Hiring right talent, upskilling topmost priority for India Inc: Study


Hiring the right talent, upskilling and reskilling of workforce are the top priorities for India Inc this year amidst several challenges such as employee engagement, health concerns and productivity, according to a study.

Hiring the right talent at the right cost remains one of the top concerns for 71 per cent of companies in 2022, said the Mercer’s 2022 Global Talent Trends study.

The study was conducted through a survey in India among 100 human resource professionals, 55 executive-level managers and 507 employees spread across 13 industries.

A large number of companies (42 per cent) are reshaping talent strategies focusing more on internal talent marketplaces and leveraging the gig economy, it said.

Firms have been carrying out this objective by investing in targeted learning programmes and offering internal gig experiences to bridge skill gaps, it added.

What they are grappling with, however, is to scale in a sustainable manner, the study noted.

Meanwhile, 36 per cent of the respondents said they are struggling to find time to learn a new skill, it pointed out.

“Resetting the skills agenda to meet both current and future talent needs will ensure people are, and remain, employable. Harnessing AI and technology will be a critical factor in designing and driving skills based talent practices at scale,” said Padma Ramanathan, Mercer Country Report Lead and Principal – Talent Advisory.

Over one-third of employees interviewed said they valued organisation’s brand and reputation and equal career progression opportunities, citing it as the number two reason for joining a current employer.

They cited job security as the top reason.

An overwhelming 99 per cent of employees interviewed in India expect their employer to pursue a sustainability agenda that balances financial results with social issues, diversity and equity, and environmental impact, the survey found.

Further, according to the study, 74 per cent of employees said they would join a company only if they can work remotely or in a hybrid engagement.

More than half of HR (Human Resource) leaders cited flexibility as a key lever for sourcing, attracting and retaining a diverse talent pool, while the rest of them believe they can build cultures and practices that are adaptive by design to cater to a flexible model, it added.

“Respecting individual choice and treating employees as equal stakeholders in designing work and workplace is at the heart of “working with the company”.

At the same time, ensuring “employees feel the choice is fair and equitable to all work groups will be key to success”, Mercer Partner and India Career Business Leader Shanthi Naresh added.

The study also found that with the acceleration of technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic, new work models and ways of working have been an enabler but have also taken its toll through “change fatigue and exhaustion”.

At the same time, employees are feeling optimistic about seeking a more balanced “future of work” that is redesigned to allow time for family, hobbies, work, health and learning — with work remaining an important part of life (78 per cent), it said.

Reshaping the experience of employees around what they are viewing and valuing as a “lifestyle contract” and redesigning HR and HR processes to cater to proposed interactions is important, the study added.

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