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<i>Dear Workforce</i> How Do We Know What Applicants in India Are Looking For

August 10, 2007
Dear Not a Mind Reader:

It is difficult to understand what candidates are thinking before any interview, regardless of culture. However, armed with the applicant's résumé and some market knowledge, you can come to the initial meeting with an understanding of how to move forward.
First is the market. Cash is king in India at the moment, especially in engineering. It is important to know the type of package your company will offer before negotiations on salary begin. Many companies have instituted retention bonuses paid out after years one, two and three. Most are equal to 50 percent to 100 percent of annual salary.
Second is the employee's international background. If the employee has previously worked for a multinational, she/he should have a baseline understanding of multicultural communication. But do ask about their orientation to international teams. For candidates who have not previously worked for multinationals, it will be important to elicit, in the interview, the candidate's views/perceptions of working on a multicultural team. Outside of technical skills, the ability of a candidate to lead a local team, but communicate and partner with the company's U.S .corporate office is going to be seminal.
Third is the personal relationship. Professional and personal relationships are intertwined in the Indian office setting. It is quite common to be familiar with colleagues' personal background. It is recommended that the functional and hiring teams include a "get-to-know-you" aspect as part of the recruitment process. In general, Indian culture builds heavily on group dynamics, so strengthening the personal relationship with the corporate office is key.
Taking these three points into consideration should help you formulate a recruitment strategy for the interviews.
SOURCE: Jeremy Hollister, Watson Wyatt & Co., San Francisco, July 19, 2006.
LEARN MORE: Please read What Role Do Job Descriptions Play When Recruiting Top-Notch Employees?
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.