At the end of 2017, India’s hiring market did record positivity across various industries. Private life insurance companies witnessed a whopping growth of 37% in H1FY18 as compared to 20% in H1FY17.
The job market’s indices are soaring at the beginning of New Year. The current and projected economic conditions are likely to push this growth further. TimesJobs spoke to Shailesh Singh, Director and Chief People Officer, Max Life Insurance about the hiring trends of the insurance industry. Excerpts here
How many people did you hire in 2017? What were the positions and experience levels that saw the highest rise in demand?
Max Life Insurance hired almost the same number of employees that it did last year. There was a 10% increase in the hiring at the senior level. With a view to maintaining our lead in the digital space, we expanded the digital team and also concentrated on positions in business performance and analytics. We focused on building a strong business strategy team.
What were the new skill sets that emerged in your industry in 2017?
As the world enters into the fourth revolution, digital has become the new normal. Life insurance sector has also seen a rise in digital penetration in last 2-3 years. Many players have partially moved a part of their business to digital channels and a few have completely gone through a digital transformation. While sales profiles continued to be in demand, growing economy and a need for fast pace growth also lead to the requirement of candidates having an expertise in growth hacking. Data analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning are in demand now for 24X7 customer service and for providing better product solutions.
As a leader, what were the key learnings for you in 2017?
A stable, solid and talented team of leaders can brave through the uncertainties of the market and environment and hold the team together while continuing to develop new customers.
The young generation is more agile to taking risks, focused and uncertainties matter less to them. Max Life is a young organisation with the average age of employees below 30 years. The fact that we managed employee engagement well during a turbulent year is a testimony to the strength of the organisation.
The ‘People- Centric’ philosophy of Max Life reflected in our Top 50 Place to Work rank, which was tested and validated well last year.
Demonetisation clearly benefitted the life insurance sector. More people became a part of the formal economy.
What were the key highlights of recruitment sector in 2017?
There has been an increase in the role of technology for recruitment. Use of tools like psychometric tests has gained popularity amongst employers.
Clearly, there is bullishness in job offerings from startups, especially in places like Bengaluru which continue to be the hub of startups.
At senior/ mid-level hiring, the role of consultants has remained important in terms of candidate assessment, personal connect etc.
Employers appear to be more selective in hiring and are conscious of building an ‘attractive’ brand.
What are the 5 key trends that one must watch out for in recruitment space in 2018?
Higher usage of digital recruitment tools including video interviews, online assessments etc.
Hiring numbers can go up in 2018 as Indian economy continues to move in an upward trajectory, especially in the BFSI industry.
Social media to play an extremely important role in terms of employer brand creation and positioning. More candidates will be driven by feedbacks they get from various online portals about companies, making social media management an absolute must for any organisation.
Use of Artificial intelligence for judging the candidates over analytical skills and psycho-emotional traits.
Consolidations will continue to happen across industries.
How do you see the compensation and benefits trends changing in 2018?
We can expect the average salary increase to be around 8-10%. Companies will prefer to hire few, but good people. With most sectors reaching an age of maturity, there will be an increased focus on lowering costs and enhancing value creation.