From Conventional To Specialised: India's HR Industry In Transition

Viswanath PS, managing director & CEO at Randstad India believes that the shift towards equality and specialisation is not merely a branding exercise but a strategic response to the changing demographics and expectations of the workforce


In the ever-evolving landscape of HR services, the journey has been marked by dynamic shifts, strategic adaptations, and a relentless pursuit of aligning with the changing demands of the Indian workforce. Viswanath PS, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Randstad India provides an expansive view of the broader HR aspects shaping the narrative of talent acquisition, workforce management, and the future of work in India.

Shifting Paradigms of HR Services in the Tech-Driven Era

The HR services industry in India is going through big changes with regard to technology. Randstad, a key player in this space, is transforming from a regular HR services provider to a specialised talent partner. This shift is part of a bigger trend where talent is not just something companies find; it's now leading the way, creating a talent-driven world. As a result, the whole industry is adjusting its strategies to not just keep up but stay ahead of the needs of a dynamic workforce.

Technology is no longer just a helper but the heart of HR services. 

“Randstad is putting a lot of focus on speed and scale, showing how important it is to digitize processes. Creating talent pools through digital marketing and using data-driven insights are smart moves to not just survive but thrive in the digital age. Beyond the basics, technology is now helping build a database of well-qualified candidates, making the industry more valuable.” says Viswanath. 

Equality and Specialisation

Equity, once a buzzword, has emerged as a foundational principle shaping the HR landscape. Randstad's commitment to being the "most equitable and specialized talent partner" is a testament to the industry's recognition of the need for inclusivity and specialisation. 

“This shift is not merely a branding exercise but a strategic response to the changing demographics and expectations of the workforce. Inclusion for women, LGBTQ+, and differently abled individuals is becoming central to talent strategies, reflecting a holistic approach to workforce dynamics.” he highlights. 

Complexities and Customisations 

As India's economy diversifies, so do the complexities of its job market. The industry, exemplified by Randstad, is not only dealing with large-volume clients but also catering to unique and high-demand skill sets. Incorporating vernacular languages in outreach efforts showcases a commitment to customisation, acknowledging the diversity in India's job landscape. The industry is evolving its approach to effectively engage with talent from tier 2 and tier 3 cities, recognising that one size does not fit all. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of remote work, challenging traditional notions of the workplace. The industry is at the forefront of shaping the future of work by advocating for flexibility and meaningful workplace engagement. 

“The gig economy, once confined to specific sectors, is now a pervasive force. As the industry champions the rights of gig workers, the conversation around the new labor code gains prominence. The endeavor is not just to adapt to these trends but to be proactive advocates for talent, ensuring their rights and fair treatment.” adds Viswanath. 

The Future of HR 

In a market where there's plenty of talent that is not always job-ready, the industry is taking a proactive approach to upskilling. Randstad's collaborations with skilling companies and government initiatives show a commitment to filling talent gaps. Upskilling is not just about technical skills; it includes soft skills too. The goal is not just to have talent available but to have talent that is ready for the rapidly changing job market.

“The industry is no longer just an operational function; it's a strategic business partner. As HR services providers evolve into specialized talent partners, their role becomes crucial to the goals of organizations. The future sees HR playing a big part in organizational success, not just by filling roles but by shaping the workforce, promoting equality, and driving innovation through strategic talent management.” he comments. 

The story of HR services in India is one of adaptation, strategy shifts, and a relentless pursuit of staying ahead. As the industry adjusts to the demands of a tech-driven era, navigates the complexities of the Indian job market, and shapes the future of work, the role of HR as a strategic partner becomes more important than ever. This journey is not just about witnessing the change, rather it is about actively shaping a future where the workforce takes center stage.


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