News From Telecom World

Human resource practice in Telenor Pakistan

Posted on: February 16, 2009

We have seen Telenor Pakistan’s innovation and creativity for their products, services and advertising campaigns, but it would be interesting for you to know that the company has exercised the same level of creativity in developing their way of work. Telenor Pakistan has successfully invented a unique, new and a workable way to carry forward their operations with a key focus on quality and simplicity, coupled with productivity and output.

I had a chance to visit Telenor Pakistan’s head office as a guest, where I noted following things in specific.

1. Telenor Pakistan seeks performance from its employees by implementing work structures that go beyond the usual forms of bureaucracy and multi-layered channels of communication
2. You feel a true sense of equality at the organization, where the CEO, VPs, Directors, Managers, Executives and Officers all share the same work space, the same privileges and an open level of communication that is applicable at all levels
3. You don’t need to dress formally (as long as you don’t communicate externally), hence the focus is more on getting work done by breeding a casual environment, where comfort is a prime driver for achieving difficult targets. I would say its more of a human approach to managing resources, where their comfort levels are considered as key contributors to their levels of productivity

Besides these findings, let’s have a look at techniques adopted in human resource management functions, or Human Capital management functions, as it is known at Telenor Pakistan:

1. Unique and very well structured Recruitment and Selection methods, driven by competency-based screening
2. Separate Organizational Development (OD) function
3. Revamping the human resource management division name with Human Capital Division (HCD)

Unique Selection & Recruitment Methods

Telenor Pakistan has adopted world class recruitment and selection techniques like the Thomas Personal Profile Analysis to pinpoint the exact personality fit that would work best with the organization. At Telenor Pakistan, recruitment is done at 3 levels, i.e. the Foundation, Development and Growth levels, where each level comes with a desired set of behaviors, some of which are common across all areas, while some are more specific to the required behaviors associated with particular job roles.

In a sense, Recruitment has now become further stringent by spending more time and focus to find the best possible candidates for vacant posts. As Telenor says, we hire for talent, and train for skill… prestigious schools or high CGPAs are no longer the preconceived benchmarks for talent… rather it is now about finding the right person who would be able to contribute better than the next.

I was told that for its talent hunting initiatives, the Recruitment Team at Telenor Pakistan initiated its University Visits 2008 program in January. Banking on its Graduate Employer of Choice status, the activity was foreseen to also potentially provide fuel for fresh graduate requirements as per the 2008 head count. The universities visited included LUMS, FAST, NUST, GIKI, NIMS, IBA, UET Lahore, NED, SZABIST, Bahria and CBM.

Separate Organizational Development Department

Working in a world where change is the only constant phenomenon, most organizations lack a dedicated Organizational Development function. The working of the OD unit as a separate and dedicated function at Telenor Pakistan shows their consideration for achieving a balance between the employees’ and the organization’s goals, bearing in mind the coupling of people development with overall organizational development. The company has been instrumental in being the first player in the Telecom industry to initiate the workings of OD as a separate function of human resource.

While realizing the value and contribution of the human mind, Telenor Pakistan has psychologists available to study human dynamics technically, and to develop an individual’s emotional intelligence. These have been seen to contribute greatly towards overall productivity and growth.

Revamping the Human Resource Management name to “Human Capital Division”

Adapting Adam Smith’s philosophy, Telenor Pakistan has rebranded its human resource department as the Human Capital Division (HCD). As defined, human capital refers to the stock of skills and knowledge embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value. Consequently, Telenor’s ideology and realization of the importance of human resources is reflected in the name chosen for its human resource department.


Telenor has not only initiated new concepts and world class human resource management techniques, but also with its on-campus recruitment seminars and the Telenor Alumni and Ambassador Programs, the company is always on the lookout to maximize its reach in terms of its outward orientation There is also an important point raised that Telenor provides 100% focus on talent… as they say “we hire for talent, and train for skill…”



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