Recruiting in India

 Bhargavi Venugopal Bhargavi Venugopal
July 4, 2024
Published on

Recruiting in India can seem like a daunting task for many international companies. The country presents a complex mix of cultural diversity, stringent regulatory frameworks, and logistical challenges. However, India also offers an exceptionally qualified talent pool, including numerous country managers and other highly skilled senior executives with extensive international experience. With a large English-speaking population and a strategic time zone, India is an ideal destination for companies looking to optimize their global operations.

Expandys has been established in India since 2015, possessing in-depth and bicultural knowledge of the country, reinforced by our local office. Our multilingual team (French/English/Hindi/other regional languages), with direct experience in India, specializes in recruiting high-caliber profiles. With a proven track record of success in recruitment in India, we are perfectly equipped to assist you effectively with your recruitment needs in the country.


Recruiting in the Indian job market

  • Legal framework and regulation: India, being a federal republic, has a combination of central and state employment laws. Employment contracts are generally considered as open-ended contracts. Certain conditions must be met for fixed-term contracts, which are allowed in India, provided the employer hires the person for a short duration. There are also freelance or casual work contracts, offering significant flexibility but without the benefits of permanent employees.

  • Working hours: India is known for its long working hours. However, new labor laws limit working hours to 48 hours per week and 12 hours per working day. The workweek is five days for large private companies and six days for SMEs, banks, and public administrations. It is also important to note that there is no right to disconnect in India, with employees often connecting to their professional emails after working hours and during weekends.

  • Leave and holidays: Paid leave varies by state and sector, with an average of 12 days of annual paid leave, although some private tertiary sector companies offer up to 24 days. Public holidays are also specific to each state, but three national holidays are recognized: Republic Day (January 26), Independence Day (August 15), and Mahatma Gandhi's birthday (October 2).

  • Social protection: Since the COVID-19 crisis, health insurance has become mandatory for all employees, regardless of salary. Companies must provide health coverage, and employees can sometimes extend this coverage to their families at an additional cost. Additionally, many large companies offer life and accident insurance.

  • Maternity and Paternity Leave: Maternity leave in India provides 26 weeks of paid leave since 2017. The law also provides for 12 weeks of leave for adoptive mothers or those having a child through a surrogate mother. Married fathers can benefit from two weeks of paid leave in some states, although there is no uniform national legislation for paternity leave.

Specifics of recruitment in India

Positive Points:

  1. Qualified talent pool: India has a highly qualified workforce, particularly in technological and scientific fields. This talent pool includes experts in various sectors, offering a wealth of skills for international companies.
    Additionally, India has many country manager profiles and other highly qualified senior executives, who often studied or worked abroad before returning to India. These professionals bring in-depth knowledge of multiple international markets, which is a significant asset for companies looking to establish or expand in India.
    Despite India's reputation for lower salaries, senior profiles such as CEOs and country managers benefit from compensation levels comparable to those of European executives, highlighting the value of these executives' skills and experience in a competitive international context.

  2. Adaptability and problem-solving skills: Indians are known for their flexibility and ability to quickly adapt to new technologies and working methods. This adaptability is particularly valuable in a constantly evolving business environment, where technological innovations and market changes require a rapid and effective response. Additionally, Indian professionals possess strong problem-solving skills, enabling them to overcome complex challenges and find creative and pragmatic solutions. This combination of flexibility and problem-solving skills is a significant asset for companies seeking to maintain high performance levels and continuously innovate.

  3. English proficiency: English proficiency is widespread in India, facilitating interactions and collaborations with international partners. Due to the importance of English in the Indian education system and its common use in business, Indian professionals are often bilingual, if not multilingual. This linguistic skill is particularly advantageous for companies operating globally, as it enables smooth and effective communication with colleagues, clients, and international partners.

  4. Strategic time zone: The Indian time zone, situated between Europe and East Asia, offers a strategic advantage for international companies. Being only a few hours apart from Europe and ahead of East Asia, India allows for smoother communication and collaboration with several regions worldwide. This improves the efficiency of international operations by reducing communication delays and facilitating rapid and coordinated decision-making, while also fostering smoother intercontinental meetings and collaborative projects, thus increasing overall productivity.


  1. Cultural complexity: Cultural diversity in India can pose challenges for foreign companies. While Hindi is the official language of India, it is far from the only language spoken. The country has no fewer than 234 mother tongues, with 22 recognized in the Constitution as regional languages, and each state has its official languages. However, language is just one aspect of the many cultural differences. Variations in traditions, customs, religious practices, and social norms are also considerable and can affect professional interactions. Understanding and respecting these cultural differences is essential for effective collaboration, but it often requires an investment in time and training to ensure smooth communication and mutual respect for diverse cultural practices.

  2. Recruitment Process Challenge: The recruitment process in India is particularly complex due to the country's large population, representing about 17% of the world's population. This context generates a large number of applications, making the initial sorting very laborious. For qualified profiles, recruitment requires more proactive headhunting than simply posting job ads. It is therefore essential for employers to actively approach potential candidates. In-depth market knowledge and a solid network are crucial for identifying and attracting the best talents. Additionally, it is necessary to plan multiple interviews per candidate and maintain a reserve of candidates to compensate for last-minute dropouts. A proactive and organized approach, with regular reminders to candidates, can help reduce the dropout rate.


  3. Complex Regulatory Processes: India presents a complex legal system, characterized by numerous federal and regional laws that can significantly differ from one state to another. This legal diversity requires careful management and a thorough understanding of the specific legal obligations in each region. Navigating through these regulatory processes can be time-consuming for foreign companies, often requiring the expertise of local lawyers and specialized legal advisors. Effective management of regulatory processes in India thus requires not only in-depth knowledge of local laws but also the ability to handle administrative challenges with precision and diligence to maintain compliance while supporting the company's operational objectives.

How Expandys can help you recruit in India

At Expandys, we have a presence in India, giving us in-depth bicultural knowledge and a keen understanding of the country's geography and market. Our multilingual team has lived in India and specializes in recruiting high-caliber profiles. With a strong track record of success in recruiting in India, particularly for CEOs and other senior executives, we are perfectly equipped to meet your recruitment needs in the country.

  • Ideal profile: We offer personalized advice to define the ideal candidate profile, taking into account the local market specifics. Our recruitment experts work closely with you to understand your needs and objectives, targeting the essential skills and qualities for your company.

  • Candidate selection: We conduct in-depth interviews for each candidate, using rigorous selection techniques to establish a shortlist of qualified candidates. Each candidate is evaluated not only on their technical skills but also on their ability to integrate into your corporate culture and meet your strategic objectives.

  • Comprehensive support during final interviews: Our support does not stop at preselection. We assist you throughout the final interviews by providing practical advice on hiring procedures and employment contracts. We ensure that each step of the process complies with local standards, ensuring a smooth transition for both the candidate and your company.

  • Preparation of employment contracts: We take care of the meticulous drafting of employment contracts, ensuring their legal compliance and adaptation to regional specifics. Thanks to our local legal expertise, you can focus on your core business with peace of mind, knowing that all contractual aspects are taken care of.
  • Employee portage solution: We manage your local employees, relieving you of administrative tasks and payroll management. Our employee portage service ensures legal and administrative compliance, allowing your Indian employees to focus on their work without worry, while you can focus on the strategic development of your business.

  • Post-recruitment HR needs: Our service does not stop at recruitment. We also manage all HR aspects post-recruitment, including contract management, payroll, benefits, and ongoing professional development. We provide regular follow-up to ensure your new employees integrate well and thrive in their roles. 


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Tagged with: Human resources India