Indian businesses have bullish hiring plans and are investing in their workforce as they look to rebuild from the pandemic, says a survey. According to HSBC's Future of Work survey, which covered 2,130 business leaders globally, including over 219 respondents in India, hiring is a key focus area for economic recovery amongst Indian firms.
"The biggest hiring spree is expected from Indian (joint highest with Mexico) firms as 80 per cent of the surveyed businesses expect to increase their full-time employee base over the next 12 months," the survey said.
The pandemic also impacted the benefits offered by corporates to its employees.
The top three offerings by the surveyed Indian businesses to its employees during the pandemic include flexible working hours (52 per cent), improved health insurance (49 per cent), and guidance and resources for wellbeing (49 per cent).
"With the impact of the pandemic ebbing away and an economic recovery on the cards, businesses are gearing up for growth. This positive sentiment is evident as businesses are investing in hiring and up-skilling their workforce," said Rajat Verma, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC India.
Verma further noted that "the emergence of aspects around sustainability in businesses is an encouraging theme in this changed economic environment. The evolving business environment in the post pandemic era will present challenges as well as opportunities and businesses will have to adapt to grow."
According to the survey, succeeding in the battle for talent will be crucial in driving long-term profitability and 80 per cent of Indian businesses are already investing in their workforce in some way, the highest across all markets surveyed.
Further, flexible working has emerged as an optimal working arrangement for Indian businesses with 43 per cent opting for it in a post pandemic environment, the highest across all markets surveyed.
The most prominent impact of remote or hybrid working for Indian businesses will be on increased profitability (84 per cent) and employee wellbeing (83 per cent), the survey said.
According to the survey, amid a war for talent, business leaders are taking action and reacting to the demands of the workforce beyond financial incentives.
"Despite employee benefits and growth opportunities still being perceived as key factors in attracting talent, factors such as flexible working policies (42 per cent) and emphasis on employee physical, mental and financial wellbeing (42 per cent) are set to become just as important for potential employees," the survey said.
Sustainability has also emerged as an additional factor for businesses when attracting staff, with over a third of businesses (38 per cent) in India noting that is important for attracting talent.
The thrust on sustainability and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) aspects is apparent as the survey reveals that 60 per cent of Indian businesses are focused on training and educating their workforce on sustainability and ESG aspects. This is the second highest (after China at 62 per cent) across all countries covered in the survey.