Companies tell recruiters to hire candidates who want to work from their desk

Bombay : Candidates willing to work from the office will be preferred over those seeking remote work, recruiters said, as companies are increasingly concerned with creating and maintaining a culture while employees work remotely.

“Teamwork cannot be done remotely. This robotic work culture had to be embraced during the pandemic, but now a physical presence is needed,” said Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder of staffing firm TeamLease Services.

She added that now even new support system hires are welcome to come into the office during interviews. “You can turn off the video, go on mute, and it has a continual impact on productivity,” Chakraborty said.

The challenge for companies to bring workers back is complicated by the fact that many employees had left cities for their hometowns during the pandemic to save costs or be with family.

While many of their employees remain reluctant to return to the office, companies want new hires to join the office to understand the corporate culture and connect with their colleagues.

“All of our infrastructure, manufacturing and pharmaceutical customers have requested that new hires work from offices. However, it is technology and startups that are still comfortable with the hybrid work culture,” said Aditya Narayan Mishra, Director of CIEL HR Services.

The incentive to encourage newcomers to head to offices is also intended to avoid high attrition among them.

On February 28, Mint reported that employees quit within three months of joining a new company. Recruiters have called the phenomenon “infant mortality”, in which newcomers to a company realize they are not the right fit and want to return to a familiar workplace. Companies have told recruiters that they want to avoid this high attrition and build more relationships.

The hybrid way of working doesn’t work for middle to senior managers in the startup industry.

“Where you lived didn’t matter during the two years of the pandemic, but now it does. Despite being tech-savvy, startup clients say the work culture can’t be built remotely,” said Dony Kuriakose, Director, Edge Executive Search.

The director of the search firm added that while all candidates ask if working from home is an option, they are told that even if it is hybrid now, offices will become mandatory very soon.

Demand for office space is so strong that companies have changed their location options when hiring senior executives, said Srinivas Nanduri, India and emerging markets partner, Maxima Global Executive search.

One of his clients hired senior executives from Gurugram, Singapore, Bangalore for a new facility in Bangalore. They were given the option of working from home, but now that the restrictions have been lifted, that option has been removed. “The seniors were asked to go to Bengaluru and set up their teams, work together for a while,” Nanduri said.

Recruiters say there are no changes to salary structures or incentives for employees to return to work. In most cases, even if the company is not ready to take on staff, new hires are encouraged to come into the office at least two to three times a week.

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