The Indian economy has been steadily growing mainly propelled by the exploits of the Indian IT industry. The country’s IT surge which began during the last decade has been consistently delivering results. The start-up ecosystem in India has added a new dimension to the industry byintroducing technology and business models that has led to creation of innovative services impacting almost every walk to life of an average citizen.
This explains one part of India’s success story; however, there also exists another equally significant part which has emerged as a key talking point off-late – managing the knowledge workforce. There has been enough discussions around India’s demographic dividend and how the country aims to produce 400 million skilled workforce by 2022.The initiative is expected to enable India to support a large part of global employment requirements.
Developing Human Resources
For any knowledge industry, the right kind of Human Resource is critical to its success. In the year 2000 when the IT industry in the country was booming, the requirement of identifying and recruiting right resourceat a massive scale became a necessity. MeritTrac Services came into existence to support companies in enhancing its ‘people capacity’ by assessing talent to select the best fit candidates. Most companies then had in-house teams responsible for designing recruitment process, which at times also included assessments. As assessments were not a core skill for this team, the method was cumbersome and not scientific.MeritTrac, with its promise of designing, developing and delivering scientific assessments at the behest of recruiting corporates quickly addressed a major problem faced by the IT / ITeS industry. Outsourcing this service to specialist like MeritTrac freed HR resources and allowed them to shift focus from managing recruitment operations to strategic human capital management. MeritTrac designed an assessment framework and delivery mechanism that was tuned to Indian hiring environment. These methods soon became a benchmark in the industry.
In 2006 - 2007, MeritTrac diversified its customer portfolio by servicing non-IT industries. The company also started addressing the hiring needs of PSUs and educational institutions. A large number of PSUs, including the ‘navaratnas’ has used MeritTrac’s capability for hiring employees. This resulted in dynamic expansion of its service delivery capacity, and helped the company bind strategies together in addressing high stake assessment needs such as high security and transparency.
A decade and a half years down the line, MeritTrac has earned the status of being the most trusted testing and assessment partner for corporates. During this period, MeritTrac has also diversified its industry focus and today supports, apart from the corporate world, educational institutions and government organizations. MeritTrac has also recently introduced certifications that are relevant to Indian talent and industry requirements – both in-house and in partnership with leading international certification bodies.
Vasu K Saksena, CEO, MeritTrac highlights how the company has evolved with technological advances. When the company started operations, the main axis of business was the IT/ ITES industry. The demand for professionals to manage large outsourcing assignments and implementing the technology was at its peak during the decade of computer revolution. Today, the demands on the industry has increased manifold and organizations are expanding its capacity to address these requirements by recruiting best fit talent. This is true for Banking and Financial Services, Retail, Pharma, Manufacturing, Automobile etc. as well. This need to expand capacity with the right resources has made testing and assessments a rapidly evolving service line. MeritTrac, with its leadership has been pioneering many assessment transformations in the industry.
The Master Technician and his Team of Innovators
Established in 2000, the company has been supporting corporates in campus& lateral recruitment and employee assessments. Over the years, MeritTrac has built a team of more than 250 in-house testing and assessment experts. Vasu himself has the experience of introducing innovations while managing top and bottom line responsibilities for business in numerous countries – India, USA, Russia and countries inEurope, South America addthe GCC block. A keen educationalist, he was the President of Manipal Global Educationmanaging responsibilities in Distance Education and Corporate &Executive Education. MeritTrac is a fully owned subsidiary of Manipal Global Education (MaGE) which is one of the largest and highly rated education services providers.
While discussing about the company’s innovative approach and service offerings, Vasu underlined how it has been committed throughout the years to testing and assessments and hence stayed true to its core ‘mantras’. Vasu says, “We stayed focused on testing and assessments all this while and have not given into the lure of addressing complementary and conflicting business interests like sourcing or training. This philosophy has helped us gain customer trust and many of them leveraging our services for long periods is a testimony to this fact.”MeritTrac’s holistic testing and assessment solutions have to be credited to the individual abilities of its team, which is responsible for understanding customer requirements, studying international best practices and creating and adapting solutions to address these requirements.
The Test Research, Development and Innovations team at MeritTrac is made up of some of the most experienced testing experts in the country supported by psychometricians, statisticians and technologists. The team builds and / or aligns with established products to contextualize them to the Indian testing and assessment industry requirements.
MeritTrac’s test delivery capability is also unmatched in the industry with its ability to deliver computer based or paper based assessments in over 350 cities. This capacity allows corporates to leverage MeritTrac for recruiting candidates from literally anywhere in the country.
Carving a Niche through Ability to Assess for any Need
MeritTrac is a fullydedicated testing and assessment services company. It provides comprehensive solutions for almost any assessment need. Tests are designed to assess capabilities of candidates that help recruits perform well in various jobs. The test design and development team develops assessments which are delivered as per the corporate requirements. To enhance customer value, test analytics are shared with customers along with the results obtained. MeritTrac’s ISO certified processes for quality and security of testing ensures that highest levels of security and transparency.
MeritTrac has been leading the industry in assessing skills with the help of its internal test Research & Development capability that has helped develop tests in around 300 domains.The unique test development model that combines Subject Matter Experts with testing experts has enabled MeritTrac to develop scientific and reliable tests. Vasu elaborates, “We have a suite of domain knowledge, skills and abilities tests that can be delivered in computer or paper based mode. We have embellished this with a suite of psychometric assessments to assess personality and behavior to ensure best fit recruitment. We have also recently introduced certifications for specific job roles (for example, software development) in partnership with prestigious international brands.”
Along with core technical competencies, organizations are nowadays keen to assess personality and behavior other than the skills and abilities of candidates. While many international psychometric assessments are available, MeritTrac has realized the importance of ‘construct validity’ and ‘context’ in psychometric assessments. Based on its experience of working with corporates for mass recruitment and its understanding of skills, MeritTrac has designed its own suite of psychometric assessments. The unique nature of mass hiring in India is taken into consideration in the design of these tests. Organizations have started using these tests for mass hiring as it suits the purpose. Recently a large private bank used MeritTrac’s psychometric assessments in recruiting clerical staff and probationary officers. This is one of the first instance of Banks using psychometric assessments for hiring.
Taking on the Challenges to Lead the Industry to the Next Level
MeritTrac has successfully delivered testing and assessment services for clients consistently over the years. During 2002 and 2008 the industry dived to its lowest as a result of the DOT COM burst and Sub Prime crises which had severe ramifications on global economic outlook. The early years of this decade saw the European crisis impact the global economy which had its influence on almost all industries. By sticking on to its core principles, MeritTrac has withstood the challenges posed by the tough times by supporting customers achieve their goals. This unflinching commitment to its customers has enabled the company remain as the most trusted brand in testing and assessment industry in India. Leading labels in almost all industries have trusted MeritTrac to help acquire best talent from across the country.
With a strong pulse of the industry, MeritTrac has been successful in predicting the evolving talent management priorities. According to Vasu, “We are witnessing a transformation in the way hiring will happen in the future. We believe that in an industry where there is abundance of talent, certification of skills and abilities will be considered as a reliable predictor of performance in job. To address this need, we have invested heavily on the certification space and have added it to our portfolio of solutionson which we will focus in the near future. Last year, we partnered Proxor, a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff to offer Software Developer Examination, a performance based assessment and certification program that was first used at the Carnegie Mellon University, USA. Proxor ratings are followed by large IT companies as a reliable indication of software development ability. We believe that organizations wanting to hire good quality programmers will soon embrace this certification.”
Another certification from MeritTrac - the Graduate Employability Assessment (GEA) is designed to address the long standing challenge of lack to employability among graduates in India. Vasu said, “Through a series of diagnostic, review and employability assessments and detailed reports, students get to understand their strengths and weakness to prepare themselves better for job situations.”
Few testing and assessment companies in India have stood the test of time. Vasu believes that MeritTrac’s unwavering commitment to fairness in assessment and focus on customer requirements has helped it succeed. Vasu signs off by saying “We are in the sacrosanct business of testing and assessments. We play a big role in defining life and careers of millions of Indian youngsters. We are aware of this responsibility and have hence remained consistent to the core principles of testing and assessments.We believe in the importance of sticking to the science of assessments in doing justice to all stakeholders. We also understand that technology is a very important means to achievingthe objectives of assessments but is not the end.”
His vision coupled with MeritTrac’s expert services and its long list of meritorious clientele speaks volumes about the company’s impending growth in the industry.