Searching for and then recruiting top talent in any overseas territory is a significant operation for companies intent on building their international profile, potentially involving many obstacles, and recruiting in India is no different. India has got the sixth largest economy in the world, with a workforce of over 500 million in a population of 1.4 billion. It is a vast nation with some recruitment issues. The employment market includes millions of ‘unorganized’ workers at one end of the scale with highly-qualified and skilled, well-educated talent at the other.
Where to begin? Like the country, the challenges are enormous underlining why Bradford Jacobs’ global experience is vital for taking the smartest recruitment route into India. Bradford Jacobs’ benchmark platforms as a Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) have worldwide reach and include a total understanding of the complexities of India’s employment market. You can trust Bradford Jacobs to put the brightest talent in place for your company. It would help if you had your staff to be ‘up and running as soon as possible – and this guide highlights everything an employer needs to understand the recruitment process in India.
Recruiting in India is the first stage of making your company operational and competitive. India is a melting pot of cultures, heritage, religions, languages and attitudes towards employment. Factoring these considerations into a recruitment drive adds many levels of complexity. Some of India’s 28 states also limit the number of employees hired outside the state.
The talent pool is immense, but this does not make it any easier to find the right fit for your company. Nevertheless, mainstream recruitment follows familiar routes. Both local and international agencies head hunt executives for specific industries or sectors; graduate recruitment focuses on universities and business schools (India has over 3,000); online job boards and social media play an essential role in such a vast country.
There are many complications in moving staff into India – in addition to the complexities of obtaining work visas and permits. Knowing where to locate the finest candidates for your company’s expansion plans is vital to avoid these issues.
Once recruited, companies must consider the implications of handling payroll for their staff and deal with the revenue and social insurance authorities. Foreign companies must establish subsidiaries to undertake these tasks and follow strict registration procedures. These include:
Indian labour law does not require employers to carry out background checks, apart from in specific sectors such as mining. Checks cannot compromise an individual’s right to privacy, so their permission should be obtained beforehand. Companies typically have a policy in place for pre-hire screening, which third parties can also conduct. Employees’ background checks can include the following:
Criminal Record Checks: Can be verified with permission.
Medical Checks: These are mandatory in the mining sector and can be requested from all candidates with their consent.
Educational Qualifications and References: It is usual for employers to check academic qualifications and references.
Privacy: All collected data, particularly medical records, must comply with Sensitive Information Rules (2011) legislation.
Required: Check that non-Indian applicant satisfy work visa requirements.
Employment law in India entered a transitional phase in 2019-2020 when the government announced four new codes to consolidate 29 previous legislation sets that operated at the federal and state levels. The four new pieces of legislation are the Social Security Code (SSC), the Industrial Relations Code (IRC), the Occupational Health, Safety and Working Conditions Code (OHS) and the Wages Code (WC). Full implementation of the legislation was stretching into 2022 and likely 2023.
Previously, the Industrial Employment Standing Orders Act (SO Act) applied to employees classified as ‘workmen’, who are generally manual, skilled or unskilled, technical and clerical staff working in the industry. Under the IRC, the term ‘workmen’ is replaced by the gender-neutral ‘worker’. ‘Non-workmen’ generally work in managerial or administrative roles earning more than INR 10,000 (€120, US$132) per month.
This fluid situation in a workforce of 500 million – including tens of millions in the unregistered ‘unorganized’ employment market – complicates the hiring process. In mainstream employment, basic requirements vary between India’s 28 states.
After hiring and onboarding, employers must be aware of other considerations. Minimum standards include sick leave, working hours, maternity allowances, paid vacations, termination and severance, notice periods and social insurance payments. Different rules regulate workplace discrimination. Employers must: