Indian companies favor Indian talent over expats

According to a recent Economic Times of India article, domestic Indian companies are going slow on expat hiring while sharpening their focus on hiring Indians with requisite global experience – a trend that will likely continue for the next two years.

Expat hiring was growing at the rate of 10-12% annually until 2012 when the number of expats working in India was at a peak with more than 49,000 professionals. Today there are around 39,000 expats (not including Indian origin people but including about 3,700 expats from the United States) working in India and around 70% of expat hiring is taking place at a higher level while 30% is taking place at mid or lower levels.

Employers in India are now focusing more on budgets and are trying to find the same kind of exposure and experience from Indian talent that expats can offer. They are seen bringing in expats only when the cost of hiring an expat as against an Indian is pretty much similar.

Nevertheless, India remains an attractive destination for expats and the number of expats looking at assignments and tenures in India to boost their resume has gone up significantly with one headhunter being quoted as saying:

“Almost 30 per cent of expats are open to looking at modest compensation packages which could be termed as a ‘pay cut’ keeping in view the upsides associated with specific experience of working in a large, complex and active emerging market such as India”

Another commented:

“What is most interesting to notice in India is that it is not just multinational companies or the large Indian organisations that are employing expats. Some of the medium-sized enterprises with ambitious plans have also been hiring expats in a bid to achieve their goals.”

However, there is now a steady supply of Indians who have all the required competencies and global exposure – meaning domestic firms are rethinking their expat hiring.

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