Upskilling and reskilling of workforce topmost priority for India HR Inc., according to Mercer’s 2022 Global Talent Trends Study

  • 100% of organizations are planning enterprise-wide transformation in 2022, with the  need to improve customer experience being a key driver
  •  74% of employees will only join a company if they can be remote/hybrid, nearly half are willing to forgo pay raises for work from anywhere
  • Employees want to work for companies that reflect their personal values, 99% of employees expect their employer to pursue a sustainability agenda 

Mumbai, May 02, 2022:  Amidst the overall workforce challenges executives in India Inc. are concerned about this year, including talent acquisition, employee engagement, employee sickness and productivity – they are prioritising in workforce upskilling and reskilling, reveals Mercer’s 2022 Global Talent Trends study.


The study highlights that difficulty hiring the right talent, at the right price, in time remains a top concern (71%). in 2022. In response, companies are reshaping talent strategies focusing more on internal talent marketplaces and leveraging the gig economy (42%). Companies advancing on this objective have been investing in targeted learning programs and offering internal gig experiences to bridge skill gaps. What they are grappling with however, is to scale in a sustainable manner. Meanwhile employees are struggling to find time to learn a new skill (36%).


Resetting the skills agenda to meet both current and future talent needs will ensure people are, and remain, employable. Harnessing AI and technology will be a critical factor in designing and driving skills based talent practices at scale”, said Padma Ramanathan, country report lead and Principal - Talent Advisory, Mercer.


In an employee-centric labour market, where majority of employees want choice, we are seeing organizations wanting to partner with employees to co-create work models based on where/when/how employees want to work and rethink pay and benefit strategies customised to target populations,” she added.    



#Other Key Trends: Attracting & Retaining Talent:


# Relatable by being Responsible Employers

Sustainability strategies and goals are a clear priority for India executives.  Over one-third of employees value organization’s brand and reputation and equal career progression opportunities, citing it as the #2 reason for joining current employer (after job security) Organizations that walk the talk on their core values – through company purpose, work standards, and investment strategies – will better relate with their stakeholders and be better positioned to deliver business. An overwhelming 99% of employees in India expect their employer to pursue a sustainability agenda that balances financial results with social issues, diversity/equity, and environmental impact. In response, one clear shift is visible in moving from intent to action on DE&I – for example, accounting for diverse circumstances in redesigned policies or tailoring for a multi-generational workforce.


# Relatable through partnerships for choice & flexibility

People no longer want to work for a company, they want to work with a company. Nearly all executives say we are in an employee-centric labour market and 82% of HR professionals are predicting higher than normal turnover this year – most notably with regard to younger workers and those in the digital space. Relatable organizations see the value in ‘partnering’ over ‘leading’ as evidenced in evolving ‘return-to-work’ strategies.


74% of employees would join a company only if they can work remotely or in a hybrid engagement. More than half of HR leaders cite flexibility as a key lever for sourcing, attracting and retaining a diverse talent pool and a similar majority believe that they can build cultures and practices that are adaptive by design to cater to a flexible model.


 “Respecting individual choice, and treating employees as equal stakeholders in designing work and workplace is at the heart of “working with the company”. At the same time, ensuring employees feel the choice is fair and equitable to all work groups will be key to success.” said Shanthi Naresh, Partner & India Career  Business Leader, Mercer.


# Relatable by nurturing well-being & enabling to thrive

The pandemic exposed and worsened the health and wealth gaps for different populations, underscoring that accessibility and affordability of care is not enough. A staggering 85% of respondents report risk of burnout at work in the next 12 months, compounded by feeling insufficiently rewarded for efforts. But over 3 out of 4 employees cite they are thriving at their current role/organization, primarily due to feeling valued, having meaningful work and working in an organization that supports a healthy lifestyle. Nurturing physical, mental & financial well-being through benefits that matter and showing purpose in value proposition remain in focus. Executives agree that along with skills, well-being would deliver the biggest ROI.


# Relatable by transforming for a ‘balanced’ future of work

All of India Inc. is prepped for enterprise wide transformation. The pandemic with acceleration of technologies, new work models and ways of working has been an enabler but has also taken its toll through ‘change fatigue and exhaustion’. At the same time, employees are feeling optimistic about seeking a more balanced ‘future of work’. One that is redesigned to allow time for family, hobbies, work, health and learning – with working remaining an important part of life (78%). Reshaping the experience of employees around what they are viewing and valuing as a “lifestyle contract” and redesigning HR and HR processes to cater to proposed interactions is important. 


The challenge is making progress while tackling differing views on the future of work. Companies that are advancing better are those reflecting their values more visibly, listening intently & working closely with multiple stakeholders, using data driven decisions for action with empathy & transforming in a manner, that is human, relatable, and ultimately sustainable,” Padma concluded.


An intentionally human-centric, value-led, relatable organization can enable attraction and retention. Getting this right by conscious design, will help determine whether transformation leads to positive outcomes for business and society.


About the 2022 Global Talent Trends Study

The seventh edition of Mercer’s Global Talent Trends Study brings together the voices of nearly 11,000 C-suite executives, HR leaders and employees representing 16 geographies and 13 industries. Read the report.


About Mercer 


Mercer believes in building brighter futures by redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investment outcomes, and unlocking real health and well-being. Mercer’s approximately 25,000 employees are based in 43 countries and the firm operates in 130 countries. Mercer is a business of Marsh McLennan (NYSE: MMC), the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people, with 83,000 colleagues and annual revenue of approximately $20 billion. Through its market-leading businesses including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit Follow Mercer on LinkedIn.