Mercer | Mettl was launched in 2010 with a mission to enable organizations to build winning teams by taking credible people decisions across two key areas — Acquisition and Development. Since our inception in 2010, we have partnered with 4000+ corporates, 31 sector skill councils/government departments, and 500+ educational institutions across 80+ countries. Their research-backed assessments, efficient cloud platform, and in-depth analytics help us deliver transformative results for our clients and their employees by creating customized assessments across the employee lifecycle, including pre-hiring screening, candidate skills assessment, training, and development programs for employees/students, certification exams, contests and beyond. Using analysis and insights as catalysts for change, we anticipate and understand the individual impact of business decisions — now and in the future.
MediaNews4U spoke to Shakun Bansal, VP & Head – Marketing, Mercer | Mettl on the journey of the company in India, the company’s model, and the way forward.
Mercer | Mettl journey in India?
Mettl was founded by Ketan Kapoor and Tonmoy Shingal in 2009 with the aim of setting up a system that enables fair, accurate, and data-backed assessment of an individual’s talent capabilities. It quickly found traction with both domestic and international clients growing to around 2500+ customers before it was acquired by Mercer, a global HR consulting firm, in 2018. Mercer | Mettl today has over 5000+ customers in about 90+ countries.
In layman terms, if you could elaborate on the working of Mercer | Mettl?
Our mission is to make talent assessments reliable and accurate. The kind of technology that we work on is scalable allowing more and more people to get access to opportunities. It makes it possible for any job candidate or student to appear for their assessments on our platform from anywhere, anytime.
Our suite of talent assessments helps corporates make the right hiring decisions, be it for any purpose-hiring or promotions- ensuring the selection of the best fit amongst the available talent pool. For our education clients, we are trying to leverage technology to enable remotely proctored online examinations. This will ensure students’ education doesn’t suffer as a result of the pandemic, while also maintaining and future-proofing education continuity.
How do you identify the key areas for your clients?
We have continuous conversations and active listening sessions with our clients that act as a feedback loop. All the insights gathered, such as the customers’ challenges and demands, flow back into our solutions suite as we incorporate suggested changes in the products. This helps us constantly evolve while also tying back to increased levels of sales and customer satisfaction.
What are the different tools for Mercer | Mettl to analyze their client’s requirements?
We employ various means to do that effectively. Some of these tools are:
- Outreach to prospects: We connect with prospects directly while selling to them to understand their expectations from a solution to their present organizational objectives and challenges. It helps us in building competitive intelligence and get a feel of the market trends making waves.
- Outreach to customers: We reach out to our customers through multiple channels. These could be website feedback forms, interviews, surveys, and product landing pages where customers can drop their feedback and opinions. With Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys, we map where our ratings are low and connect with those clients who have given us those ratings through our internal customer success teams. We try to understand their challenges, our products’ shortcomings and focus on and address those gaps extensively.
- Built-in feedback mechanism: We have built-in processes in our systems that gather feedback on specific features of the product.
- Partnership with research companies: We also build active partnerships with research companies to understand how the market is evolving and what new problems we should be working on from a long-term perspective.
All of such processes ensure the customers have more choices and tools to share their feedback on. And not just our customers, but also the end-user, which could be a candidate appearing for an interview or a student sitting their exams. We keep working on the customer feedback received and have recently included virus-free answer documents uploads from students on our examination platform, which has been a major ask of our customers.
Can you share a few case studies for our readers?
One of our clients, Modern Foods, wished to build a high-performing sales unit and faced three critical barriers to it, namely, an underperforming sales team, unfocused recruitment strategy for sales hiring personnel, and insufficient tools to make data-backed decisions on promotions.
We brainstormed and worked together to help them define their sales hiring strategy with a battery of sales assessments and VADC (Virtual Assessment and Development Center) simulators to identify critical behavioral and cognitive competencies and evaluate these in the candidates. It gave them data-driven insights into an individual’s sales knowledge, customer focus, sales personality, and motivation. With the right information about what skills to measure, they got a fair idea of who their top-performing employees were, and who to promote and retain- all such data fed into their organizational restructuring plans. As a result, Modern Foods saw a 30%reduction in new-hire attrition in sales, and 66% improved accuracy in screening, helping them build an optimized workforce.
Quoting another example from our education side of the business, we collaborated with AIMA (All India Institute of Management Association) to move one of the largest MBA entrance examinations online for admissions to over 600 B-schools. Almost 70,000 students appear for this exam. With our state-of-the-art remote proctoring technology assisted by human proctors, the exam was conducted virtually for the first time in the history of MBA admissions in India.
That’s the kind of work we can do by bringing technology and people together.
In this pandemic & lockdown how has Mercer | Mettlreorganised the workforce of their clients for a more holistic approach towards their employees?
We understand that we are in the business of talent assessments, and that is a pivotal position to be in. As a result of these assessments, crucial and consequential people decisions are made. Because of the pandemic, everything has shifted virtually, and subsequently, the skills to perform in this environment have changed drastically. The dynamics of working and the overall context of the evaluation of talent assessments have changed as well. The purpose for which these assessments needed to be conducted and evaluated also evolved consequently.
For instance, we are working with clients now to gauge competencies build-remote working capabilities such as communication, collaboration, or ownership in individuals- primarily, soft traits needed to be successful when working remotely. How we align talent assessments to the changed context of evaluating employees for a remote-first environment is interesting and will have far-reaching implications on the future of the workforce.
Lately, we are enabling our customers in adopting employee engagement tools like hackathons and 360-degree feedback that make employees successful and productive in a remote setting while ensuring organizations have a finger on the pulse of employee motivations and emotions. By understanding their employees successfully, companies can plan measures to motivate and engage their workforce.
Additionally, we are also investing in technology to take offline processes to the online space. With the remote work model being the norm these days- be it corporates or educational institutions- the shift to virtual is not temporary, but a significant permanent change. Structural changes in working brought about by the pandemic might be here to stay. In such a scenario, we are assisting corporates in leveraging technology and platforms that are immune to disruptions and future-proof their processes.
Working with our educational clients, we are devising means (Remote proctoring technology that is secure, credible, reliable, and cheating-proof) to help institutions move online. It will allow students to appear in their exams from anywhere, anytime virtually, without worrying about traveling to the physical exam center’ sat the time of this pandemic.
Some key marketing trends during this time?
With the pandemic, user behavior has undergone a complete transformation. What has fundamentally changed is how people consume information, where they consume that information, and what they do with that information.
Physical means of marketing and advertising have gone for a toss as people continue flocking to digital media to keep up with their information consumption. Digital consumption was already steadily increasing over the years, but the pandemic has pushed it to the next level.
Digital push is further pronounced because of the limitations to venture out and additional time at hand to spare. There are increased opportunities for advertisers to tap into digital means and attract more customers. People have more access to start their virtual businesses right from their home and promote it on social channels.
Competition amongst brands on the same platform to garner the attention of the same share of consumer segments or target audience pie has skyrocketed- be it on social media platforms or display ads or news apps or websites. For example, over the last one and a half years or so, LinkedIn has seen exponential user engagement growth. Advertising scope is changing, the means of marketing is changing, and as a result, the means of doing business is changing as well.