Unveiling India’s HR Talent Landscape: The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

5 mins

On Tuesday 28th May, our team in India held a highly engaging roundtable, facilitated by our...

On Tuesday 28th May, our team in India held a highly engaging roundtable, facilitated by our CEO, Stuart Elliott. The topic of discussion was India’s HR Talent Landscape: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and those that attended were keen to share their insights. 

 In this session, the participants spoke of the advantages of opening offices in India, the challenges that are faced, as well as the abundance of opportunities and chances for scalability within the Indian HR Talent Landscape. 


Key Takeaways: 

The Growing Interest in India’s HR Talent Landscape:

The discussion began with Stuart highlighting the prevailing curiosity amongst UK and US leaders concerning HR operations in India. He shared that whilst many organisations recognise the advantages of setting up offices in India, most notably; significant cost savings, a highly skilled workforce and a developed economy, many have reservations. He asked the group of attendees: What are some positives of HR talent in India? The audience provided a multitude of reasons, including Indian HR talent’s affinity to being eager, fast-moving, and entrepreneurial, with a cultural tendency towards inquisitiveness and hard work. Also noted was the vast population and therefore competition for every role, thus increasing productivity amongst workers. 


Leadership Trends: 

The discussion then moved on to the rising trend of shifting thought leadership roles to India. This indicates the growing trust in local capabilities and a move towards decentralising power from headquarters, typically based in the West. Highlighted again was the increasing demand for Shared Services in India fuelled by a young, cost-effective workforce who are experimentative and open to embracing new technologies in an efficient way. Whilst financial concerns remain prevalent in westernised countries, the attraction of scalability, speed and efficiency offered by countries like India, continues to rise. 


Talent Management Challenges: 

Despite the obvious benefits, Stuart highlighted some perceptions and rumours about offshoring amongst UK and US leaders. He spoke of prevalent issues such as high attrition rates and reliability issues. Many of the attendees offered insightful counters to this argument, explaining the aspiration to build fungible talent that can move on from roles and have the opportunity to experiment and think outside of the box. They also discussed the results of the survey sent out prior to the roundtable which reported that many Indian employees felt undervalued, partly due to lack of organisational goals and limited access to talent development. This therefore leads to high attrition rates as many people find that they are being presented with mundane roles and a lack of worth.  


Reframing India’s Role: 

This idea of feeling undervalued led the discussion onto the need to reshape the way in which the Western world views India. One participant pointed out that India should not just be seen as a Shared Services market as this ultimately results in a lack of trust and appreciation amongst employees, but instead be celebrated for its importance. The roundtable ended with Stuart pointing out the need to reframe the language used around this topic, i.e not setting up offices in ‘low cost’ locations but instead opening up offices in ‘high value’ locations. Ultimately, trust and language must go hand in hand. 


Thank you to those that attended and participated in such a fascinating discission that offered an authentic and interesting perspective on the Indian HR Talent Landscape.


To attend any of our future events join our community to stay up to date with the latest from Elliott Scott HR. If you would like to contact any of the team regarding updates in the HR market in India or about any of our current roles connect with Gaurav Yadav on LinkedIn or at gy@elliottscotthr.com, alternatively, you can connect with Rinkal Choudhary at rc@elliottscotthr.com.