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India is one of the few economies which continues to grow- although admittedly at a much slower pace than before. One of the fall outs of this is the relatively free availability of career options for talent. Gone are the days when one would join an organization and stay there – well almost for life. The rise in opportunities gives greater impetus to people wanting to make it to the top of their careers at a faster pace. Doesn’t matter if it means skipping all the time- from one company to another.

It’s really no surprise therefore that across different levels and across all industries attrition is a matter of deep concern for managements. Some of the figures quoted are truly astounding: 40 % in the services sector, 30-35 % in pharma and over 20 % in manufactruring.

In this context, read this discussion in the Business Standard of a few days ago. This features two top executives of the renowned executive recruitment firm, Korn Ferry International. In an interview with Amit Ranjan Rai, David Everhart, head for Leadership Development in Asia Pacific and Deepak Gupta, managing director for India speak of trends and challenges faced by industry in India.

In my view, the major causes for attrition vary from one organizational level to another:

  • At the top/senior management level, there is a major dearth of top talent. This results in many firms chasing the very few who have literally unmatched choice. This results in their getting offers they find difficult to refuse.
  • At the middle level, issues of breaking out from one zone or band to another is a major cause for attrition. This includes moving from a purely technical role to a managerial role, moving from a field level operations role to a corporate/home office role, moving from a slower moving sector to a faster one etc..
  • At the junior level, the supply and demand pressures make compensation pretty much the deciding factor. Most would move for a larger hike. Even though they may soon find themselves in circumstances no better than what prevailed in their earlier organisation. This prompts them to look out for yet another move -preferably with a bigger hike.

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This is Post No: 293 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success.