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Shortage of HR professionals hinders talent hunt

Headhunting firms are facing an acute shortage of manpower when it comes to middle and top-level management profiles, reports Venkatesh Ganesh.

business Updated: Jul 29, 2007 21:21 IST
Venkatesh Ganesh

K Sudarshan, managing partner at EMA Partners International — an executive search firm, is a worried man these days. Despite the booming economy and a thriving job market that can be compared to a ‘gold rush’ for recruiters, he is worried about lack of talented manpower. This has put his company’s expansion plans on hold.

Saddled with the job of addressing talent shortage in companies, headhunting firms are now facing talent scarcity themselves. Faced with increasing business, an upbeat economy and complex industry job profiles, headhunting firms are facing an acute shortage of manpower when it comes to middle and top-level management profiles.

According to executives in the HR industry, the sector currently employs about 40,000 people in the organised sector, and there is an estimated 30 per cent manpower shortage of 13,000 professionals. “In coming years, we foresee a shortage of qualified HR professionals across industries in India,” said Vikram Bharadwaj, CEO of Radileon, an HR consulting company.

Headhunters say the recruiting scenario has changed from a decade back, when all recruiters did was to push resumes. “Understanding domains (industries) and people issues in these sectors are gaining importance as the flux of MNCs and Indian companies have complex job profiles,” said Bharadwaj. As an example, he cited the example of banks, where regulatory compliance requirements mixed with an understanding of software is difficult to understand and explain.

Sudarshan said that financial services sector is a hard profile to explain. “To explain a profile of equity researcher, one needs to know various profiles that comes under this profile,” he said.

Others like Tapash Sengupta, MD, CHR Global, a Mumbai-based executive search firm, are concerned about the time it takes to groom people for complex recruitment tasks, especially when it comes to hiring middle and top management candidates.

“We can manage at the entry level, where basic communication skills are required, but they are found lacking when it comes to handling senior management profiles,” said Sudarshan.

He adds that due to the talent scarcity he has been not able to expand the company’s operations in Bangalore and Mumbai for domain specialists in industries such as information technology and banking.