Article: The state of talent acquisition in India 

Talent Acquisition

The state of talent acquisition in India 

The talent acquisition function within HR has traditionally dealt with ensuring that a company hires the right candidates for its vacant positions. But given the urgency within businesses to scale today, it is poised to play a much more vital role.
The state of talent acquisition in India 

Companies today operate in a competitive business environment. With changes in technology and consumer preferences, businesses are in demand of quality talent that can support their adaptive and agile plans for growth. The recently launched LinkedIn India Recruiting Trends Report highlights a similar concern. The report states that around 83 percent recruiters surveyed globally state that talent is the number one priority in their companies. This reflects the growing need within organizations to have skilled employees that can support their need to be agile and leverage newer technologies and work design principles to become more productive. 

Given the growing need for quality talent within organizations has been  more than ever, the influence and scope of the Talent Acquisition function have also evolved over the years. Today its scope not just limited to the act of finding the right recruits. As it grows to become a vital function that has a direct role in supporting business initiatives, it encompasses a rather long-term approach towards hiring and managing talent within the company. Responsible for creating an approach which is aimed at making the company ready for uncertain future recruitment conditions, while addressing the talent needs of today. This has translated into both the TA heads and the front line recruiters paying a close attention to how they source and assess the quality of the candidates they bring into the company. 

Around 83 percent of the companies globally have defined acquiring the right talent as a business imperative.

Increasing focus on quality of hire

With HR professionals playing a key role in helping businesses achieve their goals, a lot of onus falls on the front line recruiters and Talent Acquisition (TA) heads to bring in the right talent that is in tune with the business demands. Consequently, one finds companies prioritizing quality of hire as one of the most important metrics of performance assessment for recruiters, as the LinkedIn report noted, with time-to-fill being a second most important metric in India. This points towards a major challenge that most recruiters face today.  Balancing the need to get quality candidates with a tight time-to-fill criteria often ends up becoming a challenging task. This need has led to recruiters today explore alternative talent pools using mediums like social and mobile platforms to create innovative recruitment drives and identify the right talent for the company.  

Delving further on the issue of quality of hire being the top metric for recruiters, the report notes that employers have the highest success of ensuring the quality of hire with employee referrals. “Employee referrals,” the study notes, “are still the top source of quality hires. Along with referrals recruitment through the job boards and social media channels like Facebook and LinkedIn today are the three highest sources of ensuring a quality of hire respectively.” India as a country also leads in the total hiring done on the basis of referrals. Pegging the global average at 39 percent the Indian usage of referrals stands at 69 percent. The relatively high market penetration that social media provides along with the presence of strong relationship networks still remains vital for recruiters in India to leverage from.  Moving ahead, their strategic use would be critical.

To ensure the effectiveness of employer branding results there needs to be a successful assimilation of the employer branding efforts with overall branding activities. 

Leveraging Employer branding 

The other important means to attract the right talent within a company is by creating the right brand image of the company as a suitable employer. Although employer branding has often just been a subset of the traditional consumer branding activities, more and more companies in India are slowly waking up to the effectiveness that such initiatives usually have.  The LinkedIn report reflects this rising trend. Around 78 percent of the total respondents felt that their brand image has a vital role to play in their ability to attract the right talent, while 72 percent say that it's a top priority for their organization. By using multiple channels like social media, the companies website and professional networks LinkedIn, recruiters can today create a cohesive employer brand which in turn is effective in reaching out to not just the active set candidates looking for opportunities but also passive talent, one of the biggest talent pools. 

But to ensure the effectiveness of employer branding results there needs to be a successful assimilation of the employer branding efforts with overall branding activities. With the involvement of senior leadership in making employer branding activities more relevant for the company, there has been a growth in the assimilation of both marketing and TA functions when it comes  to creating a cohesive  employer branding effort. 

Moving ahead: External hires not the only solution

As companies move into the new year, TA heads would find the need to create stronger internal hiring mechanisms as it isn’t yet one of the priorities within companies. The report states that of their total respondents only 32 percent had a well-defined program catering to the internal job hiring and advancement programs. This along, with the fact that only 15 percent of the companies having a well-defined program facilitating lateral hires shows a possible talent pool that TA heads are missing out on. Along with deploying an arsenal of suitable options for external hiring, they need to look at streamlining their internal hiring and mobility options. This would help put in structures that help the existing employees of the company plug-in roles that might not necessarily be in their traditional career development plan. 

By focusing closely on what talent can be suitable for which position and creating robust channels to source talent, both internally and externally, TA heads can help their businesses reap the dividends of a strong talent acquisition plan.  Moving ahead, TA heads would find the need to train their recruiters to deploy more integrated solutions to meet the company’s talent demands. With factors like economic fluctuations and evolving workforce demography, recruiters will have to look into an approach that  brings together the vital elements of employee referral programs, employer branding and internal hiring and create a cohesive plan which is responsive to changing business needs. 

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Topics: Talent Acquisition

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