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BW Businessworld

Do You Meet The New Fit?

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It’s a volatile world out there. Most companies say they are seeking new skills to deal with the complexities of the times. Cloud, analytics, Web, iOS, Android and Python are some of the skill sets topping the charts. “But social media skills often turn out to be calling cards,” says Nabomita Mazumdar of citeHR. The new dynamics of a collaborative workplace mean that candidates who are team players are preferred. “We look to fill positions with natural leaders who are individually productive while also being effective collaborators,” says Richa Tripathi, chief human resources officer at Tata Teleservices. “Across most industries, companies are now looking for prospective employees who have unique skills sets, apart from the requisite soft skills such as leadership and customer interaction capabilities,” says Tripathi. Let’s hear from recruiters from different industries about what they are looking for in prospective employees this year...

Kamal Karanth
MD, Kelly Services India & Malaysia

Some of the new skills that are going to be in demand in 2014 are:
  • Business intelligence and data analytics
  • Project management and civil engineering for heavy industries
  • Relationship managers in banking, research and development
  • Technology, digital marketing
  • Customer servicing and people management

Ashwin Shirali
Regional director, Human Resources, Accor India

In the hospitality sector in India, we see the following skill sets being increasingly in demand:
  • Business sense: Every associate needs to understand and exhibit the ability to understand the business case and the overriding importance of making more out of less
  • E-commerce: With the growing shift to the online space, there is an explosion in demand for talent in this space to devise and launch creative e-campaigns that can bring in business
  • Financial skills: In times of fast-rising costs and shrinking margins, there is an immense requirement for financial talent that not only focuses on optimising costs without impacting the business but also on partnering the operation in managing the topline and ensuring revenue streams
  • Customer handling skills: As the pressure to reduce head count mounts, there is a critical need for front-ending customer service personnel who have the skills to multi-task without in any manner reducing the efficiency and courtesy with which they serve the customer. Gone are the days when organisations could afford to have employees who performed niche roles with no ability to take on efficient combo-roles

Arun Sehgal
Executive vice-president, HR, GSK Consumer Healthcare

While the need for expertise in traditional sales and marketing channels will never go away, it is now supplemented by needs in emerging channels such as rural, modern trade and digital. In addition, there is an increasing need to build capability in functions such as analytics and insights, which enable a business to do more and build a foundation for tomorrow.

MARKETING & Technology

Prashant Bhatnagar
Director, hiring & staffing, SapientNitro

We are increasingly seeing a trend in favour of visualisation (experience technology), mobile, marketing analytics, commerce solutions, customer portals and content management systems. In the non-IT space, HR and digital marketing roles are being filled in greater numbers compared to last year.

S.Y. Siddiqui
Chief mentor, Maruti Suzuki

In our sector, a few emerging skill sets that are in demand and tough to source are those in frontier technology areas like hybrid and electric vehicle technology. These are new technologies that India is learning. Again, the onus is on manufac-turers to give exposure to their engineers to be able to develop these capabilities. Similarly, professionals handling overseas markets, risk management and treasury management are rare to find. Besides, specialists in HR are in great demand — professionals with good industrial relations skills, compensation and benefits specialists and HR analytics are sought-after individuals.

Ajay Bhatt
Regional human resources director, Abbott India

As healthcare companies become more consumer-oriented and start conversing with consumers and customers directly, regulations and rules of engagement are also being re-calibrated. This applies not just to legal and regulatory functions, but also to teams that interact with customers and across channels. One of the important skill sets that we foresee will be critical to success in the healthcare sector is the ability to understand the evolving regulatory framework in India.

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 22-09-2014)