Only 15-20% of the graduating talent pool in India is readily employable. So there is a need for deeper assessment mechanisms
Recruiters have to look beyond academic credentials to assess employability of entry-level professionals
Recruiting organisations in India are facing a problem of plenty. The highest talent intake for qualified entry-level talent in India comes from the engineering and the management pool.
While most of this talent pool is absorbed into the IT/ITeS industry, many are also moving into other service industries such as publishing. When it comes to specific functional jobs such as sales, marketing, HR and finance, most recruiters acquire talent from business schools and niche professional pools such as chartered and cost accountancy.
If talent is so abundant, why are companies struggling to get the right people in?
While on paper the availability of talent is large, a peek under the surface-level realities reveals that the distribution of quality talent in this pool is highly skewed and they have a limited set of skills.
According to statistics and talent market research, only 15-20 per cent of the talent pool that graduates every year from professional institutions is readily employable. To acquire the right talent, recruiting organisations are putting together more rigorous evaluation. Good recruiting organisations have put together three to four levels of evaluation mechanisms to assess a candidate beyond their academic credentials.
Most of these assessment parameters include intrinsic and behavioural competencies such as the ability to craft new ideas or fluid intelligence.
The shift in what corporates seek
In addition to academic knowledge, companies are also interested in understanding whether a candidate has the ability to learn new ideas quickly. Traditionally, fluid intelligence assessment was never a criteria to evaluate or shortlist candidates. The focus of entry-level hiring has, therefore, shifted from what a candidate knows to what the candidate can potentially learn.
For non-entry-level or lateral recruitments, exemplar companies have also put together mechanisms to assess emotional intelligence and behavioural attributes through psychometrics. Some even go to the extent of putting the candidate through assessment centres to understand if a candidate will fit into the company’s culture, capabilities and delivery expectations.
Engaging the young talent
While in the pre-1991 era, India was a land of limited opportunities, younger millennial generations were exposed to a different set of experiences compared to other generations in the workforce. While it is natural to assume that the younger generations have a different set of employment expectations, the assumption that they have a different set of values compared to the earlier generations is not true. There are two areas where companies often get confused: Work ethics and personal space. Most of the younger generation have not only learnt to work hard and party harder, but also keep work and personal life separate.
Sundara Rajan is the Director of Thomas Assessments