'India Inc facing middle manager hiring challenge'

Middle managers are the toughest hires for Indian companies with as many as 80 per cent of organisations finding such recruitments the most challenging task, as per a new study.

Nearly 80 per cent of the 600 employers, surveyed across India said that middle managers continue to be the critical drivers of their business growth. "This critically makes filling positions in this cadre the most challenging in the organisation.

Further,internal skill gaps compel 64 per cent of employers to look for external hires," the study found. Around 48 per cent of organisations said the most challenging task is to get the right managerial and leadership skills in hiring of middle managers. Another 26 per cent said that getting relevant domain skills is the most difficult aspect of filling these positions.

A significant majority of survey respondents said that mid-manager performance needs improvement. Around 84 per cent of organisations felt that the overall quality of their middle management is below average, while 53 per cent found the leadership skills of their middle manager to be poor.

To meet these skill and performance gaps at middle level, over 55 per cent organisations are actively searching externally to hire for mid-level positions, as per the survey. Around 40 per cent organisations said that unless they empower their middle managers, they would not be able to hold on to them for long.

Another 40 per cent said they are focusing on job rotations, as it helps in offering middle managers an opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding to take up bigger roles. About 20 per cent of companies are offering training, re-skilling and learning opportunities to middle managers to help them acquire new skills, the study added.