Talent acquisition strategies cannot solve the skill gap: Country Manager, Adecco India
In a candid conversation with People Matters, Marco Valsecchi, Country Manager, Adecco India shared his thoughts about the Indian market, his learnings as the chief of the country and why up-skilling is the need of the hour for all the organizations.
You took charge of Adecco Group in July 2018 as the Country Manager. What have been the key learnings for you as head of the Indian market?
I have been working in India for more than five years now, in two different stints. Since July 2018 there has been quite some learning which I can summarize in the following:
Relationship matters in India much more than in other countries, both with clients, employees, associates, and suppliers.
There is a significant amount of passion that people put into many different aspects of work, and pride plays a distinctive role in managing an engaged workforce.
Despite knowing it for a long time, cultural differences within India are massive, and if known and respected well, they can help significantly in progressing the business.
You have worked in multiple locations, how do you see India as a market in comparison to the other developed markets in the world?
India is a challenging and complex market. It is often misunderstood, especially when read and analyzed through western frameworks.
Being still a low cost destination for many companies looking for cheaper labor, the market is very sensitive to price. It is an advantage, but also a disadvantage to increase the speed of growth of GDP and expansion of the economy towards higher value-added activities.
India has no time, no day of the week, and no season. Everything works around the clock, which creates opportunities but also challenges to find the right talent and to be able to be productive.
Do you think companies need to address outdated talent acquisition strategies and focus on training, automation, upskilling and nurturing existing talent?
This is a definite YES. It is a fact that replacing talent with new ones is much costlier than training, reskilling and upskilling talent. Talent acquisition strategies are evolving, but they cannot solve the skill gap between what is in demand and what is supplied. We need all together to be able to manage the intense pressure of employment and at the same time, the increased and continuous focus on profitability.
What is your take on the potential of the gig economy with respect to the future of work?
The Adecco Group has identified the gig economy as a megatrend a few years back. We have and are investing in this share of the economy quite heavily. We launched YOSS, a freelancer’s platform, and marketplace, in US France and planned to extend it in many more markets. The work is becoming more and more flexible, and the preferences of young talent are also rapidly changing towards more balance, more choices, and a completely different relationship with the employers. The gig economy will influence the labour market and will gain a significant share of it in the future.
Organizations frequently fail to do enough when it comes to skilling gig workers. How do you think organizations should approach skilling to make a real difference to gig workers?
I think there is a business opportunity in the market to provide skilling platforms for continuous training and improvement to the workers that decide to remain flexible. Companies invest in the gig workers through on the job training. The projects and the organization where gig workers can work is, in other words, an excellent training field to acquire experience, work on increasingly complex projects and understand company cultures to develop themselves.
Companies like yours are all about people. And the need to keep innovating and creating is more important than anything else. What is your strategy?
The strategy of Adecco India is to focus on the value segments of the Indian market. We are looking at creating significant differentiated value to clients by focusing only on the parts of the value chain where we believe we have an advantage with the competition, and we can provide real value to clients. We invest in our talent to continuously keep them relevant within the organization and with our clients.
What are the trends you foresee in your industry for the year 2020?
- AI for hiring, promoting talent and engagement
- Curating social for job hunting
- Diversity & inclusion continues to rule
- Everyone’s a technologist
- Smarter, greener, healthier workplaces