Lohit Bhatia, President and Suchita Dutta, Executive Director of the Indian Staffing Federation (ISF) work with an aim to facilitate opportunities for India’s staffing industry. They represent ISF on all key platforms. Both recently joined NewsX for an exclusive conversation as part of NewsX India A-List. In this exclusive conversation, they shared ISF’s role, focus, and agenda, tripartite staffing arrangement and much more.

Mr. Bhatia commenced by discussing the roles, focus and agenda of ISF. He spoke “ISF talks about formalisation in Indian employment and within formalisation, we focus on work environment between a job seeker, a principal employer or customer and a staffing company. The tricona of the three is what we call a tripartite relationship. ISF with nearly 100 members representing close to 1.3 million workforces every day, primarily works for the betterment of the staffing formalized environment in India. The growth of the industry itself and championing the cause of bringing about formalisation using the right tools of sustainability, social fabric inclusion, financial inclusion and compliances in a very compliant and statutory manner as far as the laws of the land are concerned. ISF is now a decade old. Staffing in India in itself is growing leaps and bounds.”

On being asked how tripartite staffing arrangement protects a job seeker or incorporate and improve ease of doing business while providing social protection and employment opportunities, Suchita  Dutta responded “Staffing industry has been a perennial need and it has come to existence because of the corporate needs. Initially, the need was more just in time requirement and hiring just to give the minimum amount of people to get the work done and then they move on. We have come a long way from that. For the last 2 decades industry has flourished. The whole idea is coming together of corporates who are using the third-party and staffing partner. Both can engage together as partners to work, have a better compliant system and ensure that the government which is laying down labour laws or other laws having implications on the operations of a company. Corporates are now able to see the staffing as a partner company rather than an individual organization that is just supporting for just in time hiring. The maturity that has come from the corporates is that they view staffing company as a facilitator. On the other hand, most of the job seekers perception is that if I have a temporary job, I wouldn’t be seen as a person capable of having a permanent job. This happens because of a lot of peers and societal pressure for having a permanent job. The staffing industry has been able to provide them with a continual opportunity to a job seeker so that they don’t have to look for a job once their project gets over with any company.”

Talking about temp staffing as industry change and role of staffing industry in creating formal labour market, Lohit Bhatia said “Three fourth of people who come to staffing companies today, come for their first formal job. So, about 75% of the workforce has never worked with large leading Indian companies or multinational companies in the Indian environment. Staffing companies are true stepping stones to not just give access to companies and great talents. At the same to young talented job seekers, they provide great organisations to work with and enhance their careers. The second thing staffing company does is the entire bit of training on the job. The amount of training which this youth gets is disproportionately higher than what they get in their education skills. Today now what has changed is the notion of your role being a temp but your job being permanent. So many of our temps have become leaders on customer sides which gives the greatest satisfaction and happiness to the entire ISF.”