Headhunting to get more challenging in 2017: Study

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    Research and development roles are the hardest to fill in India (29 per cent), with sales coming a close second (22 per cent) and while admin /call centre roles are oversubscribed (2 per cent). (Reuters)

    Dearth of qualified professionals and change in priorities of candidates have made headhunting much more difficult today than what it was a year ago, a study says. The global study, released by the Futurestep division of Korn Ferry said, rapid business growth, changing candidate demands and a shortage of qualified professionals will create intense competition for talent during 2017.

    In the survey of over 1,100 hiring professionals from across the globe, 54 per cent of global and 47 per cent of Indian talent acquisition professionals say sourcing qualified candidates is now more difficult than it was 12 months ago.

    Research and development roles are the hardest to fill in India (29 per cent), with sales coming a close second (22 per cent) and while admin /call centre roles are oversubscribed (2 per cent).

    Many of those surveyed in India said that recruitment activity is also being impacted by the growing need for new skills in a changing market.

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    Moreover, candidate priorities are also changing. “Five years ago company brand and reputation was cited as the most significant factor (36 per cent) in attracting high-quality candidates to roles in India, Now, culture, brand and career progression are all considered equally important,” Sue Campbell, Managing Director Asia at Korn Ferry Futurestep said.

    Asked to specify what might draw candidates to a role in five years’ time, Indian respondents said the company culture, reputation and brand will remain important but in addition, flexible working (29 per cent) is key in winning a prospect’s attention.

    However, many Indian employers are behind their global counterparts in embracing flexible working practices.

    “The shifting emphasis that candidates are beginning to place on factors like culture, brand and career cannot be underestimated,” Campbell said, adding that as income rises, employees pay more attention to their lifestyle, work-life balance etc and view rigid work schedules as ‘old economy’.

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