Sukhdeep Aurora, Chief People Officer – ANAROCK Property Consultants

The best companies attract the best talent, but the best talent also knows its value and will always have its sights on even better opportunities. This is why a top-ranking company will focus on employee retention at least as much as on acquiring right talent.

The fact that the best talent will be the most productive is more or less a given – that’s why they are the best. A company’s most productive employees will bring personal accountability and ownership to their work, so they know that their productivity is closely interlinked with their own career growth within the firm.

However, it goes without saying that an organization must also do everything it can to foster not only employee productivity but also satisfaction and a sense of being valued, and ‘belonging’. One of the primary means of doing this is by providing an enabling workplace environment. Adopting an open office plan can be one of the best ways of achieving this.

Open offices have their detractors – and, in many individual cases,  some of the objections do have merit.

Artificial Intelligence

Sukhdeep Aurora, Chief People Officer – ANAROCK Property Consultants

India is adopting new-age technology fairly rapidly – and is, in fact, a hotbed for the very creation of such technology. Corporate executives are increasingly using technology to make their day-to-day tasks more efficient and less strenuous.

This trend brings up a loaded and hotly-debated question for India Inc. and in fact corporates globally – will technology eliminate the need for humans when it comes to performing routine tasks?

There is obviously no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The answer is obviously ‘yes’ when it comes to a number of largely mechanical functions. Countries, where scarce manpower is expensive, will also see a greater thrust towards automation than others.

However, let’s examine the situation closer to home and take the job function of Executive Assistants or personal secretaries as a case in point. This is one role I am asked about fairly often in context with possible erosion by technology.

Will Technology Replace Secretaries?

Today, India is amongst the fastest-growing smartphone markets globally, with around 340 million users tracked by Statistica.com in 2017 alone.

Sukhdeep Aurora, Chief People Officer – ANAROCK Property Consultants

Open offices are a new-age commercial spaces trend which is catching up across the globe, including in India. Improving wireless technology to suit changing business requirements is truly an enabler for this transformation.

Millennials and globe-trotters today account for a large and ever-increasing share of the Indian working population – they operate on a very collaborative wavelength and are, by and large, not at home in the traditional cubicles model that so far defined most Indian office spaces.

To cater to the evolving mindset of a Gen Next workforce – and to achieve better productivity and employee retention – an increasing number of progressive firms are now transforming their offices into trendy, happening, open spaces that promote innovation and collaboration.

Advantages of the Open Office Culture:

  • Employees can interact and collaborate easily, which not only improves productivity but also fosters a stronger sense of camaraderie
  • Colleagues can discuss and seek advice without scheduling formal meetings
  • Collaborative offices are vibrant spaces that emit positive energy and therefore uplift the innovation quotient
  • Making the spaces where employees spend a significant portion of their day more vibrant and energetic makes them look forward to hitting the office
  • Open offices reduce the cost of construction as walls,

Sukhdeep Aurora, Chief People Officer – ANAROCK Property Consultants

When it comes to the factors influencing recruitment trends in Indian real estate in 2018, a lot comes to mind.

However, there are three interesting developments which can be considered predominant among them:

  1. Technology adoption

Adeptness in digital technology and upskilling to Digitech skills are definitely prime watchwords for selecting the right candidates. To be sure, technology is the change driver around which more and more real estate recruitment decisions will be taken.

This is because, whether an industry which tends to hang stubbornly on to the traditional ways of doing its business likes it or not, technology will replace – and in fact is already replacing – at least 75% of the traditional methods of sourcing real estate opportunities at both the buyers’ and sellers’ end.

In this highly opportunistic market, operational speed is of the greater essence than ever before, and the use of technology to achieve this speed is indispensable.

Nor is this increasing focus on technological skills limited to just consultancies –

Sukhdeep Aurora, Chief People Officer – ANAROCK Property Consultants

The importance of gender diversity in the workplace is a pretty well-accepted fact now.

While more and more companies are addressing the need to bridge the gender gap in their respective businesses, there are many instances where gender diversity has remained a ‘buzzword’ with only nominal lip-service paid to the urgent and current need for a diversified workforce.

India Inc, at certain functions and levels, still remains less than accepting of women at the workplace.

Successful women are still an exception rather than the norm as they continue to struggle with the chauvinist thinking that has moved out of Indian homes and society and into our workplaces.

To say this may be politically incorrect but if the ugly truth is not bared, there cannot be progress. That is not to say that some positively seminal progress has not been made.

Many India-based MNCs adopting their global entity’s gender diversity norms, as well as quite a few leading consultancies and technology firms, are actually the flagbearers of gender diversity in Indian workplaces.

Sukhdeep Aurora, Chief People Officer – ANAROCK Property Consultants

With the work environment changing at the speed of a social media update, it is relevant to look at how firms are now moving from conventional modes of recruitment.

In fact, many firms now integrate social media platforms into their hiring strategies. This is inevitable and essential in the Digital Age where candidates are also actively leveraging social media platforms to seek newer and better work opportunities.

Linked Into The New Recruitment Wave

With the advent of LinkedIn and especially the very nifty LinkedIn Jobs interface, it is now just a matter of few search strings for an organization’s HR team to be able to compile a list of potential candidates for open positions.

Many firms are now choosing to advertise their openings through this platform and actively encourage applicants to apply through this platform. Candidates and potential job seekers/hoppers who are wired into the social media circuit are very active on LinkedIn.

The mantra is simple – the platform provides a ready list of appropriate job seekers and job providers and creates a considerable saturation of synergies.

Sukhdeep Aurora, Chief People Officer – ANAROCK Property Consultants

As the oft-repeated saying goes – change is the only constant. The business environment is a constantly-evolving organism which, in the wake of its rapid progress, has started making new demands on its stakeholders.

Technology has emerged as the biggest change architect driving not only the way working styles have evolved, but also how the workforce needs to innovate.

In such a dynamic culture, it is imperative for any contemporary company to be able to attract the kind of talent that is extremely comfortable with technology. In fact, this comfort must go beyond just being able to use existing tech. The executive of today must have a driving curiosity for gaining new insights and adopting the latest technologies.

The ideal kind of questing mindset is not limited to using technology provided by the company he or she works for – it spills into all areas of life. Meanwhile, management teams must spearhead the adoption of new and innovative technologies to enhance workplace productivity.

What is needed is a symbiotic relationship between tech-enabled and tech-curious employees and management that actively encourages,

Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants

The construction sector is one of the largest employment generators in India, and the country will need approximately 76.5 million workers in the building, construction and real estate sector by 2022.

Despite it being a job creation engine for people from the economically weaker section of society, the basic working conditions of construction workers have been long ignored.

Migrant workers are the most vulnerable – they are more often than not forced to work under inhuman conditions, and are simultaneously bereft of any real bargaining power.

Under the labour laws, migrant construction workers are entitled to housing and other social security benefits apart from minimum wages, overtime payments and weekly offs.

However, on the ground, the implementation of this clause of the labour law has been abysmal. In far too many cases today, it can be said that the bottom line literally consumes the bottom of the pyramid.

Without a doubt, a more humane approach needs to be taken towards migrant construction workers. It has previously been suggested that the amount collected through construction cess can and should be used for providing rental accommodation to migrant workers.

Sukhdeep Aurora, Chief People Officer – ANAROCK Property Consultants

As an industry in the midst of major churn, Indian real estate is now headed towards yet another crossroad.

The previous crossroad – the industry shakeup initiated by the rollout of RERA – necessitated changes in business models and traditional cash flows of developers.

This one will demand newer skill sets and be all about setting tech-savvy, erudite, professional brokers head and shoulders above the kind that has dominated the industry so far.

In terms of career growth, the sky will be the limit for a new breed of brokers who have taken a conscious call to evolve; to up-skill or perish will be two choices left to those who have not.

Technology continues to disrupt a sector that is already en route to achieving unprecedented transparency levels on the back of the latest policy changes, and the Indian real estate sector is also gaining greater global exposure.

More than ever before, foreign investors are focusing on the country’s housing industry, along with NRIs who have been exposed to international standards of doing business.