Talent shortage forces firms to go for cross-sector hiring

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Demand-based hiring helps improve profits, cash positions

Dearth of skilled professionals has resulted in hiring not only within one’s industry but also across sectors and the trend has become a significant one like never before, say industry players.

Two significant shifts are seen in the hiring patterns in the staffing industry, which are causing considerable changes in the way talent is employed, says Randstad India CEO Moorthy K Uppaluri. A major shift in strategy is just-in time hiring. Firms are no longer creating a pipeline of talent expecting future business.

They plan ahead and work with hiring agencies to recruit staff as and when required. High-growth industries such as IT are constrained by strained profit margins; over 85 per cent of the cost in these sectors relate to people. Demand-based hiring is helping companies improve profits as well as cash positions.

As talent crunch is felt across industries, companies are going beyond related educational qualification and experience to select staff. They have started doing competency-based hiring irrespective of verticals.

High-growth sectors are in need of skilled workers who will fit into jobs with minimum training. Their talent pipelines have been shortened and they are now forced to look for people in different industries.

Slowing sectors have a different set of problems. They can’t spend as much money on talent and are opting to hire candidates with relevant skills though from other sectors.

“Earlier, this used to happen only in support functions such as legal and HR. Now, employers are drilling down to functions like sales from other sectors to bring in people with varied competencies and rich domain experience,” says Uppaluri.

New-age technologies including mobile have forced the IT sector to look beyond its ambit for talent. “We are seeing a ‘digital onslaught’ in the industry. We are hiring people with advertising, design backgrounds to meet the digital needs,” says Rakesh Khanna, COO of IT services firm Syntel.

shyamalaseetharaman@mydigitalfc.com

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