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India has more jobs than it has skilled employees

HT summit on ‘Challenges in recruitment and retention’ focused on the need for the industry to work closely with educational institutions to ensure sufficient supply of people with skills.

delhi Updated: Jul 22, 2007 02:30 IST
Namita Kohli

With job-hopping becoming trendy and attrition rates rising, the task of recruiting and retaining skilled employees has grown increasingly difficult for every organisation, and made the role of every human resources manager an unenviable one. The galaxy of leading HR managers who attended the summit on ‘Challenges in recruitment and retention’ organised by the

Hindustan Times

on Thursday agreed that industry would have to work closely with educational institutions to ensure sufficient supply of people with skills and knowledge.

“Attracting the right talent is no longer an HR issue, it’s now a business matter,” said P Dwarakanath, director, Group Human capital, Max India Limited. “There’s nothing like life-term employment in a single organisation any more. Employees in their mid-30s are facing burnout, and it is a challenge to retain the right talent.”

The consensus was clearly that there were more jobs going than skilled employees available. “Industries like BPOs, IT-enabled services and banks have created a huge demand for personnel. Young people have higher expectations, their lifestyles have transformed,” said P Rajendran, chief operation officer, NIIT.

Sanjeev Bikchandani, chief executive officer, Naukri.com, said in such a scenario, companies needed to devise an employee value proposition and engage with the government to create a bigger talent pool. “Our surveys revealed that 80 per cent employees leave because they are not happy with their bosses,” he noted. “Hence, retaining talent should be made a key result area of the supervisor.”

Uday Chawla of Transearch India urged a higher level of management commitment in the recruiting and retaining process. Emphasising the “qualitative aspect” of the employee-employer relationship, S.Y. Siddiqui, executive director, HR, Maruti Udyog, spoke about the new initiatives his company had taken. “We have started after-work yoga sessions for our employees,” he said. “Companies like Toyota Worldwide have employed corporate priests to stress a job isn’t all about money, but also about discharging responsibilities.”

“In the next couple of years, we will face a huge shortage of talent. So, we are in talks with academics to train people adequately at the institutional level,” said Chandra.

The discussion drew to a close with the launch of HT Strides, a Friday supplement targeted at early job-seekers.