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SMEs scuttle to manage labour crunch

SMEs look for emotional intelligence rather than skills to hire employees

Following the concept of a new dawn after every dusk, there is a sudden boom in vacancies after the lull of recession. All companies are hiring right, forth and centre with little thought to qualification and experience. Honesty and reliability with a pinch of wit is taking over years of experience and seasoned skills. Is it a practical move that will stretch to long term or is it just a temporary bargain? Let’s find out what lies behind this prelude…


Companies feel the pinch

With the job bubble, worker crunch is already being felt by some employers, this is a global problem and it is going to get worse with time. With the Mandarins preferring raw talents, we wonder if they are taking a risk by wading on virgin waters!


Where did this trend come from?

Recession is to be blamed for the bitter tiny irony as during that time, companies found it difficult to hire high paid workers, and this hastened the long-term move towards greater automation as they laid off more of their skilled workers with cheaper workforce.


Write your own pay cheque

Since they are hired without any kind of set expectations and given a free hand, they sometimes marvel and surprise the employers with their dedication and thus become eligible to write their own paycheques. Puneet Nanda of Genesis colors feels, “In fashion Industry, both big and medium sized, unskilled employee is obviously hired to contain costs. And the most important aspect that we look for in this people is sincerity”.


Harish Bijoor, Brand-expert & CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc. opines that, “When hiring an employee, we see certain qualities like, his need and want to perform is high, he is young as he will have a higher degree of willingness to learn and this will pay back to the business. And then he can revel in the space left by the skilled employee”.


Training takes centrestage

India produces 4,00,000 engineering graduates a year, few have the language and the ability to work in an advanced corporation. Training moulds them to their roles.


Following the trend set by BPOs and MNC’s, even SMES are waking up to invest in employees. Even managers and people in higher hierarchies in a company go for time to time training.


According to Harish Bijoor, “Good training should have the ability to impart quick and dry skills. There should be little re tooling and re focussing and no unlearning at all. He further adds propagating what Mark Twain said once, “Training is an essential part of the human skill development process. Training is what makes a cauliflower out of a cabbage; it is all about skilling and de skilling alike”.


Puneet also agrees that, “Training develops single pointed and productive employees”.


This theory does not always work

Raj Srivastav of RK consultancy who specialises in legal and financial consultancy does not agree with the above as he airs his justification, “Hiring depends on the job function and also on the type of company. Good for SMEs, wonderful for telecom sectors and BPOs and for sales and marketing jobs, but not for management jobs where educational qualification is essential.  Moreover, Typical MNCs may ask for degrees from reputed Institutes say IIT, XLRI, IIM etc. Some industries may need certain skill sets like the IT operates hire only recruits that come with a diploma/degree in engineering etc”. As such the very gist of the theory fails here as he intelligently perceives it in shades of either black or white and without a wee tinge of the colour grey.


Other disadvantages

At times, the employees just take the training and quit before they could be inducted resulting in loss to the company by way of amount and time invested on him. Moreover, when they know that they can chill in the first few months, they may not take their jobs seriously. But Harish does not agree here as he stresses that, “The disadvantage is in the mind of the employer not in the employee. And barring the above, disadvantage is a negative mind set and an employee is only as good as his or her employer wants him to be”.


Puneet also feels that, “The disadvantage can be in terms of not being able to fly through many situations and takes a toll on the management. So, for it to be effective, it will require tremendous business process maturity”.


Indians are said to be very elastic when it comes to anything, be it for hiring or getting hired? When the whole world was feeling the crunch, survey say that in comparison to 41 per cent in the US and 82 per cent in Mexico, only 9 per cent Indian employers in India found difficulty in hiring.


Moreover, SMEs that cannot invest huge in paying fat cheques and is more result focussed find it easy to hire the not so skilled and pull them up with the training. Hence, so long one is intelligent enough to land a job of his choice and willing to coat it with sincerity, honesty and dedication, there is no dearth of companies who wouldn’t hire the hot blooded and ambitious maverick. For a win win situation, their partnership should fit in like a round peg in a round hole…



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