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Indian IT industry employs nearly 3 million people which is roughly 5% of the country’s formal sector workforce and contributes nearly 7% to India’s GDP. These numbers may look small, but the sector draws significantly high amount of attention from various quarters.

This is due to the volatility and uncertainty the sector has to weather all the time. It deals with a number of variables such as the state of global economy and the expansive geopolitics, ever-changing customer demands and high levels of competition. In this situation, a company can win only when it gets the right people on board. How does it get this critical piece right?

Do we go beyond the job description?

Companies often describe the job they are trying to fill up in terms of skills required, years of experience, qualification and salary budget. Hardly ever, we see recruiters going beyond some of these hard specifications. No doubt, these are clear and relatively easy to specify, validate and assess.

We all know, the software programmers with the same kind of knowledge, experience and cost do not become equally successful in all companies. An individual’s success in a job depends not only on the skills but also on the organization’s environment, the fitment with the specific context of the role and the compatibility of the organization’s values and beliefs with those of the individual. Do recruiters think about these?

Do line managers apply predetermined benchmarks to select?

Interviewers often want to recruit people who they are comfortable with. I have seen, the level of comfort or lack of it is determined by a number of parameters which are not uniform and consistent. Interviewers tend to be biased either positively or negatively by a number of factors such as familiarity or notions about the candidate’s background such as family background, college graduated from, year of passing, companies worked with, projects worked upon, reporting manager and various other demographic aspects.

Many interviewers are not skilled enough to understand the competencies of an applicant and assess them. They often focus on understanding the technical skills to perform the job and ask a set of standard questions to gather some information about the person. However, it is essential that they apply a benchmark to know if the person’s behaviours in critical situations will match the expectations of the company. Moreover, the benchmark has to be understood commonly so that all hiring managers in a company give the same results after an assessment.

Attract the right talent!

Defining the personality traits of an ideal candidate and outlining the assessment method are undoubtedly important. However, the execution starts yielding results when we are able to get the right candidates to the discussion table.

We have 1.2 million engineers passing out a year in India; IT industry needs nearly 200,000 new engineers a year. One would think that the supply is huge compared to the demand. However, nearly half of them carry skills that are acceptable to the players in the industry. Hence, there is a demand for good freshers all the time and companies compete fiercely to recruit them. Each organization looking to hire fresh pass-outs need to have a value proposition that attracts the best!

Secondly, more than 400,000 employees leave their organizations to pursue various priorities in their life. Some go for higher studies, leave the industry; and some join another company in the same industry sector. As a result, we have more than 600,000 positions to fill – new and backfills. That’s almost 20% of the workforce getting churned. A company has to be able to communicate its brand promise to the target audience so that the desired talent is attracted.

Recruiters play an important role in working with the leadership team in crafting the employee value proposition, communicating the same to the target audience and drawing them to the company. The talent strategists have to define the personality traits desired, deploy the assessment methods and the benchmarks. Let’s get the best on board!

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