Finally aptitude takes precedence over experience in hiring


New age companies have brought in a change in mindset and forced recruiters to rethink.

Indian organisations traditionally value experience, so much so that it takes precedence over other attributes when it comes to hiring, or elevating an existing employee. Traditional Indian companies still continue to believe and practise the same. However, the new-age companies have brought about a change in mindset and forced recruiters to rethink.

A trend that has been observed by the Michael Page Salary & Employment Outlook Survey 2015–16, is that employers today are keen to give preference to the aptitude and specialised skill set of employees or potential hires. Hiring managers are increasingly ready to evaluate candidates purely on their own merit and abilities, regardless of how their experience stacks up.

Among the specialised skills workforce, the segment that is in most demand and commands a premium salary is analytics and big data. This is followed by sales development, product management, project management and financial control.

The survey also revealed that the brand reputation of the company was the most important factor when choosing a potential employer.

Around 60 per cent of the respondents claimed that they sold company culture as the most important factor while trying to poach a potential hire. Around 50 per cent of recruiters lured the potential with structured career progression, while 44 per cent of employers offered financial incentives.

When looking at the factors that influence candidates’ opinions of potential employers and their decision to accept a new role, career progression and international opportunity are also other important factors.

In order to attract and retain top talent, particularly when it comes to younger workers, organisations will need to be able to present them with a clear path for career growth that includes opportunities for development, overseas secondments and promotions. Companies should also invest time in ensuring that they have a clearly-defined brand strategy and strong online presence, to appeal to candidates’ desire to work for a recognisable and reputable organisation.

Overall, the market seemed upbeat as 76 per cent of the respondents agreed that their respective companies were expecting to increase headcount in the next 12 months. Around 44 per cent of the respondents also felt that the strength of the current overall hiring activity as compared to the last 12 months has been moving upwards.

Human Resources

The human resources market in India continues to grow as more global jobs continue to relocate in India. There has been increased activity due to new entrants in the pharmaceutical and e-commerce sectors/markets and an expansion in the Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) sectors of

banks. It is expected that there will be an increase in hiring activity before the close of the calendar year, particularly for HR and HRSS jobs in the KPO sectors of banks, though much activity elsewhere will be backfilling of current roles.

When asked about the challenges faced by employers while hiring HR professionals, the top two factors were finding a culturally-fit candidate followed by candidates with the right competencies.


The market for entry and mid-level management is quite active in the finance sector. There has been an increasing demand for finance professionals with less than 10 years of experience.

Some niche roles, such as those in compliance and taxation, are seeing a shortage of skilled professionals and good candidates in these roles are highly sought after. Compliance as a function has evolved rapidly, with an increased focus on tightening of the regulatory environment. As an increasing number of multinationals set up base in India, they are investing in building a robust framework of financial compliance.

Sales & Marketing

Hiring activity in sales and marketing is expected to be on the higher side as 89 per cent of respondents claimed their intention to grow their team’s headcount over the next year. The types of job function and skills that will see an increasing demand are trade and customer marketing; digital marketing; customer service and consumer relations; as well as retail operations, business development and key account management for industrial businesses.

Counter offers to retain talent is an increasing practice in this sector.


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