Despite the recent economic challenges, experts believe that industries will continue to herald innovations in the new year. "The year 2012 will be a challenging one as far as the economic trends show; however, for organisations with long-term perspectives, it could be a time to move a significant distance from other players in the industry. It is vital to play an aggressive game without letting the momentum fall. Taking calculated risks, building capacity, finding new ways to add value to the consumer and innovating must continue," says Mohit James, director HR, L'Oréal India.
The general consensus is that recruitment will continue to be on a roll in the coming year and the industry will continue to witness a host of technological innovations. "I call this year the year of enlightenment, where we have seen HR as a 360-degree change agent. Innovative HR trends have kept us all engaged this year. With the usage of social media and exceptional employee engagement services, HR has equipped itself well and will do so in the coming years. Encouraging flexi-timing for women, revamping company policies, creating shared value, engaging future prospects online, etc have created a great impact, and these shall make wide statements in 2012 as well. Innovation will remain the key success driver for an aspiring HR professional or already existing HR expert," says Deepak Kaistha, director, Planman Consulting.
However, some voices do advice caution, considering that India has reeled before similar challenges in the recent past. "It's an old adage ‘Make hay when the sun shines' and contrary to the same is ‘Play it safe when the chips are down' and the latter holds true for 2012. A few sectors have slowed down the hiring process. For job hoppers, it's time to stick for a while till the sun displays its might," warns Vinay Grover, CEO, executive search firm, Symbiosis Management Consultants.
Saurabh Singh, national head, talent assessment, Pearson Talent Assessment echoes his viewpoint, "Post the 2008 recession, as the economy recovered, many companies witnessed a talent drain across industries. Companies that practiced need-based hiring during recession were left scouting for new talent at high costs as they were unable to retain existing talent due to more jobs opening up. Learning from the past, companies would probably play safe this time by instituting aggressive employee engagement practices to prevent another talent exodus once the economy recovers."
Thus, a smart response to the upheavals in the economy would involve a combination of playing safe in the right areas while seizing opportunities in others. At the same time, hope is alive for a bright 2012!
- Ankita Shreeram