“Hire people smarter than you” – perhaps the most common piece of advice lent to managers, early-stage entrepreneurs, executives, recruiters alike. In light of the prevailing talent crunch in India, this mantra makes all the sense — but what does that entail on the ground?
In well-put words, such hiring calls for:
- A solid recruiting process with a robust, comprehensive, and action-oriented plan
- Adopting a combination of modern tactics and time-tested practices to ensure the candidate experience is the best it can be
- Remunerating the candidate with adequate compensation to nurture a forward-facing relationship
- Ensuring such a hiring process is repeatable and scalable.
This hiring process must be adhered to, regardless of the market conditions on a given day. But, here’s the catch. There is no silver bullet for this near-perfect hiring process. If you’ve ever hired or contributed to the hiring process, you can attest that it’s a tough nut to crack.
Customarily, the process becomes a tug-of-war between what the candidate wants and the company needs. It’s riddled with uncertainty, skepticism, and at times, even frustration. And this is true for all the parties – the company, the recruiter, and the candidate.
The Indian tech market, in particular, finds itself in the thick of a talent crunch. Hiring the best of the best requires a thorough and consistent approach that is not only particular in its requirements but also keeps the candidate’s interests and needs at heart.
The Country-Wide Rising Tech Talent Demand
Indian startup ecosystem produced 46 unicorns in 2021 – up from 10 and 9 in 2020 and 2019, respectively. As of March 2022, the country is already nearing 100 companies worth $1 billion or more, third only to China (#2) and the USA (#1).
Since 2015, 9X more investors have been attracted to the booming ecosystem, paving the way for 7X startup funding and 7X more incubators. And this is just the startup scene. There’s no stopping the evergreen mass hirers and big tech companies.
The Covid-19 pandemic’s influence hasn’t put any breaks on this soaring demand. In fact, the scenario has just been catalyzed. For instance, December 2021 saw 253,000 tech openings on job boards like LinkedIn.
And these jobs spanned the whole gamut across all tech profiles: data scientists, data analysts, DevOps engineers, IoT solutions architects, software engineers, full-stack developers, cloud computing professionals, etc.
The Talent Crunch and Related Challenges
According to AWS commissioned study, India’s tech talent (people with digital skills) will have to increase by nine times by 2025 to keep up with the rising demand.
But all considered, the problem remains — there aren’t enough highly qualified, highly-competent, and highly-versatile engineers to meet the demand. And this talent crunch problem plagues startups, SMEs, and big tech companies.
Everyone understands the vitality of differentiating and elevating their company’s tech capabilities to achieve growth in the utterly dynamic Indian market. Therefore, everyone wants to hire the best of the best. But this isn’t easy.
But there’s a limited supply of qualified talent, which means the competition to hire and retain top hires is fierce. And, of course, a myriad of hiring challenges compound the problem. Here’s how:
- A high number of job seekers but low employability: As elucidated, the marketplace is awash, with millions of candidates looking for jobs. However, job seekers are far higher than the number of employable candidates based on industry benchmarks.
- Manual processes are inadequate for mass hiring: Employment applications, interviews, and background checks are time-consuming, challenging processes. Manual processes are not scalable to handle the high volumes of applications. They are also error-prone, hampering the best matches.
- Talent acquisition processes are fragmented: Although the outcome needs to be differentiated, the recruitment process is often disjointed, with the company and recruiter working in silos. This leads to several inefficiencies in the process.
- High drop-off and low offer-to-join ratio: With so many opportunities at hand for the best talent, candidates have the luxury of choice. And many choose to opt out. The drop-off ratio, particularly for the technology sector, rests at about 50%.
- GCCs making the competition fierce: The Global Capability Centers (GCC) are scaling operations in the country. The estimates point to 500 GCCs employing 3 million candidates by 2025. This presents a challenge for tech SMEs and startups.
The Candidate’s POV: What Do They Care About?
Comprehending what candidates prefer is critical to making hiring better. In fact, it’s a need before you can ever attempt to improve it. An excellent place to start is looking at the world through the candidate’s eyes, just as you would in any 360-degree feedback process. Not to be exhaustive, but assuredly, here’s what you’ll discover about the candidate’s perspective:
- New-found liking for Hybrid Work culture: The pandemic has made candidates yearn for a work culture that is more agile and comfortable. The work-from-home setup has, indeed, become a preferred choice. This isn’t to imply that candidates wouldn’t like being in an office environment. But a hybrid setup would be more apt and efficient for starters.
- Opportunity for negotiations: As explained above, a highly competent and versatile candidate has the luxury of choice, and rightly so. However, this creates a challenge for companies because, unlike in the past, when candidates would take a company offer and walk, they now choose to make a counteroffer or opt out altogether.
- Inclination towards culture: “Individuals are placing an increased importance on company culture, sense of purpose, and leadership,” says Michael Page’s Managing Director Nicolas Dumoulin. And, so they should. Their overall experience, including the work culture and their relationships with management, team, and colleagues, has a huge bearing on their morale and overall performance.
Catering to the Candidate Experience With AI
If there’s one thing that the Covid-19 pandemic and the current talent crunch crisis have taught us, that’s to move fast while catering to candidates’ experiences.
On that note, tapping into the power of AI can help you streamline the hiring process in unprecedented ways. For instance, X0PA AI Recruiter lets you:
- Source, score, and rank candidates based on fields like CV Relevance, Predictive Performance, and Predictive Loyalty
- Bring inclusivity to the recruitment process through the use of data-driven skill-based filtering and shortlisting.
- Enhance the candidate experience by automating the interview workflow – scheduling, emailing, etc.
- Integrate with top third-party platforms like LinkedIn, Kaggle, GitHub, Stack overflow, etc., to enrich the sourcing and application review process
Gone are the days when employers had to rely on cumbersome means of sourcing and vetting candidates. X0PA AI Recruiter lets you tap into the power of data-driven and people-focused AI to scale your talent acquisition process, saving you time and money.