A talent acquisition survey has uncovered strategic differentiators in the fight for top talent. While time-to-hire is the top priority metric used across the world, talent acquisition professionals have termed retention of new hires as a major issue. At most organisations, and especially in India, new hires tend to leave within the first 6 months.

With unemployment at low levels, retention of new hires is becoming more difficult, says the global study by Futurestep, a division of Korn Ferry, an HR and analytical firm, adding that a majority (90 per cent) of the executives who participated in the study maintain that 10-25 per cent of new hires tend to leave the organisation within the first six months.

“Traditionally, the job of a talent acquisition professional ended when a position was filled,” said Sue Campbell, Managing Director-Asia, Korn Ferry Futurestep. “In today’s competitive marketplace, the focus has shifted to finding, hiring and retaining workers who are not only effective in their roles today, but who can also be the leaders of tomorrow.”

The study has noted that what was once a recruiter’s market is now dominated by the demands of candidates as the fight for best talent has escalated across the globe. In India, the concern is not unfounded, adds the study. Given the heightened demand for qualified professionals within their industry, talent acquisition professionals in India tend to deal with more deep-rooted problems.

While an acute shortage of candidates is the chief concern, with the skills required to move up the leadership pipeline, HR professionals in India maintain they have to battle increased competition from other industries to secure the right talent.

There appears to be a growing appreciation of the costs of getting a hire wrong, especially since the survey finds that India talent acquisition professionals are increasingly focussing on the longer term success of new hires instead of simply measuring the efforts of the hiring process itself.

More than 1,100 hiring professionals were surveyed. India ranked quality of hire higher than any other country. Indian respondents said that time-to-hire is the top priority metric (80 per cent), followed closely by cost-per-hire (46 per cent) and retention (51 per cent). The survey notes talent acquisition professionals in India are more concerned with cost than other countries in the region.