Top Indian Recruiters: Employee retention strategies

Every year over three million graduates and postgraduates are added to India’s workforce. In 2015, close to one-fourth of total new job opportunities posted on job portals were for freshers and professionals with less than three years of working experience. At the same time, some of the employment sectors that absorb them are unable to retain talent for a long term. In such a scenario it’s imperative that candidates applying for freshers’ positions understand the demands of industry while the recruiters adopt strategies to prevent attrition. “If you don’t take care of your employees, somebody else will! It’s a war for talent out there. As clichéd as it sounds, it is true because every organization is eyeing the same talent in the market. All organizations would hence want to ensure that their talent is kept engaged with the work that is interesting, that adds value to them as a professional and also ensures that their remuneration is right,” says Rupali Sharma, Head of Recruitment at redBus, India’s largest bus ticketing firm.

Why is employee retention important?

Some of the sectors that have witnessed high attrition rate in India in the last few years have been IT, ITES, healthcare and banking in the range of 20-25 percent. Pay packages, career trajectory, new employees commanding more salary and relationships with supervisors going sour are some of the reasons that force people to switch jobs.

 

Workforce retention is important as employee replacement costs can reach as high as 50 to 60 percent of an employee’s annual salary. Good strategies help offset employee replacement costs and reduce indirect costs such as decreased productivity and loss of clientele. Moreover, recruiting and training new employees take time.

 

Better ambience, lucrative salary, comfortable timings, growth prospects are some of the factors which prompt an employee to look for a change and vice versa in case an employee stays with an organization. Some of the sectors that have witnessed least attrition thanks to better environment are services, hospitality and retail. “In a rapidly evolving business ecosystem, talent has supplanted capital as the most important resource for organizations. Businesses now understand the vital role employee retention can play in their success. To begin with, retaining employees allows organizations to cut down on time and money spent on replacing them,” explains Pushpa Bector, Head Premium Malls – DLF, a big name in retail. 

Pushpa BectorPushpa Bector,

Head Premium Malls –

DLF, Noida

 

In a rapidly evolving business ecosystem, talent has supplanted capital as the most important resource for organizations. Businesses now understand the vital role employee retention can play in their success. To begin with, retaining employees allows organizations to cut down on the time and money spent on regularly replacing them.

Initiatives in hospitality industry 

Various sectors have their own demand and skill sets requirements. As per Ministry of Tourism, the hospitality sector requires 2.03 lakh professionals annually against a supply of 18,000 hospitality graduates. However, big brands like ITC, Oberoi and Taj witness stiff completion even at entry-level positions which means that quality is what the recruiters seek. “Right proportional mix of standards, deliverables and commitment towards our guests and employees certainly makes it a wishful career opportunity for many aspirants who are groomed and nurtured in the organization and suitably recognized and rewarded for their invaluable contribution,” says Megha Saxena, Head HR, Radisson Blu MBD Hotel Noida.

Hospitality industry puts a premium on talent. “We welcome any aspirant who exudes the right attitude – Motivation, Belief and Determination and can embrace our culture. We visit all top Hotel Management Institutes that promises talent,” Saxena added.

Megha SaxenaMegha Saxena,

Head HR,

Radisson Blu MBD Hotel

 

Right proportional mix of standards, deliverables and commitment towards our guests and employees certainly makes it a wishful career opportunity for many aspirants who are groomed and nurtured in the organization and suitably recognized and rewarded for their invaluable contribution. 

Retail sector

The organized retail sector contributes 2-3% to India’s GDP. This has created demand for skilled employees within the sector. “Traditional functions such as operations, marketing, finance, planning, logistics, merchandising, and store designing are being complemented by newer hiring profiles such as floor manager, category manager, HR, supply chain management, customer service etc. There is now sufficient demand for trained professionals with good interpersonal, communication, planning and organisational skills. Retailers are also investing in mobile app developers and warehouse workers to keep up with the changing model of the retail sector,” said Bector.

 

“Employee retention can help businesses scale and grow rapidly, as the longer employees stay in one job, the more skills they tend to acquire. Organizations, on the other hand, are not affected by the loss of momentum caused by a perpetually changing workforce,” she added.

 

Changing rules of the game

To retain employees, companies are coming up with innovative mechanism and offering various types of practices like ESOP (Employee Stock Options), Management Development Programs, free food and even ‘summer hours’ policy in which an employee can choose to work half-an-hour more each day from Monday through Thursday and take off early on Friday at noon. Start-ups and more so the ones working in the web space have entirely changed the rules of the hiring game with their unconventional approach and employee retention policies.  

Prof. Uday SalunkheExpert Column

 

Prof. Uday Salunkhe

Group Director,

Prin. L. N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research, Mumbai

 

Mitigating the risk of losing candidates

 

During campus placement, the parameters increasingly being used by recruiters include steady academic record, quality and learning insights from summer internship/prior work experience, learning agility beyond the classroom, whether the person interesting to be hired, preparation done by the student on the specific company and the industry, his/her cultural fit with the employing organization etc.
While great sign-on bonuses, and package offers, identifying and fulfilling an individual candidate’s job acceptance criteria become essential, an organized, innovative pre-join program can help mitigate the risk of losing the candidates. Corporates are paying attention to pre-joining engagement to keep the new hires engaged and excited by the following:

  • Having their training programme start before their official start date, make the employees feel a sense of bonding with the organization, empowered by the fact that they are going to start Day One with weeks of training experience under their belt.

  • Multiple contacts (telephonic calls/emails/chats) to all candidates ensure that they have a clear understanding of the role, salary, location, work hours etc.  A call from a senior member/leader/mentor of the team can be hugely motivational. 

  • Creating excitement by getting all the new joinees in a virtual group and letting them interact is another good option. Gamification of the prejoining engagement activities is another interesting way to build excitement. In case the candidate is from a different city helping them in relocation is advised. A warm connect before joining is a firm foundation for a great professional relationship that helps the new hires start out on a very positive note. 

As told to Aeshwarya Tiwari

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