Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Recruiting in India...Raising the Bar

Life is exciting for a recruiter in India...being busy though doesn't naturally convert into business!

Just Google (or even Bing!) “hiring in India” –the links that come up first invariably, are the “Hiring trends in India relatively strong: Linked in" reports.

Hiring trends in India are relatively strong than other markets around the world as nearly half of employers believe the recruitment volume this year is up from 2011.
And as one scrolls down, it would seem like a totally different story. Irrespective of whether it is commissioned by a job portal or an article by a news agency, the host of surveys/ analyst reports reveal trends indicating how it isn't at all hunky dory !

The HeadHonchos Management Hiring Perspective Report hints that the gains by 51% of the companies that are back filling positions that had been open during the year-will be offset by a stagnant headcount or active downsizing among the remaining 49% of employers!

As I look back over the past twelve to eighteen months, the trend (now) seems very apparent-as the mad rush to hire ( remember the 'war for talent' -that made companies outbid others to hire every trespassers or trip over each other to pay joining bonuses or buy out notice periods!?), has since given way to a slow-pedalling pace...but in the right direction!!

Most companies are trying to consolidate, and improve profitability/conserve cash as most expansion plans have either been postponed or called off. With no tearing hurry to hire, they have been testing how elastic their present manpower team can become! ( If hitherto 8 were assigned a project, the same was being done just as efficiently by 7, then 6..with companies checking if 5 empowered folks-without a supervisor- do just as well?)

And so while back-filling is surely on their mind, it is dictated in a much more compelling fashion! Instead of settling for people who would just do the job earlier, now the emphasis is- on what else the person can bring to the table-fiercely sticking to the best-and in no mood to compromise on the quality of hire!!

Just to drive home the point, let me share with you some of the best practices that I have been observing of late- with clients' increasing their focus on developing a talent mindset :

-Succession planning superseding 'just-in-time' hiring. Companies are looking at professionals who can grow to positions of higher responsibilities. For eg-auto companies are increasingly hiring local hires to take over from expats who are presently in India on secondment!

-companies have beefed up their internal recruitment teams-and reducing the dependence of using portals/external consultants, and investing in social media hiring/ employer branding. For eg- an MNC hiring someone in Bangalore/Mumbai to do a job earlier done from Singapore!

-companies setting up Centres of Excellence for Talent Acquisition/Talent Management ; increase the benchmark! More than before, filtering out those who have been compulsive job hoppers pay more attention to the tenure and the quality of value added!!

-increasing diversity in hiring-not just at entry level, but also at senior levels-so that the gender imbalance is corrected without delay.

Meanwhile, on the supply side,

-we have been receiving more applications than ever before -for every enquiry. For every Kingfisher who has been in the media for delaying salaries for over 7 months, there are several that haven't caught the public eye yet. Every day one gets calls from candidates who are 'available for immediate hire' they are already in between jobs....

-I am increasingly hearing comments like 'work/life balance', 'lesser commuting time', 'money isn’t really important at this stage of my life (!)', not just from those returning to India-but also those who have been part of the roller coaster ride of the past decade and a half!

Are we likely to see more twists in the hiring game?? Do we see more of the younger generation, forced to look beyond campus hiring, as they are anyway dwindling, become part of the start up ecosystem? Has the time come for adoption of interim managers in India??

Setting expectations...on either side..will keep us recruiters more busy :)!??


Unknown said...

Yes, since mid 2010 there is visible and overall significant change in hiring in India. there is NO more rushing decisions in hiring, restless attitude on every hiring (bench as well!!), copying (diversity, workplace practices etc.) and not sustaining, fancy JDs.....this change is good and will help improve work life quality.

Sajithkumar said...