The Search for Talent Continues

In 1997, McKinsey Co. had coined the term the war for talent as the name of a study conducted by them, which stated that the search for the best and the brightest will become a constant costly battle, a fight with no final victory. India Inc seems to have come back to where it was in terms of hiring two years ago. In the new economy, competition has gone global, capital is abundant, ideas are developed quickly and people are willing to change jobs often. Another high point is the dearth of employable talent. So on one hand, there are more jobs in the market and people are changing jobs more often and on the other hand organizations are facing a shortage of employable talent.

Hence, the war for talent is back with a bang:

Back for Good>

The war for talent is definitely back, and it’s back for good. A lot of multinational companies across sectors that had put their plans of entering India on hold are aggressively panning their foot print across the country. Bullish market sentiment, growing consumerism and a cautious but an optimistic approach of corporate India means that several industries are back to contributing double digit figures to the Indian GDP. Infrastructure for one is a shining example of the thriving industry. Education is another sunrise industry.

As the global economy recovers it is natural that more jobs will be created along with the need to hire the best available talent.

India has recovered must faster than most other countries and is likely to see a heightened need for talent. Industries which are people intensive like retail, manufacturing banking and financial services and IT and ITeS will be amongst the top contenders for acquiring the cream of the talent pool.

Unnatural exuberance in the IT and BPO industries which are people intensive has resulted in heightened demands for people. The war for good talent generally across Asia hadn’t quite left us. Whilst the war was always on it’s the battle that has intensified on several fronts. Speaking specifically about India, the last six eight months main conflagration zones have been healthcare, automobile, retail, energy, (conventional and renewable) private equity microfinance institutions / social entrepreneurship and infrastructure.

The war is on and most industries are a part of it already, whether they know it or not. But how prepared are most companies? Organizations with a well defined and comprehensive value proposition that goes beyond simple monetary compensation and includes important elements such as career development, employee engagement mechanisms, rewards and recognition etc will be the ones to acquire and retain the best talent available. Training is the most important ingredient towards creating sustaining and growing successful associates, managers and leaders. In addition, to attract a good talent pool, companies need to adopt and follow industry best practices, keep an energized work environment have a strong culture across the organizations and deploy learning and development programs.

Companies are at different levels and stages of preparedness. Those who have not taken innovative talent acquisition and people management initiatives are experiencing immense pressure w.r.t retaining quality talent. Conversely organizations with proactive and dynamic employee engagement activities are fairing a lot better and in turn have stronger prospects of attracting good talent.

Organizations that understand the need to preempt organizational needs of inducting fresh blood and do opportunistic hiring stand, to gain in the long run. Companies have to incorporate a long term view of assessing future talent requirements and build these into their current hiring plans.

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