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7 HR Trends that Will Define the Indian Startup Landscape in 2018 Startup work areas speak of a strong organizational structure which encourages free thinking and expression, with zero emphasis on the hierarchical pyramid

By Anuradha Bharat

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2017 reiterated the fact that there is no dearth of innovation and winning ideas in India and the year witnessed many instances of start-ups emerging as "employers of choice'. While IT service firms are downsizing their workforce, the startup ecosystem in the country has recorded positive hiring sentiments for 2018. During 2017 alone, 1000 plus startups have been added to the Indian startup ecosystem. 2018 will only be adding newer dimensions to this. Startup hiring is set to grow further in 2018 compared to 2017, with analytics slated to be one of the most sought-after skill-set.

In 2018, startups will increasingly invest in focusing on "quality hire' more than "quantity' and will look beyond hiring from IITs and explore key talent from top engineering colleges in Tier 2 cities and also leverage meetups like hackathons for recruitment.

Here are seven key trends we think will emerge in the year of 2018.

Fintech leads the game

Financial services and technology start-ups will continue to be one of the largest job creators in 2018. Cities like Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi and Ahmedabad, which are home to many budding start-ups will lead the hiring spree

Digital leadership is the new normal

With the continued rise of the Chief Digital Officer and in many cases the Chief Marketing Officer, both will help financial institutions usurp the IT team in implementing "digital' throughout the organization. Organizations will hire for reformed digital leadership not just for tech expertise but also organizational structure as technology success is as much to do with organization structure as it is with technical know-how

Talent in demand

Digital disruption is changing almost every industry in the globe. Therefore the demand for data analysts, machine learning & artificial intelligence experts, UX/UI designers and similar niche profiles was seen to propel job creation throughout 2017. These are expected to be the most sought-after profiles in 2018 as well and skill sets pertaining to these profiles will be indispensable

Employee centricity

Culture and employee engagement will continue to be a top priority for executives in 2018. This is largely to the influx of millennials entering the workforce expecting offices to be equipped with pool tables, multimedia entertainment rooms and nap pods among other entertainment activities. This made executives scramble to invest in creating a work environment that feels as least like work as possible, helping employees unwind and refresh during work hours

Workplace flexibility is the new mantra

Focusing less on work/life balance, and more on the integration of life and work, is a paradigm that will emerge in workplaces. It's all about how a company values the contributions of an employee and not just the physical hours worked.

Two way mentoring

While newer employees learn invaluable product knowledge and process requirements from company veterans, seasoned employees can get their imaginations sparked, absorb new technology, and discover new "hacks' from the newbies. Open Invite meetings enable such knowledge sharing sessions

Workplace designed for iGeneration

In a startup, one spends long hours working in the office. It is important that the employees work in a pleasant environment and not just restricted to a cubicle. Startup work areas speak of a strong organizational structure which encourages free thinking and expression, with zero emphasis on the hierarchical pyramid. With 90% of employees and employers in start-ups being millennials and Gen Z'ers who prefer working out of office spaces that are appealing to the eyes. A workspace is not just a building, but part of the HR agenda to extend the company's culture and engage employees. Fresh talent is what startups are on the lookout for and attractive office spaces are one of the compelling techniques that startups have been using to attract talent.

Overall 2018 looks positive in terms of startup job opportunities. We are constantly on the lookout for people who are willing to grow, people who have the zeal to move ahead, ones who are looking for a career and not just a job. Above all, with the startup ecosystem evolving rapidly, a career in start-ups entails a lifelong learning cycle. Therefore, companies look to hire individuals who can be part of this ecosystem, ones who will continue to remain agile and curious, quick to adapt and possess the willingness to learn about new technologies and how they are impacting their sectors. They cannot afford to get archaic but continue to innovate and progress.

Anuradha Bharat

Head, People Operations, Razorpay

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