Randstad India’s CEO Shares Insights about Talent Hiring

With a 65-year legacy, Amsterdam-based Randstad has undergone a brand repositioning, to provide ongoing support to candidates beyond job placement, focusing on their entire career journey.

The current hiring scenario in the information technology (IT) industry reflects a general decline, with an estimated decrease of 35-40 percent, Viswanath PS, Managing Director and CEO of talent company Randstad India. 

Viswanath said entry-level hiring has been particularly affected, experiencing a significant reduction, especially due to a decline in campus hiring. Further, contract staffing has been equally impacted. Projects requiring resources for shorter durations, such as 6-9 months, have seen a slowdown, possibly due to delays or uncertainties in project kick-offs, he said.

On a brighter note, comparing the current state with February 2023, Randstad has observed some improvement. “While we hope for some positive indicators in March, a full recovery is anticipated to be more realistic after June,” said Viswanath.

On the salary front, the Randstad India chief said the tech sector might see the average hike fall by around 9 percent. On the other hand, the non-tech sector is anticipated to give better hikes of over 10 percent, in some cases.

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Skills-First Economy

One shift that Randstad has observed is the preference for skills over degrees by recruiters, though this is limited to entry-level positions.

“There is a shift from the conventional emphasis on academic degrees to a more skills-centric approach. Education is taking a backseat, and practical skills are becoming increasingly important,” Viswanath said. He added that there will be a shift towards a skill-based economy in 2024, where skills precede traditional education, especially for the millennial generation.

It was reported that though some companies in India have a skill-first approach, it has not been widely adopted and candidates with degrees from top-tier colleges have the upper hand during the recruitment process.

However, Viswanath clarified that while individuals from top institutes play a vital role in shaping innovation and strategy, the emphasis is on the critical mass or mid-level professionals with 2-8 years of experience.

“The focus is on the skills and attitudes that this critical mass brings to the organization, recognizing their role in keeping daily operations running smoothly while the senior leadership guides the strategic direction,” he said.

Skills in Demand

In the IT segment, Randstad has observed the current demand in the job market is primarily centered around data management, analytics, and cloud computing, along with a significant emphasis on customer experience. Skills in high demand include UI/UX designers, data scientists, data analysts, and proficiency in AI and machine learning. In non-IT segments, such as the legal field, there is a growing demand for Data Protection Officers due to recent regulations such as the Data Protection Act in India, which mandates a focus on data security and privacy.

The manufacturing sector, particularly the Electric Vehicle (EV) and solar industries, has also seen substantial activity. The emergence of Photovoltaic (PV) solar technology creates a need for expertise in these areas. However, there is a scarcity of engineers or individuals skilled in the EV space, indicating a demand for specialized skills.

Repositioning Randstad

With a 65-year legacy, Amsterdam-based Randstad has undergone a brand repositioning. The new identity of being a ‘Partner for Talent’ aims to provide ongoing support to candidates beyond job placement, focusing on their entire career journey.

To realize this vision, Viswanath said the company prioritizes specialization over generalization. To be sure, specialized recruiters focus on sales, HR, or finance, creating talent pools aligned with industry needs, and accelerating placements.

“Further, the company also emphasizes equity, diversity, and inclusion, recognizing the need to leverage all available talent effectively. The goal is to lead by example, making inclusion a priority within the company and advocating for similar practices among clients,” he added.

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Hiringinformation technologypractical skillsRandstadRecruitment