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People Looking To Reskill And Adopt Newer Age Skills Will Have Good 2018: Zairus Master, CEO,

Zairus Master, CEO of talks to BW Businessworld about recruitment policies, HR challenegs and budget expectations for the working class. Edited Excerpts:

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Zairus Master, CEO of talks to BW Businessworld about recruitment policies, HR challenegs and budget expectations for the working class. Edited Excerpts:

2017 had largely been a slow year in terms of recruitment. How are we looking at 2018? Will it be different?

I think we are already seeing signs of economy picking up. I see more of it as a trend rather than absolute numbers. If 2017 was a jam of a year, then I can certainly say 2018 should be better. In a manner 2016, 2017 were the defining years which saw the emergence of new skills. So if you look at any sector like digitization and automation, higher order skills are becoming important. If you look at 2018, it will be a mixed bag, people looking to re-skill and adopt newer age skills will have a good year because companies will have a huge demand for them. But people stuck in traditional skills and don’t want to upgrade themselves will continue facing problems.  

What industries and sectors are looking good for hiring?

I am looking again at lead indicators, manufacturing growth has come back. If growth comes back, the demand will go up. Having said that, let us try and understand sectors we deal in, essentially white collar entry to mid-level. Maybe demand will lag for a while but I see sectors coming up, of course BFSI is another sector along with healthcare. These sectors are looking relatively better than the others.

How has recruitment policies changed with new skills coming up?

There are two kinds of recruiters, one who have large requirements and there people who have big companies but they don’t have such mass requirements. In both, we have seen the people who have larger requirements change much faster because recruitment is a way of life. So the adoption of technology and skill based hiring gains prominence. I speak to a lot of recruiters who say that they are not able to close positions. So there is this mismatch of skills in the marketplace. I think a lot of companies are looking for new age skills and hiring for those skills. So employers are no more hiring people, they are saying, what is the competency and skill that you bring to the job and that is becoming important.

Our PM promised 1 crore jobs every year but have been unable to. What is lacking in the market, is it the number of jobs or the skills in employees?

Jobs are something we like to have more of. I wouldn’t comment on the target, but essentially what I am coming back to are skills. If you are skilled and up to date with the market, then there is a much better opportunity for you. If you look at every sector and master the skills, then your worth and perspective in the organization shoots up. As an economy we must look at numbers, but as an individual it doesn’t matter whether there are 1 crore jobs or 2 crore jobs. If I don’t get a job, I don’t get a job. Also, if I am skilled enough and get a job, it doesn’t matter how many jobs there are.

How important is apprenticeship for the job market?

Education sector largely focuses on academics and courses curriculum, it hasn’t changed in the last 4-5 years but the demand has changed dramatically. And a lot of people coming out of education institutes may have the fundamental education but not the skills required in the market. And apprenticeship is one of the ways in which you can overcome that gap. Moreover, online skilling has a much wider scope. The number of people to be re-skilled in the economy is too large, and online skilling can come in to sort out that.

How does the working class looks towards tax reforms in the budget?

I am sure more can be done. There have been several demands of people wanting their own benefits. But irrespective of the budget, for an individual it’s not about saving the next 10 percent. It is more about, can I skill myself and get a 25-30 percent hike in my salary? If I am able to get a 30 percent jump in my salary, then the minor changes in the macro-economic environment don’t really impact me. The general trend is that niche skills are important and how do I equip myself to take advantage of the opportunity.