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78% of Indian firms facing talent attraction challenges

Over half of the employers surveyed by Willis Towers Watson believe they have not yet reached a ‘new normal’ in terms of staff returning to the workplace and ending temporary pandemic-related procedures.

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Employers in India are taking action when it comes to improving employee satisfaction.

Talent challenges are expected to continue throughout 2022 for Indian employers, according to a survey conducted by global advisory — Willis Towers Watson (WTW). The WTW Reimagining Work and Rewards survey notes that while fewer employers reported problems attracting talent (29%) and retaining talent (26%) in 2020, these numbers increased to 68% and 73% respectively in the second half of 2021. The retention figure dropped to 64% in 2022, but 78% of the companies surveyed in the country are facing talent attraction challenges.

Another significant finding is that 85% of the organisations surveyed reported challenges in attracting or retaining talent with digital skills such as AI and analytics, and 74% cited challenges with sales positions. India is not unique in its challenges in retaining digital talent, the report notes, adding that markets like Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and China also face similar concerns.

About 54% of the organisations also claim that they haven’t yet reached a ‘new normal’ in terms of staff returning to the workplace and ending temporary pandemic-related policies and procedures. Further, 12% expect to be in the new normal by 2023 or even later than that. The pandemic has changed the face of the workplace and the way work is done, which is also indicated in WTW’s report.

It states that the proportion of employees who work remotely primarily or with a hybrid mix is at 54%, up from a mere 7% three years ago. The organisations expect nearly half of their workforce (about 47%) to continue working either remotely or in a hybrid style in three years.

The notable increase in resignations across organisations is a clear indicator that employees today are choosing to work flexibly rather than put in a set number of hours daily or weekly at the office. The pressure on employers and human resources is huge, as they need to devise new strategies around work and rewards to retain talent. The report’s findings indicate that 61% of organisations are seeing the need for a holistic and purpose-driven employee experience, while 58% cite the need to build a talent ecosystem that encompasses alternative work models.

Employers in India are taking action when it comes to improving employee satisfaction. To that end, 73% of the surveyed firms are considering or have reviewed the mix of pay and benefits to reflect the new, flexible work arrangements. About 63% are reviewing their health and physical or emotional wellbeing programmes, while 51% are exploring changes to retirement and financial well-being programmes to support workers in an evolving workplace.

An interesting example of this has been WPP’s recent initiative, ‘Make Space’ which is being kicked off with a global, company-wide break from 8th July to 11th July this year, to give its workforce some time and space to recharge themselves. Following the company-wide break, the network has lined up a global series of events, experiences and performances across its campuses and offices.

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