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Outplacementin India (1)

Overview of the Outplacement Market in India

India is a unique market when it comes to Outplacement. The Outplacement market in India is in its nascent stage and will likely evolve in years to come. Remarkably, India has 1,500 different languages, of which 29 are officially recognized and used in the country. Every 100 kilometers, the culture, language, and preferences change in India. In the first 45 days in 2017, more than 50,000 jobs were announced for termination/redundancy due to business changes, consumer preferences, as well as mergers and acquisitions.

Though the predicted growth rate for India is approximately 8%, the actual rate has consistently been 5%-6%. In today’s economic environment, companies are reporting redundancies and layoffs due to market challenges in the current business environment. India is a unique country with multiple faiths, religions, castes, social complexities, and a high importance given to the feelings of others, all of which make it a fascinating place to do business. Understanding the various nuances that create differences in business in India is key for business growth in this part of the world.

Outplacement is a less well-understood concept in India, as the local corporate social systems are still several years behind the HR trends of the west. Typically, the adoption of Outplacement as a concept occurs in the more senior, or sensitive situations. Once the local HR culture experiences the positive impact of a quality Outplacement program, they begin to utilize it more often and at various levels.

Many times, the first experiences are initiated by a large, foreign-owned multinational with a significant footprint in-country. These companies are more inclined to have HR policies that are unified across borders with defined benefits by level. Being able to provide at this standard can create a real advantage in recruiting, as it speaks to the company’s desire to care for its employees. In 2016, industries that experienced the need for transition of employees included E-commerce, FMCG, Telecom, Banking and Financial Services, Pharmaceutical, and IT, among others.

It is estimated that at least 10 million jobs may be at stake while many millions of new jobs are created this year. Outplacement should be able to provide a coaching environment to help identify these alternative jobs and careers. In India, a typical Outplacement program will first focus heavily on social elements and then, during the following stage, place more emphasis on professional aspects. Four key factors that affect a successful Outplacement delivery in India include:

  • Social:  Above all, it is imperative to understand the individual’s family and social framework. Many employees are not only responsible for taking care of their immediate family, but also their extended families as dependents. While economic freedom and employment opportunities are great, they may potentially divide families, requiring them to move to nearby cities.
  • Region:  The second most important element for effective Outplacement is an understanding of geographies of India. India is a geographically diverse country with multiple languages and behavioral patterns, which strongly influence an individual’s expectations as well as their motivation.
  • Time:  Professional support is currently evolving in India. However, a typical conversation may extend beyond the initially defined time frames due to the fact that emotional support is extended. The amount of time spent with individuals varies compared to other geographic locations where a program is offered for a specific limited time period.
  • Government: New state and federal laws are expected to become aligned with the changing world. The government’s goal is to coach, train, and create employment. New initiatives such as Outplacement may be reviewed in order to help secure and maintain the future welfare of employees in India.

Outplacement in India:

What kind of support is required for employees in India?

  • Most important: Emotional support in facing the social expectations of various critical influencers, including relatives, neighbors, and friends
  • Building the ability of articulating an individual's experience and expertise
  • Considering a wider search beyond an individual's own limited network

Is Outplacement accessible to everyone in India?

  • Not at the moment
  • Only need-based support provided
  • Mostly in international companies with a formal practice of Outplacement

What are the main issues a job seeker in India faces?

  • If an individual is made redundant, HR managers may believe that the individual’s competencies are weak (general perception that negatively affects individuals)
  • Due to the abundance of resources/applicants for each job, recruiters are often generally non-responsive to applications

What is the average time to land a new job?

  • Junior Level: 30 days average
  • Mid-Manager Level: 2 to 4 months average
  • Senior Manager Level: 3 to 6 months minimum


G R Reddy, Husys Consulting Limited and Career Star Group