News: Key talent trends for India in 2020: Report

Talent Acquisition

Key talent trends for India in 2020: Report

Companies that offer opportunities to employees to continuously develop their capabilities to stay relevant in the future workforce will have a distinct advantage.
Key talent trends for India in 2020: Report

Based on inputs from talent acquisition, development and compensation experts from across the country, Korn Ferry (has identified emerging talent trends for India in 2020.

“Technological advancement is impacting the talent requirements across all industries. As such, talent with a technology background who can help the company navigate the digital future are becoming more important.” said Konika Chadha, Head of Professional Search, Korn Ferry India. “Companies are also looking for talent who can navigate the future and see through the changes in business models, including putting the right funding in the right place.” she further added.  

Navnit Singh, Chairman & Regional Managing Director, Korn Ferry India, said, “The rate, at which the market is evolving, is much faster than anticipated by most industries. With technological changes and new emerging markets, companies will continue to generate huge demand for leaders and technology-oriented roles.” 

He also felt that the economies like India, the shift towards building an agile work force and further developing world class local talent whilst remaining attractive as a global innovation hub is going to be critical for its future proofing. Companies that offer opportunities to employees to continuously develop their capabilities to stay relevant in the future workforce, and adopt holistic rewards strategies, that consider the priorities of different generations, will have a distinct advantage.

Emerging talent trends 

Goodbye control, consistency and closure. Hello trust, purpose and agility

In the not-so-distant past, structures and controls guided how work got done. It was the boss’s job to set the strategy and tightly control the process through to the outcome. Now, instead of trying to energize people around an analytical strategy, leaders are creating an agile and adaptable culture where teams trust each other and understand the purpose of the work: “why” we exist, “who” we are as an organization, and “what” we stand for. 

In fact, in a recent Korn Ferry survey of professionals, nearly two-thirds of the respondents (59 percent) say their personal principal driver at work is the belief that their work has purpose and meaning. Emphasizing that purpose-driven leadership isn’t just good for the individual—it’s critical for the bottom-line. The vast majority of survey respondents (96 percent) agree that companies see a long-term financial benefit when they make a strong commitment to purpose-driven leadership.

Cautiously controlling hiring and compensation

Although unemployment in most parts of the globe is at historically low levels, companies are beginning to take a more cautious approach towards hiring and compensation practices. Hiring for roles that have a direct impact on the bottom line, such as R&D and sales, is being prioritized over traditional service roles like accounting. 

Additionally, global digital transformation means that tech skills are in high demand in just about every industry, which is leading to more open positions and enhanced compensation for these roles. Many companies are hiring people who have niche technical skills keeping future requirements in mind, even if they don’t have an immediate role available for them.  

On the other hand, to avoid adding to fixed costs, companies are becoming more reluctant to give across-the-board cost-of-living increases. Instead, they’re using discretionary incentives, such as bonuses, to reward key skill sets and performance. 

Closer to cracking the code on effective diversity and inclusion

Many companies have come a long way in identifying and addressing unconscious bias toward specific employee demographics, such as women, racial and ethnic populations, the LGBTQ community and others. And while helping people become more aware of their own unconscious bias is important for creating greater inclusion, it’s not enough to bring about lasting transformation. 

There’s a clear business case for focusing on the issue: According to the survey, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of executives say their D&I programs help with employee retention, while 76 percent say D&I initiatives lead to greater innovation.

Transparency in pay

“How much do you make?” That question used to be taboo but changing social norms have made pay transparency the way of the future. The survey of professionals found that nearly one-quarter of respondents (24 percent) think it’s appropriate to share their salary information with colleagues, while more than a third (37 percent) believe that it’s more acceptable to talk pay today than it was five years ago.

But that’s not the only way pay transparency is playing out around the world. In an effort to promote pay equity, more than 80 countries have passed equal-pay-for-equal-work legislation. And of those countries, more than a quarter have a mandatory reporting requirement. There is also a much more concerted effort to make executive salaries transparent, with the CEO pay ratio ruling in effect in the U.S. and the Shareholder Rights Directive set to impact the European Union in 2020. 

Reskilling for the future

Organizations have also made reskilling existing employees a key initiative, as they know many of the skills that are critical today may be irrelevant tomorrow. A Korn Ferry global survey of HR professionals shows that more than a quarter (27 percent) say reskilling workers is their top priority. To help enhance employee capabilities—and increase retention—formalized, ongoing hard-skill (such as programming) and soft-skill (such as agility) trainings are becoming the norm. And this isn’t just about tech workers: everyone from sales to HR needs to be trained to meet the demands of tomorrow.

Rise of the “career nomad”

Companies across the globe are grappling with the growing phenomenon of “career nomads“—high-performing, talented professionals who switch jobs, organizations and even careers at a faster rate than others.

Although a recent Korn Ferry study found that 88 percent of professionals believe frequent job switches have had a positive impact on their careers, most organizations still consider hiring career nomads a risk. But as Korn Ferry research shows, those companies may often ignore the benefits of having nomads in the workforce—gains that arise from their multidisciplinary experiences, intellectual curiosity and high learning agility. That’s why many employers are now taking steps to keep these high-potential, diverse and agile job hoppers in their companies.  


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Topics: Talent Acquisition, Skilling

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