Survey Reveals What Motivates Indian Professionals Most and Their Preferred Industry

In a recent study published by RGF International Recruitment, Indian talent surveyed overwhelmingly said that a competitive compensation is their main motivator and that technology is the sector most would like to work in.

RGF is a leading recruitment company, one of the top five staffing agencies in the world and a part of the Recruit Group headquartered in Japan. It has 45 offices in 26 cities across 11 countries and markets of which six Indian cities play host to 11 offices.

In the study, employers and employees in 11 countries were surveyed in Asia including Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan. The industries covered are — Healthcare and Life Sciences, Industry, Technology, Internet and Telecommunications, Consumer and Retail, and Financial Services.

Overall, 66 per cent of talent in Asia said that fair and competitive compensation is their highest priority when switching jobs and they expect a 22 per cent increase in salary if they do make a move. This comes before work-life balance and career advancement opportunities.

24 per cent of talent in Asia want to relocate to Singapore for work – more so than any other market, including China, Europe and North America.

Among employers in Asia, 71 per cent of companies said that shortage of talent is their biggest hiring challenge across all industries and countries. 37 per cent said that expanding internal talent acquisition teams are the key to expanding their recruitment solutions whereas 42 per cent of employers understand that they need to improve their employer branding to attract and retain top talent.

As for India, the survey found that the most important factor in evaluating an employment opportunity for Indian workers is fair and market competitive compensation, with 63.9 per cent stating that this is their number one priority, followed by top calibre colleagues (12.8 per cent), and stable leadership and clear direction (10.2 per cent).

Following on with the compensation theme, a highly competitive compensation remains the key motivator for Indian professionals across all industries to accept a new job, with 89 per cent of talent expecting a salary increase to switch jobs and 21 per cent being the average salary increase expected.

Indian talent, if given the opportunity to work overseas, mostly prefer to relocate to Singapore (29 per cent), ahead of Europe (26 per cent) and North America (14 per cent).

Indian employers who responded to the survey said that the biggest challenges facing them are the shortage of talent. 51.7 per cent said this is the biggest problem they face followed by low hiring budgets (19 per cent), and not being able to match candidates to company culture (9.4 per cent).

The Indian economy is one of the fastest-growing in the world and demand for talent outstrips the supply. 73.2 per cent of employers surveyed expect their workforce to grow in 2019, while 20 per cent had no plan to change. 13.4 per cent are planning for a decrease in team members.

Hiring managers in India are seeking candidates who possess deep industry knowledge, dispose a strong sense of discipline and accountability and who are both flexible and agile in their mindset. A stronger focus on employer branding, a review of their salary and benefits packages are in line with the market and providing employee training and individual performance improvement are priorities for India’s employers.

Key qualities that employers are looking for in an employee are industry knowledge and experience with 71.4 per cent saying that this is the most important attribute. Discipline and a strong sense of accountability is next at 12.3 per cent followed by agility and flexibility to change (9.9 per cent).

In December 2018, India recorded its lowest labour force participation rate since 1990. According to the World Economic Forum, half or more Indian workers will require re-skilling by 2022 to meet the talent demands of the future. Current technology shifts will displace some workers and at the same time create new opportunities.

As such, skill development as a way to enable job creation will be critical to harness the potential of India’s young workforce. For professionals, this means re-skilling swiftly in order to respond to the exponential speed of change.

Members of the Indian workforce considering an industry switch are most interested in job roles found in the country’s robust technology sector. The top five industries Indian talent want to work in are — Technology, Internet and Telecommunications, Industry, Financial Services, Professional Services, and Consumer and Retail in that order.

India remains to be a leading sourcing destination across the world, accounting for approximately 55 per cent market share of the USD 185-190 billion global services sourcing business in 2017-2018.

RGF International Recruitment CEO Hiroki Nakashige said, “Employers are acutely aware of their need to boost their employer brand – to showcase why they are a desirable company to work for in the hopes they can ‘win’ this war on talent. Compensation is still the number one concern for talent, but retention isn’t going to be possible unless a company can provide a holistic approach to upward mobility, beyond using salary as an attraction tool. More than anything, talent wants to know they are valued, and that they have a place long-term in your business.”

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are strictly those of the author).

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