hiring and firing

Hiring-firing Paradox: What HR And Leadership Can Do?

Hiring-firing Paradox: Last year was full of surprises; not only have economies gradually recovered from a global pandemic, but it also pushed us to re-imagine the way we live. Especially in the job market, “Quiet hiring”, “Big resignation”, and “Quiet firing”, etc., caught the headlines, the unprecedented rate of digitisation and innovation opened up many opportunities. Despite a high employee attrition rate, a record number of hires were made during the January –March 2022 quarter. But as we begin 2023, hiring momentum has slowed, and businesses are experiencing a break from excessive employee turnover.

The puzzle of hiring and firing

Should businesses be recruiting or terminating people? Over the past two years, labour demand has soared again. At the same time, recession concerns are pervasive. Companies are attempting to react quickly and are coming up with various solutions. But when it comes to talent management, we often see organisations needing help to get in good talent while going ahead with their layoffs plans, if any.

Youths are indeed having trouble getting employment in India despite the skills deficit in many different industry areas. A macro trend has been revealed in study studies over the past 7-8 years, indicating only a small minority of Indian graduates are legitimately employed. There need to be talent pools that are equipped for employment.

For instance, the Indian educational system creates around 15 lakh engineers annually. It is currently one of the world’s leading engineering nations. It should have been the global centre for invention and engineering – but it isn’t!

So what are the reasons that have put us in this position of utter confusion? Why are companies always on the lookout for talent while asking employees to resign? There is not one but many factors that influence creating such a paradox.

The skill sets once seen as indispensable are no longer as valuable. Your CV won’t stand out if it only lists your irrelevant technical abilities in the age of digital media, mobile apps, and coding, among other things. Instead of having a redundant IT crew stationed in the office, for example, equipment maintenance of phone lines or computers is typically outsourced these days. Physical servers were formerly an essential component of practically every office. The rise of the cloud as a virtual platform has rendered it obsolete. Because cloud engineers make sure that databases keep running automatically in the virtual world even if one of the computers “go down,” cloud computing expertise is one of the most in-demand professions. The demands for IT professionals have changed along with the methods used to store data. One of the many classic reasons why IT experts with outdated skills have lost their jobs in recent years is the significant move from traditional data architecture to cloud computing.

Project management, digital media, and technical support are highly in-demand talents in the wake of the increasing tech-driven advancements. Advertising was dominated by print and TV in the past, but digital is now rapidly replacing these traditional methods. The recommended channels for gaining the most exposure are now social media, video marketing, and Facebook ads.

Bridge the gap in expectations

There is a clear difference between employer and employee perception. Leaders and HR managers might think that a particular employee is unproductive. In contrast, the same employee might think that they are meeting the targets and experience burnout too. This productivity paradox is something that businesses need to think about strategically.

Apart from avoiding pre-emptive decisions, whether hiring or firing, organisations must have their annual recruitment plans in place while investing in upskilling and reskilling employees. Having clarity from the beginning can play an important role. You must prioritise your culture, vision, and strategy to attract the best candidates. Yes, it might sound obvious, but it doesn’t happen more. Companies often throw out the red carpet and present themselves in the best possible light during the wooing stage, when you’re attempting to impress a potential new hire. These are uncertain times. Post an upbeat first half of 2022, there are signs of stagnancy and even a slowdown due to various macroeconomic factors. Going back to the textbook basics of hiring and engaging employees is the only way to navigate the hiring-firing conundrum successfully.

“An article originally published in Voices, Business, TOI by Sidharth Agarwal”