India Inc misplaced notion of carrying along the talented

Societies and institutions tend to over react, both in good times and difficult times. In good times, the euphoria and the oozing optimism leads them to profligacy and in challenging times to knee jerk irrational actions. Institutions which committed excesses in good times have no option, but to undergo the painful surgery causing immense pain to all stakeholders. Most organizations, with a misplaced notion of carrying along the talented, let the uninitiated and the impressionable coerce the senior management to adopt erroneous policies, in the names of market practices. In all such cases the leadership of such organizations lost the opportunity to custom fit strategies to their size, affordability and strategy. Many organizations driven by the out stripping optimism expanded their distribution infrastructure. The choice of locations and the size of these offices were driven by the usual con game of faulty market research which counts every moving object as a potential revenue opportunity.

The other sin which was committed during these golden seven years was to build innumerable silos called business units in our organizations. This led to establishment of satrapies, whose primary focus became expanding their satrapies with every conceivable resource. All the synergies that inherently a multi business organization offers were blocked and destroyed by this silo centered organization design. In the name of motivating employees, we also committed the allied sin: corrupt incentive schemes, which incentivised volume at the cost of quality of business. Thus, we carried almost twice as many people, due to the innumerable satrapies and loaded this cake with the icing called business destroying incentive.

Some of us have fallen for the talent con, wherein we are told that all jobs and all humans, in our organizations are special and they are the sole differentiators. In short, we have let ourselves be blackmailed by a slew of myths perpetuated by the consultants and interested parties viz, potential and incumbent employees. All of us forgot the difference between the compensation for an entrepreneur who put his capital to risk and an employee however talented he may be, who loans with no risk, only the skill and knowledge with an un-tethered option to withdraw the same any time.

It is now time to act in a mature and balanced manner. Let us all resolve that 12 months hence when the golden horizon returns, we will act and not over react. India ranks No 1 globally in the Q3 2009 Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. The survey also says that hiring intentions of employers will remain positive at 19 per cent.

The global slowdown is likely to have minimal effect on employer hiring plans in India over the next three months, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. The survey indicates that the job market in India is expected to be promising yet the survey does reveal that employers will exercise caution in hiring in the third quarter of 2009 with an overall net Employment Outlook of 19 per cent.

With a 19 per cent net employment outlook, the quarterly survey ranks India at the top among the 34 countries surveyed globally. Employers in five out of eight countries and territories surveyed across the Asia Pacific region anticipate positive hiring activity for the third quarter.

The survey of almost 5,000 employers across 30 cities in India indicates that at 19 per cent, net employment outlook in Q3 2009, displays strong hiring forecast compared to China (3 per cent), the United States (-2 percent) and the United Kingdom (-6 percent). The most optimistic employment outlook after India has been reported from Norway (15 percent) and Poland (9 percent).

India has been reporting the highest labor hiring expectations. Thus, despite a fall in the net employment outlook, the Indian labor market has handled the global economic slowdown much better than other emerging and developed economies globally.