The War for Talent 2014: Recruitment Trends To Watch Out For In 2014

tjinsiteThe say preparation is the best defense against competition – and the year 2014 is gearing up to become a watershed year in recruitments. It’s admittedly getting harder to find candidates with relevant job skills and poaching attempts are going to be more ruthless. With a dearth of top talent and scarcity of skills currently plaguing the Indian employment sector – Corporate HR Departments are focused on the acquisition and retention of high performers – by any means necessary. As Employers plan their strategies, spoke to Though Leaders on the ensuing War for Talent, and here are the recruitment trends to watch out for –


Social/Professional Networking Sites

According to a survey, 49 per cent of the surveyed employers believe that the key benefit of social recruiting is its potential to reach the inaccessible, passive candidates. Nearly 18 per cent employers opined that employing social networking tools would help them source and hire potential tech-savvy candidates. Faster filling up of key positions, thereby reducing the recruitment time is also considered an important benefit of social recruiting, as agreed by 16 per cent of the surveyed employers. Experts agreed that technology, social tools and referrals play a very crucial role while adopting this approach.

According to Sunil Goel, MD, GlobalHunt, “Social and professional networking sites have been able to attract people, irrespective of their domain knowledge, functional expertise and geographical location. Social and professional networking sites also keep individuals regularly engaged to their community.”

Employer Branding

Employer branding is one of the most powerful recruitment tools available in today’s competitive environment. Essentially employer branding communicates and shapes an organisation’s reputation as an employer. Incorporating branding efforts into recruitment activities strongly reinforces the image and the message that the employer wants to portray to the potential candidate. The objective of employer branding is quite simple.

Internal Hiring /Succession Planning

Internal hiring as well as internal job rotations are becoming key tools for employee motivation as it helps a lot in succession planning wherein everybody sees growth for themselves. To improve the possibility of its employees to become leaders in the future, an organisation should focus on building skills, provide a strong mentor, and show a career path. Given today’s criticality of talent acquisition and retention, it is in fact critical to create a leadership pipeline.

According to Asim Handa, CEO, GI Group India, “It’s important that employees have a feeling of security and can see career growth with their employer. Employee referral programs can work wonders for companies as it gives incentives to employees as well as ensures quality candidates with minimum drop out ratio.”

Mobile Recruitment

Mobile devices have become more powerful than computers. New age technology allows mobile users to respond in real time either in attracting talent, or while responding to jobs or video interviews.

According to Srikanth Rengarajan, executive director & president, ManpowerGroup India, “Mobile recruiting is a dynamic and growing industry with over 19% of job seekers using mobile devices to search for jobs. The sudden increase of smart-phones has created a massive audience of potential job-seekers to address. Increased engagement of both; the employer and the potential candidate has eased the recruitment process. To use the efforts of the mobile and expanding the database of job seekers; to push out the relevant info to the seekers and attract the potential candidates reflects the significance of this source of recruitment.”



Employers today are ready to experiment with their hiring strategies and gamification seems to be another innovation approach in this direction. According to the survey results, nearly 25 per cent employers use gamification for the purpose of recruitment. The techniques of gamification, use of puzzles and challenges for locating niche skills, can be used to judge problem solving, quick thinking, time management and many other leadership-essential qualities that just can’t be measured with multiple-choice tests. For the hiring of the forthcoming tech savvy Gen Z people, this technique is a real success.

Prashant Bhatnagar, director- Hiring &  Staffing, SapientNitro India, “Many organisations have inculcated Gamification into their hiring strategy lately, to ensure that new hires come up to speed faster than before; thereby helping them contribute to the firm’s productivity and creativity from the very beginning. Gamification has risen as an effective tool in sifting through talent. It helps one understand a lot about a candidate’s characteristics, their behavior, approach, potential to apply knowledge and problem solving capability.”


Campus Hiring

Indian organisations are investing time, energy and money to tailor make campus recruitment strategies that feed their talent pipeline. In a survey conducted by, nearly 70 per cent of the organisations claim to have a comprehensive and ingenious campus recruitment program. There are huge number of companies in each of the markets and a limited number of professionals available to cater to the need of the markets. Campus hiring has been able to fulfill a major skill gap, where companies hire from the campus and train them as per their need, process, function and technologies.

According to Srikanth Rengarajan, executive director & president, ManpowerGroup India, “Campus hiring has been kicking off lately as employers are placing a lot more importance on people who have a passion for winning, are extremely accountable, can take quick decisions and plunge into execution, are consumer-centric and have the basic qualities required to build leaders and teams. Campus hires can prove to be the best fit to the framework of the company, such that they can be successful long-term contributors to the business and organisation.”

Employee Engagement

Employees are an asset and the key contributors in business output and growth. Older the employee, better the value proposition for both, the company as well as individual, as they understand each other better. Employee engagement, therefore, has become a long term business proposition for both employee and employers.  


According to Ashootosh Chand, director-Business Development, RIPL (Ricoh Innovations Pvt Ltd), “As a move towards improving employee retention, companies are finding newer and innovative ways of engaging their employees – one leading example is engaging employees with corporate social responsibility (CSR). Technology is also used for engagement, these days. Employees, who are technologically engaged with an organisation, tend to better believe in the vision and strategic alignment of the organisation. A more motivated workforce means lesser employee turnover as employees are willing to stay with the firm longer.”

Employee Referrals

Employee referral is one of the most trusted talent sourcing methods, as through referrals one can gauge the individual beyond the resume and assess the working style of the person. Employee referrals have the highest

applicant to hire, conversion rate. The referral hires tend to understand their role better and start performing sooner; due to prior understanding of the background of the company and its culture


According to Sunil Goel, MD, GlobalHunt, “Employee referral is one of the trusted sources as through referral you know beyond the resume about the individual & all round working style of the person. This is also one of the minimum time consuming & cost-effective process.”



A survey revealed that nearly 57 per cent of surveyed employers use crowdsourcing for recruitment purpose. Much has been said about many being smarter than a few. The wisdom of the crowd or crowdsourcing, gives precedence to the collective wisdom of a group of people over a single expert.

Though not a new concept, it has recently gained momentum as a very efficient recruitment tool in the new age recruitment model Recruitment 4.0, which emphasises on technology and networking advancements.

According to Sameer Bendre, chief people officer, Persistent Systems, “Collective wisdom and collaboration is the crux of crowdsourcing. By effectively using crowdsourcing, companies are sure to reap enormous benefits. The ability to tap into the experience and talent of people in a collaborative manner is probably the biggest advantage of crowdsourcing; it can be used as an effective and hassle free marketing tool.”


Application Tracking System

An ATS comes with features to import, store, organise and manage candidates’ information in a centralised database. This helps in building a robust candidate pipeline to meet your current and future hiring needs. Looking for the right candidates from a sea of applicants is not an easy task. Modern ATSs have been able to address this problem to a great extent through name, skill or candidate data search.

According to Avi Gopinath, vice president-Operations, 99ATS, “Recent enhancement in 99ATS allows users to search with any name or words mentioned anywhere on candidates’ resume. Easy tracking also allows one the freedom to plan the work ahead depending on the real-time or future availability of prospective employees or contract workers. Perhaps, one of the biggest advantages of ATS is that one can have 24×7 access to a centralised database of candidates which can be shared with the key management personnel. This not only enhances the quality of hire, but gives it speed as well.”      

Big Data

With Big data, companies can cultivate information from various sources and compile this as a data bank. Based on the assessment of this data and recommendations, organisations are able to get the best of available talent from the market.

According to Srikanth Rengarajan, executive director & president, ManpowerGroup India, “The predictive power of big data, when applied to human behavior is set to revolutionize how business operates. Big data analytics can be one of the major differentiators’ of progressive HR organisations from the ones that are not. Big data can predict the behavior of talent with the level of accuracy to allow an organisation identify a typical profile of people that it should invest in. This method plays a central role in helping the organisation identify the talent which is not likely to succeed in a future leadership position.


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