Use of AI, Talent Availability and Engaging Millennials at Workplace Are Major Focus Areas

India, February 14, 2019: Talent availability, salaries and benefits have emerged as a major challenge for employers this year reveals, the latest edition of CIELWorks, a study conducted by CIEL HR Services. 62% of companies said that they will be using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate repetitive tasks at recruiting while 59% of companies are making the workplace relevant for millennials’ who are a rising constituent of the workforce. The CIEL Works gives business leaders insights about the talent landscape which will help them deal with the challenges in hiring top talent and driving organizational growth.

CIEL surveyed 135 executives across industry sectors to understand their perspectives of the Indian talent market. The survey learnt about candidate behaviors such as what they negotiate while taking an offer, the push factors for which they look for an opportunity outside their employer organization and so on. Combined with insights and experience, this edition of CIEL Works provides a holistic view of the Indian Talent and Recruitment market.


Commenting on the findings, Mr. Aditya Narayan Mishra, CEO – CIEL HR Services, said “The study clearly reflects the current sentiments of the Indian talent market. With growing demand for skilled talent, availability is a major hurdle and many companies have been forced to raise the budgets for employee compensation and benefits faster than the inflation. The study brings out 2 more aspects for India Inc. to expedite their HR action : leveraging technological development for HR processes and aligning them with the changing dynamics of the workforce. It’s an interesting phase of development in the talent market!”


He further added that the potential use of AI in HR is changing the dynamics of recruitment, employee engagement activities, HR operations, candidate engagement and query handling. There has been an increase in usage of chat-bots as a first level of contact for employees and prospective talent. Organizations are reviewing their HR policies and processes to check compatibility with the thinking of the new-age workers. Also, senior managers are being trained to adapt their leadership style to suit the growing millennial crew.

Other key findings:

One size doesn’t fit all: Channelizing Recruiting efforts on the level of role to be filled:

Company website is effective for Entry to Mid-Level Roles.

LinkedIn has increased its significance as a channel for roles across the spectrum.

Job portals like company website are good for Entry to Mid-Level Roles.

Employee Referrals are effective across all levels, but most effectively used for hiring junior roles.

Facebook has emerged strongly this year for hiring freshers at salaries vis-à-vis last year.

Recruitment Firms as a channel are agnostic to segments of hiring.


High Salary Expectations while taking up a New Job:

30% of senior candidates expect salary hikes north of 30% while taking up a new job.

50% of the candidates in the mid-level roles expect a salary hike of 20% to 30%, a trend similar to last year.

This is more pronounced at senior levels (20%-30% raise expected vis-à- vis 20%- 40% last year) while for the mid level roles, most people expect a raise of 10%-30%. Most Entry level executives expect 10%-20% hike, which is normal.


While discussing a job offer with a potential hire, focus varies based on the Level of Role hired

Entry level: Candidates are most concerned about Salaries. Work location and designation are the other 2 significant factors while negotiating a new job offer. This points to the fact that we have millennials in this group having an optimistic outlook of the job market.

Mid-level: Candidates in mid-level roles are concerned about salaries, designation and variable pay. Clearly, they are seeking growth and corresponding financial rewards.

Senior level: For senior level roles, candidates are interested in a number of factors : salaries, benefits, variable pay, designation and job role. So, all the 5 aspects needs to be focussed while negotiating an offer with a potential candidate for a senior role.


Deep Dive reveals Horses for Courses

Most crucial factors to discuss while filling a Senior Level Role are: Financial health of the company, Job title, Long term vision, Employer brand reputation and Work culture.

For a Mid-Level Role, important factors are: Work culture, Comp & Ben, Career development and job security.

Important factors for Entry Level Roles are : Comp & Ben (61%), Work culture, work location and career development. Similar to last year the least important for them is Vision and Leadership.

Comp and Benefits are the factors that are significant for all Roles like last year. This year Company Culture is the new emerging factor that has significance across all levels.

Top 2 Push Factors:

Entry Level:

Entry Level Professionals see many opportunities before them and are optimistic.  They aspire to maximize their earnings. Like the previous year’s survey, Salaries continue to be the dominant attraction.

Long work hours has emerged as a significant push factor in the study. This reflects a change in outlook towards work life. The change is being led by an increasing population of millennials in the workforce who want to deploy energies and time on their areas of interest other than what they do for a living.

Third factor is their Manager. This was the 2nd significant factor in the last year’s survey. They are aware of the inter-personal relationships and the importance of collaboration. Given their confidence in the job market, they are open to external opportunities if they are not inspired to work with their boss.


Top factors like Career Progression, Manager and Comp & Ben have shown similar significance in a mid-level professional’s career. These trends akin to our last year’s survey.

Career Progression comes as the most important factor because people in the mid-level of an organization are most concerned about the relevance of their career and earning potential in the future. Their priority in favour of this factor over salaries shows, they are thinking for the long-term.

Senior level:

Professionals in Senior Level Roles are most concerned about the Company Performance which is similar to last year. They expect the company track record and performance to be in the positive direction so that they can contribute in furthering the journey.

Secondly, they expect a match between their personal beliefs and the company’s values.


Talent Market Trends: Near Future

Clear trends are visible that AI will be used to find best-matching candidates from online databases.

Secondly, use of social networks to build employer brand and attract candidates to job posts is seen as a clear trend.

Organizations could work with their recruitment teams (outsourced or in-house) to drive their digital strategy to build employer brand and deploy the best practices to draw top talent towards them.

CIEL HR Services:

CIEL started in 2015 by the Founders of Ma Foi which had grown to be the largest HR services company in India and had operations in 14 countries in the world. It marks the return of HR visionaries to the HR Services industry, powered by technology and analytics. With a rich experience of 27 years of the founding team, CIEL offers Recruitment Services and HR Consulting Services to companies in India and Middle East. CIEL services talent needs of more than 1200 clients and has placed more than 15,000 professionals already in a short span of time. Leveraging new technologies such as machine learning, CIEL is at the forefront of the industry in introducing innovative practices. CIEL finds talent for Manufacturing, Energy, Infrastructure, IT & Outsourcing, Financial Services, Consumer Products, Pharma and Services sectors. With a pan-India presence in 34 locations, CIEL has international presence in Dubai.


Ciel is a French word meaning ‘sky’. For us, it’s the peak of excellence that we strive to achieve as we fulfil your talent needs and meet career aspirations of candidates.



CIEL Works:

CIEL Works is an annual exercise undertaken by CIEL, where we reach out to people working in different levels in the organization across all industry sectors.

CIEL Works is an attempt to bring talent market insights to facilitate strategic decision making for a firm. It can be leveraged to hire top talent better and drive organizational growth.

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