Ashok Malhotra CEO, Spark Leadership Inc | January, 2013


job hunting by individuals to mass recruitment by employers. This happened due to emergence of IT and ITeS. Moreover, our manpower had an edge due to which we became a global outsource destination. The impact on country economics was so high which boosted financial sector as there was a scope of investments and savings beyond mere reducing the income tax liability. This growth followed by increased consumerism in the country thus retail sector along with food chain businesses mushroomed. Amongst all, two sectors emerged higher and higher with each sector growing were telecom sector and aviation. 
In some sectors like IT, ITeS, Finance the human resource will be professionally qualified and sectors like retail, telecom and aviatiation may absorb less qualified manpower based on skills and attitudes that our young generation acquires. The wave on one hand will create a demand of sizeable manpower requirement though on the other hand will increase the demand and responsibility of HR consulting industry. There is an importance in refocusing on the root cause of the growth and understand the negligence before we further define the scope and prospects of HR consulting. Our growth started, with special respect to human resource demand, with an emergence of IT and ITeS and that we became an outsource destination. The primary reason is that we are the largest English speaking nation in the world. However we never focused on this issue earlier because we thought we will enjoy monopoly forever, somehow we neglected China factor, they being a non-English speaking country. China raced ahead on many fronts because of productivity, now they are training themselves to speak English and as per my information they are already number two outsource destination and are ready to challenge India’s monopoly as far as ITeS is concerned.
We will do justice to articulate this subject once we realize the challenge ahead and responsibility of HR consulting industry. The challenge from skill enhancement point of view is to develop skills in our human resource, which confirm to the global thought process and attitudes and to develop non-English speaking and rural manpower on personal grooming and development. In future HR consulting industry will be focusing on two major issues – Attrition and Skill Enhancement (Training and Development).
Attrition control and employee retention are key issues because of less availability of trained manpower. Organisations spend on the training of their employees only to witness job change for better prospects by their employees. Large companies and sectors, in most cases have annual recruitment plan of 500 to 3000 people, not because of expansion only but major issue being attrition makeup. HR industry has and will have a good scope of innovation in this area. I have personally observed one case where a leading bank of our country has learned to live with attrition and employees joining them consider it as a training school where they do the internship and join some other financial institutions where work hours and days are comparatively easier and salaries are higher. We can clearly visualize a huge scope for consultants to innovate and produce processes and methodologies for the organizations to increase employee loyalty and retention. This can be done through growth based compensation plans, performance based revenues but most effective tool will be an assessment methodology of individuals' job expectations and responsibilities to their delight. Nothing more can motivate individuals if they have a responsibilities as per their strengths and not weakness and they are empowered in a suitable open communication environment and mentoring program. Mentoring and empowerment of people as per their strengths develop and groom them, this helps them to have a sense of accomplishment.
Training and development from HR industry point of view is only scratching the surface, we have yet to start digging the depth. This area is yet to be organised, why I say that is most of the organizations we have trained have focused less on Training Need Analysis (TNA). One of the large organization I trained informed me that they want to conduct a workshop on negotiation skills as a necessity of an ISO 9001 2000 audit. This is rather a good news if we start taking action in organizing this industry by educating the need of training on soft skills with defined objectives and training need analysis only conducted by a professional training consultancy who will develop the content and deliver the training, or at least validated by them if the analysis has been done by the organization or an institute internally. If we go back to the need to communicate globally and realize the China factor, we will for sure understand the need of soft skills training to the people specifically interpersonal skills, communication skills and emotional quotient. The scope of training roots up from schools, management institutes, professional degree institutes, frontline manpower (educated or uneducated). There is a maximum scope of training and skills enhancement for the young and frontline manpower which goes up to middle and managerial level people and yes, there is good scope of leadership training to the top management.
There is a strong need to realize the desire of Indian workforce to get trained and consider it as an absolute priority and not an added burden. If we do that huge gap in this segment is good news for growing India, if not, this may turn into a bad news sooner than we think. I visualize schools and colleges make soft skills as a mandatory subject and teach them to smile and parents help them to acquire right attitudes and leadership skills more than stressing them to commit suicides. I also visualize organizations giving priority to recruit the employees undergone soft skills workshops and trainings and giving soft skills an equal weightage to hard skills as these skills are quite important. I will conclude the perspective by retreating a strong need to innovate on the methodologies for attrition control and realize the gap pertaining to training and development for the working human force and prepare them to the best communicators and excellent attitude carriers and be unbeaten and indispensable business executors.