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Where The Candidate Is King: Recruitment In 21st-Century India

22/12/2015 4:15 PM IST | Updated 29/08/2016 9:00 PM IST
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The new millennium has witnessed the advent of the 21st century enterprise - born digital firms such as Amazon, Facebook and Google. Along with these, sharing economy startups like Uber and Airbnb have redefined the business landscape. Today, the average lifespan of a Fortune 500 company is a third of what it was 50 years ago, and it's estimated that by 2020 more than three-fourths of the S&P 500 will be companies established in the new millennium. This makes it essential for 21st-century enterprises to possess an inherent flexibility and agility to keep up with fluid expectations of the millennial consumer.

Employers have to reposition themselves to attract millennials -- studies show that by 2025, over 75% of workforces globally will comprise this target group. The agility needed begins from being able to source such talent from born digital expertise - millennials who have grown up with unbridled access to technology, communication and social networks.

Accustomed to information at their fingertips, millennials expect responsiveness akin to instant customer service. They require candidate-centric treatment.

Similar to their expectations as consumers, millennials have unique demands from their employers. The talent market is no longer driven by buyers - it is a candidate-centric market where employers have to sell the position they are looking to fill. Empowered with the digital channels that allow unlimited choice and the ability to connect with opportunities never available for past generations, millennials are a highly sought out community by recruiters. Their demands from career and workplaces are significantly different from their predecessors. Besides career progression and growth, millennials crave for a sense of purpose, and a challenging, interesting work environment that enables work-life balance.

Companies have to be fluid in the way they do business in the 21st century, and this extends to the process of attracting and hiring talent too

Accustomed to information at their fingertips, millennials expect responsiveness akin to instant customer service. They require candidate-centric treatment. Adopting a straitjacketed approach to hiring will result in a lose-lose situation for the candidate and employer.

To engage with millennials on the new age platforms they frequent, firms have employed unique and differentiated digital and social recruitment campaigns. To capture the attention of tech talent, firms such as Google, Etsy and Quixey have used innovative puzzles and contests. Employers have identified creative ways of getting eyeballs, such as ad agency Uncle Grey which placed recruitment ads for coders inside a popular online multiplayer game; food delivery startup Grubhub organised recruitment competitions on Snapchat. Companies such as Sodexo, Home Depot and UPS have mastered social and mobile recruitment - with UPS notably going from spending 90% of their budget on print to 97% on social media in a space of five years.

While standalone initiatives such as the campaigns listed above are commonplace, the one thing often missing, especially in the context of Indian IT space is integration. While they are creative and innovative, individual initiatives aren't integrated within a broader strategy or are undertaken within limited silos of the organisation.

While standalone initiatives such as the campaigns listed above are commonplace, the one thing often missing, especially in the context of Indian IT space is integration.

To counter the rapidly forming notion that the Indian IT/ITES industry is going the way of the 'old economy' and to attract top tech talent, who are now increasingly lured by lucrative jobs in the mushrooming tech startup industry, IT companies are increasingly embracing innovative recruitment practices.

In a realm with blurring lines between conventional and revolutionary business models and where job titles go extinct every decade, it becomes paramount for employers to adopt a strategic perspective towards new age recruitment. To truly differentiate themselves in a crowded space and benefit from being a preferred employer - with better quality of hires, increased application to hire conversions, reduced cost and time per hire, 21st-century enterprises need to accelerate how they shape a vision that embraces millennial-friendly recruitment practices.

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