The undercurrents in the corporate world in 2014 are giving signals in absolute contrast to those a decade and a half ago depicting a paradigm shift from talent crisis to the need for the right talent.
Till 2013, talent crisis was a major concern. The education level in terms of knowledge and skills was not matching the industry needs. Young graduates were not only falling short on basics of theory but also on human and technical skills. In 2014 the problem appears to be of even more serious nature- identifying right talent for the jobs.
The method of imparting education has not changed. The attention is not yet focused on segmenting education into cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains to enable students to develop mental, human and physical or technical skills. A fresh graduate seldom opens a machine, engine or manages a situation to understand human and technical dynamics.
In contrast the industrial scenario has changed drastically during the past 15 years. Everything from production, packaging, operations to sales techniques, and software has undergone a sea change.
Consequently, one who is not updated is redundant and obsolete in today's context. The R & D is more aggressive in industry as compared to academia.
The pattern of jobs has changed and so has the job description for a position. Organizations today focus on the lateral migration of human resource and it is difficult to match skill pattern of an employee from one organization to another due to differences in:
Terminology & Technology
Furthermore, human skills which are of utmost importance in team management appear to be diminishing. Head honchos in India do not appear to have developed adequate competence to analyze behavioural or human skill aspects. If suitable talent is not inducted in human resources management, the problem of identifying "right talent" will worsen further. Very often discussions on human resource development, skill, talent etc., take place only in industrial environment. It appears as if the education system has conveniently shifted the responsibility of developing talent to the industry, and is enjoying profits by selling sub-standard products and forcing buyers to accept what is available. The buyer of these products is quality conscious and that's the reason for millions of graduates being unemployed. The growth of education sector in terms of schools, colleges and universities ultimately is absorbing these substandard products further worsening the quality of future products. In contrast the Industry has shown phenomenal change in terms of philosophy, technology and product development. With the innovations taking place in the entertainment, automobile, real estate, IT, services and pharmaceuticals and agriculture sectors, and far reaching changes spotted in shopping trends and buyer behaviour, industry is continuously engaged in intensive R & D activities helping India touch the GDP of three trillion USD. Despite this and despite having a "demographic dividend", Indian industry is facing acute talent crisis. The worry is, while we progressively march towards 2020 with jet speed, do we have to call for expatriates to take up right talent positions for want of right domestic talent?
The real challenge is that our young graduates are neither adequately equipped on subject and technical knowledge nor they posses employee properties. The most important factor that any employer looks for is employability which is assessed on the degree of human and technical skills. The attitude, aptitude, trainability, emotional intelligence, behavioural traits and stability, team spirit and communication are some skills that an employer is looking for along with domain knowledge.
(Vikas Godbole is director and Vaibhav Soni, assistant professor, RKDF Institute of Management Bhopal)