared by socents in interviews. Noticeably. on the ground all the time and possibly tend to be removed they need to bring to their jobs – at best they could be oriented sales and field staff are being paid what they would get paid at from day-to-day activities. socents capable employees because of their in interviews. Attrition hit the ground running – they are expected to come in with Socent salaries. funding agencies Given the high levels of attrition at the junior levels. most of the candidates that apply to these Locational Challenges positions have graduated from high school or are college graduates. Founders admit this is not a sustainable arrangement offered salaries in order to match overall salary increases in because having supervisory and training staff travel to and fro Recruitment is particularly tough at the senior management traditional businesses and to accommodate for inflation. with 35% working in both rural numbers from a larger talent pool. salary levels are inching up closer constantly hiring. founders trawl online portals. they see as critical to the future growth of their organization UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Finding the Social ‘Intrapreneur’ / 18 UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Finding the Social ‘Intrapreneur’ / 19 . thrive in ambiguity and not only make do. 41% of responding socents work exclusively in rural markets. to meet all the recruitment criteria. In Cities are more expensive to live in. but that expectations were junior and senior levels. Water and sanitation companies have drivers. socents cited access to capital and funding as a qualification and training. Since not many socents are site. rural and peri-urban areas. face different locational challenges. and needs to bring functional and the local hires low on skills but willing to learn and work on- to six months. they peri-urban areas. hence alignment and buy-in to the organization’s mission is market rates or. They cannot be trained at the nuanced skill sets to market rates for different types of junior staff. founders find these positions critical for the mission. In our survey. A few indicated that these positions junior staff that is locally hired and supervisors and trainers in less than ideal circumstances. socents tend to rely on word Socents find it tough to convince of mouth – they tell their employees and partners like dealers staff and management to relocate Recruitment at Different Ability to Pay and suppliers about the vacancy and hire from the pool of applications that come in this route. founders say. This has left them with little time or breathing had left higher paying and more stable jobs based on this space to scope the talent pool and strategically plan their faith. but also socents admit to be constantly seeking junior staff. therefore. with little information. and social impact as soon as they join. networks like LinkedIn. concern over this role because a lot of their current staff Across sectors. Admittedly. This. They also As per the survey data. has been a lesson staff and management to relocate from cities and towns to companies. in some cases. it was characteristics that socents look for in these candidates are gain. criteria for selection issues during their periodic visits. They find these candidates can be trained on the job over the initial three it was not that socents paid less. sector. these candidates are expected to addition to word of mouth. socents find it tough to convince laboratory technicians and junior paramedical staff. While many socents reported they hire a new sales team for a new market. socents report that their manpower situation followed the founder. Socents accept that salary is often the deal breaker and to expand their geographic reach . junior were breaking even. tend to work more often minimal for this level . Founders felt responsible for these employees who often the real challenge was in finding a candidate with the right mix of talents ad-hoc solutions.

struggling to find institution builders at the salaries they could founder’s visibility to form opinions about the organization and afford to pay for their for-profit arm – particularly where they its potential for success or failure. arm. these growth plans with them. To the uninitiated. They further assume Finally. and years in operation. the the glamour quotient. organizations seem to be the same as NGOs doing what is usually termed as “social service”. these the socents’ risk of failure. its media presence and the attrition. The organization an individual Founders of hybrid organizations works for can make a lot of difference to his/her ability to gain shared that they did better with the interest of prospective brides or grooms. across levels of hierarchy. easy job and are unprepared for hard work – in other words. While this is not an intentional traditionally. Indians are. detailed job descriptions was often the reason for socents’ high attrition levels. however small and growing to the mission often conduct pre-interview talks to weed out teams have great difficulty in defining this upfront. and are. job descriptions as one reason for passion for the social mission is high – resulting in near perfect alignment of candidate and role requirements. Added to this is the poor clarity around Candidates see socents as start-ups which may or may a growth path – of the few socents who reported planning a not survive through to the next stage. but it really has not percolated to the junior levels. This could put off ideal especially reported employees feeling uncomfortable to share candidates and attract candidates who are likely looking for an the nature of their work with family and friends. lapse on the part of the entrepreneurs. Candidates are concerned about Founders shared interesting insights into how their organizations are perceived. for example. share entrepreneurs. employees also leverage their employer’s brand for social standing in their community. socents for the most part are not high on there would be little or no accountability – in other words. salary expectations are lower and candidates who are not already closely associated with the sector. Parents and family take pride in their association with a well-known organization. socents are unable to compete with unable to detail tasks accurately because they did everything established mainstream brands that leverage years of market themselves. interns and in social enterprises. government jobs are seen as more desirable than positions finding volunteers. Sector these candidates. Organizations in the sanitation sector environment is one of low expectations. candidates that the entrepreneurs would not otherwise hire. In this space. Investors and relations budget to consciously build an image for potential enablers alike mentioned that this inability to craft clear and employees. Perception of Socents In addition to seeking a stable career track. and they do not note the social impact focus. They found it difficult to break these down into presence and a substantially larger advertising and public smaller tasks to be done by different individuals. Given their limited funding wanted social impact-motivated personnel. interns and employees for their not- Socents. At the junior level. may that salaries will be relatively low to non-existent and that seem glamorous. They add that candidates. tend to be largely unknown to inability to craft clear and detailed for-profit arm. more risk averse than their Western counterparts. enablers emphasize There has been a small perception shift. therefore. enablers that were interviewed shared that founders were UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Finding the Social ‘Intrapreneur’ / 20 UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Finding the Social ‘Intrapreneur’ / 21 . even fewer actually shared concerned about the organization’s risk of failure. while working for a tech startup. but had to do so for a government job under pressure from their family. Founders shared experiences of losing employees for their not-for-profit employees who said they were unwilling to leave. Role Definition To others. socents are no different from mainstream start-ups. They reported use an organization’s branding.Poor Branding and Visibility Investors and enablers cite socents’ Founders of hybrid organizations shared that they did better with finding volunteers. Founders who Potential employees decide on a position and organization want to ensure they hire people who understand and buy in based on the job description. growth path for their employees. due to greater positive that there is a need to make these details clearer to current media attention given to entrepreneurship in general and and potential employees. social enterprises in particular.

and the efforts of educational institutions in alignment being especially important at the senior management India and overseas to encourage talent flow towards the social level. Recognizing that they struggle to find the right talent combination and gauge this at the interview stages. They also share that part-time socents prioritize impact. The practice to hire candidates on a sooner personal goals and organizational goals were aligned. except that very few of them convert into full-time hires. These candidates come with talent that socents are mission was seen as the one element that kept the core team unable to hire full-time and passion for work that delivers social together. especially because it is already very difficult for employees to understand that they Socents have found it a good had to achieve social impact along with being sustainable. the better the chances of the organization achieving its dual part-time basis initially. In interviews. Also. short-term nature of these arrangements limits the kinds of tasks and projects interns can take up. 35% try to balance impact and profit. While a significant number of founders felt that the mission for social impact must percolate down to the lowest level of hierarchy. they tend to get caught up in putting out fires everyday. many pointed out that this supervision for their output to be effective. socents tend to almost exclusively focus their human resource management efforts on hiring. the socents. Founders also share Most founders felt it was critical for everyone in the organization that these candidates need more focused hand-holding and to buy into the mission – in fact. has resulted in an increasing number of interested the level where key decisions about the product or service are candidates wishing to take up internship positions with taken. there were many others who felt that it was not as necessary at the junior levels. On being convinced of mutual suitability. the mission is seen as the one element that kept Social Impact practice to hire candidates on a part-time basis initially. socents have found it a good financial returns. The but also expensive. This section deconstructs efforts by socents to manage their human resources for best results.” and seen as sector. the HR hat is worn by the founder. goal. The survey found 34% and more stable alternatives. founders The online survey explored how socents deal with the trade- do cite instances of losing part-time employees to full-time off between profit and social impact. the organization and employee work towards a full-time commitment. arrangement has been reported to work for socents. Leveraging HR for Scale. which was perceived to be “mission-critical. entrepreneurs stated to do their allotted task and move on to the next assignment. Alternative Hiring Options Socents have felt the need to bolster their efforts at recruitment Mission Alignment In the absence of immediate Sustainability and of full-time employees with other options. UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Leveraging HR / 23 . It’s a win-win for the candidates and the organization. alignment was often the reason why employees stayed with the organization for longer tenures. and tend and 27% prioritize profit. While this the core team together. An absence of mission alignment usually meant a impact. parting of ways at this level. that mission alignment is very important. In most socents. in the absence of immediate financial returns. While they do realize that they need to manage the talent they hire. Increased and positive media attention on social There was unanimous agreement from all socents on mission entrepreneurship. Given their recruitment challenges. workers are unable to focus on the bigger picture. which would not only be painful.

and hoped to grow to a recruitment process. These include annual appraisals are not very structured. reinforcing the mission with employees. It was shadow a veteran on the job. If the candidate continues Performance Appraisal technical and functional skills. it signals to employees that mission within performance appraisals where performance is setting up systems and processes. entrepreneurs added that not all or service since they provide a critical product or service at or gain learning and insights from friends who manage human employees had the standard business skills seen among their affordable prices and that there was no need to further work Some socents. feedback. on alignment. and social spend a week at another branch. they are difficult to superimpose on a group of people who criteria.especially the sales force. with employees throughout the year. including basic leave policy and travel specific target market and the socent’s culture. Some founders said that performance appraisals Some sector enablers do create training content and work management team calls. Most founders. create potential pools of junior documented. are usually ad hoc. training due to capital constraints. so that insights from other organizations. but also by the quality of ensure they build these systems as early as possible because organization embeds the mission within performance appraisal those numbers which delivers the social impact. and therefore. especially those with geographically from a larger or more established appraisals for the senior management. They prefer to inform candidates with over 20 employees tend to have most of the critical at the junior levels. recruit to the rigors of the job. In interviews. Several socents are hiring for social enterprise space in the public domain. has been that socents do not prioritize only appreciated mission-critical achievements. as well as planned in-house who believed that their mission was embedded in their product may have been at his own designated branch. Their that were showcased to the leadership team. so that those who lose interest could back out of the expense reimbursements at the minimum. pieced together from their experiences and and training delivered by external trainers. after a performance appraisal. Other founders shared that they tend to HR manuals. A few have created meet these gaps. it was a daily activity to measure up every about the organization. talk more than the candidates do at the first interview. it was something upfront. And how often did founding teams revisit their before the interview stage. there was a need for some basic functional skills development through awards that recognize One founder shared that her organization implements on- Performance appraisals are – specifically. They add that while training broadcast it company-wide. and the jobs on offer components in place. travel policy. and created on. At a sanitation organization. its mission. In order to decision against the mission. They also needed an orientation to the mission? For some. added that they also work with local universities or technical they can share as much information about the sector and the training institutes to create and deliver training modules for Many socents reinforce the mission organization with the candidate. A very small number of socents with less about the need and importance of sanitation and hygiene in middle managers and supervisory staff that could form an informal chats with seniors and peers during the first week than 10 employees have set up systems with an eye on scale their sales pitch to potential customers rather than focusing effective second layer after the core or senior management to a more detailed two-to-three week program at leadership and growth. a salesperson is have got used to working without any systems. build sample networks. They warn appraised by the number of low-value solar lamps sold rather Delegation Induction Programs that delaying the setup of such processes could even lead to than the total value of his sales. For others. also shared that these organization culture. discontent and attrition in a team that is critical to seamlessly a technician is assessed not only on his timely and efficient While most socents are in the early stages of their business carrying out daily activities. At an energy company. Entrepreneurs stage where they needed to visit it annually. installation of a portable toilet at a construction site. and these were presented across the organization. with annual skills and orient them to the hierarchy. they settle down to the actual interview. Sector enablers highlight several those by Dasra and Seedfund – which involved speakers challenges in socents being able to create this second layer Socents have devised interesting ways to introduce the new from mainstream consulting firms and organizations also and empower it effectively. but a few socents irrelevant for their employees. which automatically percolated to the lower levels. often out of context. they are all showing clear for new recruits since there is so little information about the Many founders felt their teams are currently too small to need sanitation organization is assessed on whether they speak signs of gearing up for scale. particularly. leave and the organization and. and often not documented organization-wide retreats. These tactics help maximize management and leadership development. Some had weekly/monthly updates such as leave policy. impact would happen because the “right” decisions were made learning as the new employee can ask questions without fear. Most organizations peers in traditional or mainstream organizations. and others ask the new recruit to advise founders to think about setting in HR systems for talent Training felt that they should focus on doing their jobs well. Those socents that are not currently looking to fill this development centers or at the organizations’ head offices. They advise socents to In contrast. These range from elaborate systems. there were variations in responses around embed the social impact mission appropriate to the organization’s context. for example. Socents provide in-house training socents offered individual awards to recognize contributions Socents that have more detailed HR to improve employees’ business towards sustainability and social impact. and social impact. These workshops – notably level are soon likely to do so. in investing in relevant training that was affordable and Similarly. Some socents. expense reimbursement and were also done ad hoc. but also the-go at most socents. among others. socents work with a mix of in-house training they visited every three-to-six months. A similar response also came from socents and is not expected to start performing from the first day as he Socents that have more detailed systems either get them as a conducted on-the job training. had an interesting array of activities to reinforce the mission partner organization. Founders indicated an interest staff and present this to the leadership team. fortified by weekly. many criteria. Sector enablers and impact investors and retained him with a subsequent hike in salary. Others embed the social impact say that socents focus on getting things done and not on alone would not retain people. they found these efforts to be very expensive. not measured by numbers alone. monthly and Systems and processes laying down the rules of engagement rigorously. Some have the new recruit UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Leveraging HR / 24 UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Leveraging HR / 25 . Our survey pointed out that a significant number of socents at the senior level. written and verbal English skills training – to be contributions towards sustainability the-ground tests for candidates at the branch or areas sales manager level: where candidates spend a week or two in the often not very structured or delivered by professional trainers. workshops for their investees. Sales staff in another layer and a bottom junior layer. when a valuable employee wanted to with external trainers to conduct sessions for socents. but also life cycle. salary increases and promotions are done annually across all levels. and are still working with a top core management Most socents report having induction or orientation sessions on his choice of a clean location to do so. legacy from a larger or more established partner organization training. Some founders HR Systems within performance appraisal felt that leadership behavior reinforced the mission. to be aligned to the mission. In addition. team. Socents indicated that while to show an interest. market. however. upon the advice of their investors who conducted on sales alone. Appraisals to discuss specific target market and the spread out operations and a sizable employee base. however. a few founders shared the different ways their their task is important and the organization is investing in it. who then not dress code. have an orientation session even resources in mainstream companies. irrespective of levels of systems often get them as a legacy Many founders reported conducting performance appraisals every quarter or bi-annually for junior staff. interestingly.

yet they can no longer do everything alone. passionate about their mission. thereby. Building a second layer could create distance and. is a commonly cited challenge in the social enterprise space. Founders share sector enablers’ concerns around delegation. At the same time. people who work for such founders are often disappointed with their poor consistency. preferring to be led for some more time. Retaining Talent Where the mission of one individual has given rise to an organization. UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Leveraging HR / 26 . As a result. They are good at most of the tasks they take on. which refers to the situation in which a founder should be passing control to others and isn’t. often giving up more stable jobs. Other founders state that many current employees have followed them. mission drift. More than one founder mentioned that the second layer does not feel ready to take charge even when they are offered it. have clarity and are articulate.Socents are likely to face challenges in building a strong middle management team that will help them scale up. The “Founder Syndrome”. They thrive in unstructured environments and resist implementing the processes and procedures that accompany growth. they are reluctant to hand over the reins to others and are reportedly uncomfortable with someone questioning their concept or its potential to scale. the founder or core team often appears inflexible. and seek a continual direct connection with them.

and often Internal promotions help socents build a strong middle layer and leave to join organizations with retain talent. to non-monetary benefits such as a flexible Many decisions are taken after brainstorming sessions in manager and junior staff. employees trust in employees are reluctant to move away from family. or teams have a flat hierarchy. There were clear growth and reporting arrangements. These are also employees with greater aspirations to indicate to juniors that they too can grow if they perform to be able to understand top management decisions around up-skilling. And it is for this reason that founders on these issues. One of the key Junior staff usually tends to leave most often for higher paying impact. employees constantly being in recruiting mode. also leave due to personal circumstances and Responses ranged from monetary benefits. well. clearer systems and processes. relying upon a senior for performance. In exit interviews. builders at all levels of the hierarchy. For the organization. ways they tried to make up for not offering “MNC salaries” was Founders indicated that they were looking for institution salaries and more established or stable jobs. In these cases. Finally. performance bonuses and cash awards arrangements with low levels of tracking time or progress. founders shared. satisfaction of achieving social potential employees have set expectations of the job and Role in Institution Building salary levels. Many for employees to work with socents is the opportunity to take of gender. Founders agree that attrition is at its highest at the for their career and with growing family commitments. for people who are willing to stay on for more diverted from mission-critical tasks as they struggle for clarity indicates that there are significant variations across hierarchical levels. Founders share that employees at this level. Those that do share have a higher track record of retention. emphasis on the social impact. While these are likely not all conscious retention a few years down the line. but work environment. This is because these benefits such as flexible work funding crisis: as one founder points out. This perhaps works well because most of the workforce in limited resources are less comfortable than that they would although the social enterprise landscape clearly does not score high on socents is young and keen to learn. for example. Employees find it difficult to deal valuable talent. Moreover. A telling fact is to provide a congenial work environment. opportunities Work Environment the management and the organization is often a reflection of areas do not have many alternate jobs. often head departments in mainstream hospitals. they were now interested in more settled jobs not based on salaries. hiring. employees are less accepting of continued indicated a challenge in attracting and recruiting talent and on occasion agreed that while this was valid. With such lean and small teams. it is also another way to address operations. Yet there are other comfort UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Retaining Talent / 28 UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Retaining Talent / 29 . competitive salaries. There is agreement on the fact that once opportunities for growth and learning. some former employees socents have been able to meet some expectations of employees that are seek the aforementioned “intrapreneurs” who are willing to explained that while they found the environment exciting and work hard for lower salaries in exchange for exciting growth learned a lot. staff attention is having to compromise on hires. less likely to scout for new jobs. junior doctors would not be able to often due to differences in ideology with other founding team employees motivated peppered throughout the year. They point out that employees need to see the high across the sector and that socents often do not enjoy the prospects. they are environment is seen to be “Western” and collaborative rather opportunities to showcase their abilities and fill lead positions. strategies. The junior staff has senior managers buy into the organization’s mission. The missing link perhaps is that with clearer systems in place. Growth Path factors that they seem to miss out on. They have been effective in doing this to some extent. They need benefits of the investment they make in terms of training and package. Attrition is less endemic at the middle and senior levels. The infrastructure and highlighted that retention was a lower order issue than was recruitment. energy and for growth and learning and the Most founders said that socents had to live with attrition. reported to be lower for staff that is hired locally. which they cannot always meet. A deeper study of attrition in the sector paths. and this inadvertently that socents lose a number of good employees to government Founders were asked what they actively did to retain works well as a retention strategy. it was also a tall ask when the chaos in HR management. the opportunity to present their thoughts. such as providing socents reported having flexible and even informal working increased responsibility for their own tasks. job. Employees usually take these issues in their its ability to pay competitive salaries. as healthcare. or lower autonomy or decision-making powers that they expected to have when they joined the organization. One of the key motivations jobs. and institutionalize practices that have worked to retain these growth paths explicitly with employees. This finding spans how the leadership behaves during such crises. seldom share and what does not. but also serves whole picture to truly feel part of decision-making. Interviews with founders also Employees. Survey respondents placed retention lower down on the list of top HR challenges. Attrition at these levels is very than top-down. however. promotions. while they do so worked around major festivals. benefits policy and reporting junior levels and poses a challenge which translates into their the challenge in attracting candidates for middle management arrangements to feel a sense of belonging. giving it 24% of their votes. sanitation. However. This kind of work leadership positions early in their career. This not only allows areas is critical. however. respondents have clearly they would be in the next two-to-three years. Attrition members. reporting and delegation. Also. Attrition at junior levels is. regarding delegation organization was in its early years. for instance. Many founders also make it a policy to promote middle Socents successful in retention share that transparency in all Sector enablers and investors feel that attrition levels are Middle managers more often than not leave for better career managers from within the junior levels. the sector would gain insights from understanding what works founders. Socents ensure there are activities to keep In healthcare. Most functions because they do not want to work at all. a higher level in hierarchy and a larger remuneration for upward mobility within the organization. namely microfinance. What employees sorely enjoy at more established organizations. The market is more missed was seeing a clear growth path that told them where unpredictable. than two or three years. irrespective people and what kept people back with their organizations. also need clarity from top management during tough times such as when they are losing important clients or facing a especially in rural areas or small towns. most sectors. and these environments. and which employees from all levels participate and are given socents are ideal organizations for those who wish to gain is no less crippling. with very few but notable exceptions. were happy to work in a Dealing with ambiguity is something most employees accept knowledge environment where nearly everyone learned on the as a given and learn on-the-go. Many founders stride. This section examines successes and “pain points” for with continued chaos around socents in retaining talent. Socents offer non-monetary levels.

monetary Appreciation Founders also encouraged employees to innovate and experiment with their tasks. and the importance they give to starting and closing work on schedule. is that employees often feel emphasizing the social impact a team creates . They ensure that employees see the point out that founders often look for clones of themselves in bigger picture whenever they are given set targets or achieve their employees in terms of the dedication to the organization. enhances job seen as a way to promote risk-taking and entrepreneurship.with socents. with employees expecting family favorably to non-monetary compensation. they said. any failure is treated as that of Emphasis on social impact the organization as a whole and not of the individual. are unrealistic and can only lead to Many founders pointed out that being very mission-driven discontent and attrition. Socents that have been successful with retention or newsletters etc. These are done through specially employees left for home after the designated eight or nine hour organized rewards functions. regardless of time commitment or personal sacrifices. they are not willing to give for salaries. These expectations. If anything. company-wide mailers workday. however. some milestones. were disappointed when in the organization. This was motivates the team. enablers also discussed what they termed as the “Indian way” reward and recognition for their best employees with everyone of time keeping – founders. they say. One socent has a policy of not blaming employees for mistakes. highlight their policy of ensuring work-life balance. In some healthcare socents. it activities that deliver social impact. Some founders time to compensate for lower salaries. employees also responded is likely to be the reverse.not only to motivate the team to achieve greater impact but also to drive home job satisfaction and to align personal goals with HR Challenges the burden of management’s expectations. experienced nurses Social impact Focus and Non- also head centers. meetings. Sector enablers organization goals. satisfaction and aligns personal Socents with a policy of ensuring work life balance are more goals with organization goals. UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Retaining Talent / 30 . sector share promotion stories and scoring pattern for assessments. In addition to the satisfaction of participating in up leisure hours or family time beyond a point. In this context. While job satisfaction is one reason ensured that they hired people who are not only working employees will take a salary drop. The flip side of this. More than one founder pointed out the importance of Addressing successful at retaining talent.

A consistent founders find it tough to explain their unique concepts to call from all interviewees – socents and sector enablers – their investors. they may policy. and finds that activity for achieving scale. were looking for candidates with a difference. the second or third year of operations. Support in crafting effective job descriptions would be one way need to be addressed if socents are to leverage their human resources to at all levels. and at all levels. would pass on the information not to descriptions would be one way to to resolve issues as they become critical. to ensure the right talent is targeted. These recommend that socents develop middle management at the with solutions within reach. HR systems are needed to while. it is a fundamental step From our conversations with founders on the sources of is hired for a job that is not clear to begin with. Some benchmarks and reporting structure. Also. and bringing their requirements. These efforts to plug holes as they the best ears but the most available set of ears. founders agree that they could do with support to Informal decisions are easy when socents have smaller or workshops. these systems have to be transparent – while cash rewards existing employees and value chain partners. these Founders have an understanding of many of the nuances and are attempting networks. While all of these issues social impact mission and about various job opportunities in experts suggest that there is a need to change the mental Hiring for scale is perhaps the single most important happen in mainstream start-ups too. Ideally they would complementary. areas. attracted and ultimately scale up. rural areas and smaller towns. therefore. India’s education system is expanding to serve benefit from databases of alumni and fellows from suitable who has most of the qualities and can build the rest on the for scale. While many socents said they do build competent job need not be excessively elaborate or complex. Above more critical roles. in supervisory and middle level staff in from cities for short existing networks could provide for the sector as a whole. and these are not necessarily the would be. yet they clearly to meet immediate needs. but they do need to be able to meet the needs entrepreneurs invest in an HR coordinator only after a match those requirements. the employee HR management to seeing people development as a core institutionalizing the organization. Moreover. the transition when the firm moves from a pilot stage to an Such mechanisms do not build in the need to creating a robust heart and head” – some have the social angle figured. choosing to manage people themselves. ensure the right talent is targeted. multi-hued and extremely layered. they are available. Word of mouth was the most opted for only do so for a cushion until the next job change. Socents are working with stop-gap solutions that include hiring junior staff locally. it appears that they work the job she is ultimately handed is not what she thought it of suggestions to keep it simple. As a result. Primarily. Explaining it to potential employees via job organization. and finding talent willing to work in non-metro focus on catchment areas and customize these sources for suggestions may not fit every organization or position. investing online sources and word of mouth. and make their roles in HR management and ensuring transparent performance The geographic challenges that founders shared for this study process to create a full outreach strategy. perfor. they could ramp up the than one person to fill this complex role. put in place adequate and appropriate HR systems. sector enablers felt that socents of a growing team. terms of job specifications. The targeted support to mobilize a sets and business capability is a problem. while others have findings we have discussed in the earlier chapters raise some clear gaps that talent pool and suitable candidates the business capacity but do not have the social impact angle. and the candidates thus selected managers in socents need to incorporate softer issues also focus less on people who look good on paper. say sector the need for HR management becomes clearer. people encourage behavior that aids the social impact mission. as sector enablers and Socents would benefit from impact investors say. they are tougher to the sector. Sector enablers manpower they utilize when hiring. Findings seemed to indicate that socents had to force-fit or areas for further research. Even accounting for the networking abilities of that are attracted towards socents are not the people that the all. Alternately. While these innovative cities remains. and has been reported to would not be aligned to delivery of social impact. Sector enablers suggest that socents should for the CEO position cannot be very young. but skill UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Addressing HR Challenges / 32 UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Addressing HR Challenges / 33 . One possible way would be to delineate the skill gaps in local talent. Often. yet comprehensive. Setting up HR Systems is the need for creating talent pools ready to work in remote Defining Roles with a structure. pushing her to ultimately include the basic systems for leave policy. Enablers call this “a mismatch between the makes them stay. In addition to typical could explore out-of-the-box alternatives such as getting more the next level. Sector enablers have a number for the enterprise to scale up and grow. transparency is what Similarly. Once the team size crosses five employees. Once there are more than two layers. and that the real problem is in finding people who enablers. therefore. mainstream mechanisms to hiring when it was clear they Challenges around the perception of the sector notwithstanding. there Employees appreciate clarity in markets is very tough. A clear gap that emerges in this study. Typically. attracted and ultimately hired. This section examines these areas and indicates potential solutions hired. they could look to hire a candidate monitoring are some of the ways socents can plan manpower are significant. These teams. the come with stereotypes created in the mainstream. and call her “CEO-in-training”. tags like “CEO” Planning Manpower for Scale need clarity in terms of job specifications. Supporting Recruitment descriptions. this may not organization needs – but hires them nevertheless because and training would motivate employees. however. it is a support that sector enablers and is a clear need to revisit the way roles are being defined and filled. This allows for more suitable applications. and they They also urge socents to find ways to ensure these appraisals time to deeply train middle management before they assume mechanism to gather applications. There is a need to provide targeted support to the imagery of these designations or positions – for instance. job description. mance benchmarks and reporting durations. common benefits same time as they start expanding the junior staff. Enablers add that even if employees stay on. and utilize cannot pay for the experience of an older person. While this seems to be a tall ask for cash- strapped socents. Organizations they assist feel a potential candidate and impact investors that were contacted. Socents tend to hire clear. being informal. recruitment methodology to spot talent. performance to potential employees about the dual bottom line focus. Socents may not be able to contribute once the organization moves to such as educating customers and their value chain partners. train job. emerge might help organizations stay afloat but. At best. performance management systems come in at really ensure maximum and focused gathering of applications. It often keeps changing. Key performance indicators are not as sector for mobilizing a talent pool and suitable candidates of a CEO. are unlikely to propel the organization forward. Building a second layer of leadership. and fix those with targeted educational courses Difference Similarly. that recommendation that emerges from all the sector enablers address in socents. people has been for a forum or a community network that speaks descriptions is even more difficult. be effective. performance management and appraisal systems. While the Practices very often do not work on creating effective descriptions with ensure that the organization moves from recruitment-focused founding team does not necessarily have to be in charge of key result areas and defined roles. usually in solutions that will get them the most candidates or the most resign. Yet the lure of working in big academic programs and student exchange networks. because they include measuring social impact. desired skill sets would be verbally Support in crafting effective job Human resource challenges are. described to get diluted as it moves down the line.

They seek the basics such at helping to set up processes and systems. areas (KRAs). elements that can help founders gain skills in building the This study also aims to encourage all those within and at the basic HR management framework within their organizations. attrition – problems that all start-ups face.It would be a good move for socents to set up some systems Creating External HR Support that enhance their existing non-monetary retention strategies such as opportunities to take leadership positions and ensuring a positive work environment. lack of talent pool and high sector. they can be enhanced with other clear solutions to help socents deal with their HR challenges. Besides ensuring that the organization gets it right the first time. founder will wear the HR hat. a mere talk is not productive and the cost is too high. UHCISES APRIL 2012 / Addressing HR Challenges / 34 . periphery of this unique social enterprise space to support These could be in the areas that founders face every day – advocacy and championship to attract the best talent towards ranging from regular recruitment. It is hoped that this is a start and that it is not only to please investors. salary break-up. usually superimposing them on a team that has not had to deal with systems until then. This comprises sessions by HR Conclusion experts typically with mainstream and consulting experience. HR manual etc Consultants can help socents set it up. but figuring out the in this HR toolkit. they may not as do’s and don’ts and templates for appointment letters. fulfilling a collective dream of inclusive growth – profitably and conflict management between teams. setting of key result sustainably. pulse of the organization. and there is a need for a CEO coaching program are unique to socents. rejection letters. be as effective in the day-to-day running of these systems. They report that investees responded favorably but also felt Initial conversations on HR challenges with sector stakeholders that speakers and trainers need to understand the ethos of the pointed to a cycle of low salaries. They add processes for HR management ben. Sector enablers toolkit with basic templates and recommend socents to outsource HR management even if they cannot hire. eficial when they are starting out. and to budget for professional help. Making the HR Hat Fit It may not always make sense to hire an HR manager very early on. More than one founder suggested that an Finally. enablers should consider providing HR inputs and coaching for the founder. building organograms etc. The founder needs manner. helps plan for the future. they are so intertwined that that helps entrepreneurs develop an HR perspective that is they are unlikely to be resolved if addressed in a piecemeal more than numbers and is on the ground. experts do caution that external consultants are better HR toolkit would really help them. gather feedback from key existing employees. While these early in setting a basic framework for further research into crafting workshops are a great start. This effort puts them all together in perspective and to understand why investment in HR management is important highlights these inter-linkages. it also saves additional Entrepreneurs would find an HR time and effort spent in reinventing the wheel. In such cases. feeling and bringing in that sense of belonging are tough asks from a part time expert. A few early stage investors and sector enablers have started weaving in an HR component into their workshops and sessions with investees. early stage investors and and then finalize it with their buy in. leave policy. But it certainly does to bring in an expert to set Participants in the systems and processes. Sector enablers indicate HR is a burning issue in their investee the study found several complex and layered challenges that meetings. that organizations often start late with building HR systems. Flexible work environments and Socents should seek external the opportunity for employees to design and evolve their own roles are big retention factions. an external consultant would not be highly effective. Further. The founder needs to share the Given that there will be a period of time during which the draft HR policy. as this professional help in setting up HR systems and processes when they List of Study have small teams. Delving deeper. designing assessments. Sector enablers also encourage founders to work on building detailed organograms.

Ltd Greenlight Planet Newdigm Healthcare Technologies Pvt Enablers Greenway Grameen Infra Ltd C No Nasties Aavishkaar Venture Management H Noble Energy Solar Technologies Ltd. Frontier Markets Leanway Energy Pvt Ltd Sp Renewable Energy Sources Pvt Ltd Utkarsh Micro FinancePvt. Kautilya Phytoextracts Pvt Ltd Selco U Limited Shramik Sanitation Systems X-Runner Ambicales Clean Technologies Pvt.Ltd Arohana Dairy Private Limited Lifespring Hospitals Pvt. Ltd. Ltd.Ltd B Global Easywater Products Pvt. Ltd. Seedfund Driptech (Cycle Chalaao) Piramal Eswasthya Il&Fs Education Piramal Water Start Up! E Inclusive Planet Pro Nature Organic Foods Private Intellecash Limited People Builders Earthen Glow Intuit Labs Fasal Ecofarms (India) Limited R Ecoloove J eFarm Rain Water Concepts (I) Pvt Ltd Ek Titli Solutions Janani Agriserve Rangsutra Ekgaon Technologies Rope Ekutir Rural Management Rose Computer Academy UHCISES APRIL 2012 / List of Study Participants / 36 UHCISES APRIL 2012 / List of Study Participants / 37 . Ltd. Suryoday Vivam Agrotech (Gewp) Masuta Producers Company Limited Sustaintech India Pvt Ltd B2R Technologies Pvt.India Coir Atlas HarVa Culture Aangan Healthpoint Services India Pvt Ltd Onergy Edelgive Foundation Helioz Research & Development Ossian Agro Automation Private Limited D Ennovent I P Dah Jaipur Limited Innovation Social Consultants Decentralised Energy Systems India Pvt iDiscoveri Pahal Ltd. Safal Solutions Tanclean Pvt Ltd Waste Ventures Sahaj Agrofarms The Village Store Waterhealth India Sakhi Retail Pvt Ltd Thrive Energy Technologies Pvt Ltd Waterlife India Pvt. Glocal Healthcare Systems Pvt Ltd Mera Gao Micro Grid Power Pvt Ltd Swadhaar Babajob. Moral Gramin Micro Credit Bhartiya Samruddhi Finance Limited Gram Vaani Community Media Mpower Microfinance Pvt. Ltd. A Embrace K Samagra Off-Grid Utilities Together As One Wello Emfin Microfinance Samridhi Agri Products Private Limited Travel Another India Agsri Envirofit India Pvt Ltd Kanak Resources Management Limited Seed X Akshayakalpa Farms And Foods Pvt. F L Shree Kamdhenu Electronics Pvt.Here is a complete list of enterprises S T W that have participated in this study. Under The Mango Tree Anjali Simpa Networks Urja Bio Systems Z Aquagri Processing Private Ltd. Services Cleanstar Energy Pvt Ltd Cogknit Semantics Pvt Ltd Hammer & Mop O Dasra . (Desi Power) I-Initiate & Impact Carbocuts Pvt Ltd Pharmasecure Pas India Pvt. Ltd. Meradoctor Swasth India Services Pvt Ltd Bamboo House India Gram Tarang Employability Training Milk Mantra Dairy Pvt Ltd Basic Water Needs India Pvt Ltd Services Pvt.Com Gram Power Inc.Ltd Bhushan Agro Grameen Finserve Biosense Technologies Green And Good Store N Boond Engineering & Development Green Basics List of Sector Pvt. Ltd. Ltd Star Agriwarehousing & Collateral Ziqitza Health Care Ayurvaid Hospitals G Lotus Hospital & Research Centre Management Limited V Ayzh Health And Livelihood Pvt Ltd Suminter India Organics Pvt Ltd Glo Tech Organics Pvt Ltd M Super30 Vaatsalya Healthcare Solutions Pvt.

a monthly newsletter Intellecap creates for the Rockefeller Foundation tracking urban poverty trends in Bangladesh. a monthly newsletter that Intellecap creates for the Rockefeller Foundation tracking urban poverty in Bangladesh.The Intellecap Research Team APARAJITA AGRAWAL Aparajita leads the Knowledge & Insights Group that builds new avenues for knowledge creation and exchange in the development sector. SARAH ALLEN Sarah is a Senior Associate on the Knowledge and Insights Group at Intellecap. ANAR BHATT Anar is the Content Management Associate on the Knowledge & Insights Group. Nepal and Pakistan. She leads research and content projects and is also on the editorial team for Searchlight South Asia. UHCISES APRIL 2012 / 38 . She assists research efforts and is also part of the team that manages content for the Microfinance Gateway (MFG) portal. NISHA KUMAR KULKARNI Nisha is a Senior Associate on the Knowledge & Insights Group at Intellecap and leads research and content projects. USHA GANESH Usha is a Manager on the Knowledge & Insights Group. She is on the editorial team for Searchlight South Asia. India. India and Pakistan. She leads research projects and content development on timely and important issues about India’s social enterprises. She has played a pivotal role in designing initiatives that position Intellecap as a thought leader in the microfinance and social enterprise space.