Culture, brand, career progression key for Indian candidates: Korn Ferry report

Rapid business growth, changing candidate demands and shortage of qualified professionals will create intense competition for talent in 2017, says a Korn Ferry study


About 31% of those surveyed in India by Korn Ferry said that recruitment activity is being affected by the growing need for new skills in a changing market—a significantly higher rating for this factor than globally at 20%. Photo: Hindustan Times
About 31% of those surveyed in India by Korn Ferry said that recruitment activity is being affected by the growing need for new skills in a changing market—a significantly higher rating for this factor than globally at 20%. Photo: Hindustan Times

New Delhi: Rapid business growth, changing candidate demands and shortage of qualified professionals will create intense competition for talent during 2017, according to a new global study released by Korn Ferry, global organizational advisory firm.

More than 1,100 hiring professionals from across the globe participated in the survey out of which 54% of global and 47% of Indian talent acquisition professionals said sourcing qualified candidates is now more difficult than it was 12 months ago. In India, research and development roles and sales are among the hardest to fill.

Many of those surveyed in India said that recruitment activity is also being affected by the growing need for new skills in a changing market (31%), a significantly higher rating for this factor than globally (20%). Rapid business growth and economic uncertainty are also rated in India as having an impact (both 19%). And, as candidate priorities change in the light of greater demand for their skills, resourcing professionals will also need to consider how to create a more compelling offer.

Evolving candidate priorities

Globally, the top reason why candidates choose one job over another is company culture. That marks a major departure from five years ago, when talent acquisition professionals said that salary and benefits was the top reason.

According to the report, “Millennials are looking for culture and fit. They want to feel good about where they’re working, beyond cosmetic changes to creating a shared sense of purpose. Gen X, on the other hand, is more interested in taking their skill set to a place where they can make an impact. Organizations with a culture of acknowledging that impact also have a greater chance of retaining top talent of that generation.”

Similarly, in India, five years ago, company brand and reputation was cited as the most significant factor (36%) in attracting high-quality candidates to roles in India; now culture, brand and career progression are all considered equally important.

Asked to specify what might draw candidates to a role in five years’ time, Indian respondents said that company culture, reputation and brand will remain important, but in addition flexible working (29%) is key in winning a prospect’s attention. Many Indian employers are behind their global counterparts in embracing flexible working practices.

The shifting emphasis that candidates are beginning to place on factors like culture, brand and career cannot be underestimated. Also, as incomes rise, employees pay more attention to their lifestyle and work-life balance and view rigid work schedules as “old economy”.

The report concludes by saying that the ability to create an appealing, empathetic employer brand that clearly communicates its vision and purpose is only going to become more important in attracting top talent as competition becomes increasingly fierce over the coming years.

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