Chennai,  Economy

In 2022, what do the scarce talent look for in a company?

Today, I happened to see this video from Walmart advertising their Chennai office to attract #talent. While I was happy to find my city being promoted by the Fortune #1 company in the world, the video set me thinking to write this brief note.

To me, the message in the video comes out outdated, when I say that I don’t mean to single this video out or #Walmart as a company (which is a fine company that has brilliant technology teams, and I am a huge fan of Mr Sam Walton as well) here but to use the opportunity to share my thoughts on the general trend of #hiring in this post-pandemic world that we are entering.

I am not sure how relevant the message is in 2022. I feel this highlighting of infrastructure (office campus) facilities (I am not sure they can still be called employee benefits reminding me of the disastrous Fringe Benefit Tax brought by Government of India in 2005) will matter little to the millennials joining the workforce. Let me explain: The talk about colourful offices, spacious layouts, themed cafes, game rooms, height adjustable tables, collaborative work areas, digital-enabled conference rooms and the likes were a big draw of talent, especially the engineering talent from rest of India to the metros like Bangalore, New Delhi, Bombay & Madras (I have intentionally used the older names of the cities) in the first two decades of this millennia. Initially, it was the Big Tech companies from the Silicon Valley and then the other American companies that provided these comforts in their offices.  But, as the Indian economy grew, the outsourcing demand rose, other companies and even the conservative Indian IT biggies and then the medium-sized (both IT & Non-IT) enterprises joined the splurge. In the last few years, the well-funded startups and unicorns overtook the incumbents by leaps-and-bounds.

When I say the above, I don’t mean the relevance of the above only during a Work-From-Home (WFH) pandemic era. Even, after the return of normality, what the people in this hyper-competitive talent market will demand from the companies they work for, are going to be different from what they were just a few years ago.

In today’s world, the scarce talent is looking for:

  • A challenging environment,
  • Have their voices and opinions heard,
  • Socially conscious (No gender or racial or sexual bias and more), globally responsible and environmentally friendly (beyond being carbon neutral),
  • A clear flat/reporting hierarchy,
  • Having friendly peers and no workplace harassment,
  • To see a growth roadmap for their career,
  • Work on the latest technology and not on maintenance projects,
  • An open culture, and finally
  • To receive a world-class & attractive pay package (may be ESOPS).

When shortlisting a company, they don’t go by the physical location but the reputation of the online reputation of the company. If Glassdoor and Linkedin were used in 2000s, today it is what the company and its employees are posting in TikTok (and its clones), Instagram and Twitter that matters.

Most HR personal and hiring managers discuss extraordinarily little on these subjects to their potential hires and that’s the big gap I see.

Do you agree with my observation, or you are seeing things differently? Please share your comments below.

#recruitingstrategy #hrchallenges

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