This is the first piece in a 4-part series about how Indians can better position themselves to earn an interview and secure employment at an American firm
American firms are increasingly hiring in India. India offers a large pool of young, talented, English-speaking employees, and is an increasingly attractive destination for firms seeking to diversify their workforce. India has long been an attractive and savvy choice for foreign firms looking to internationalize their workforce and grow their global presence. In fact, more than 1,000 American firms have established operations in India, employing over 1 million Indians nationwide.
At the same time, Indians love working for American firms. We’ve seen this first-hand: As a U.S.-based firm with a large, diverse, and growing team in Bengaluru, MPOWER Financing has seen thousands of candidates interview for positions and explain why they are excited to join our team. We’ve also helped our students prepare for interviews to help position them for success in the American workforce through our Path2Success program.
This 4-part series will provide our views on how Indians can better position themselves to interview and secure employment at a U.S. firm, and will draw on experiences that we’ve had both when recruiting new teammates and helping our students enter the U.S. workforce. This first part in the series will explain why Indians increasingly enjoy working at American firms.
Professional Advancement and Development
American firms embrace an open work culture, where every employee is free to share ideas and feedback with senior management. This is because strict hierarchies can hinder innovation: An organization that promotes innovation requires open communication, the ability to challenge the existing structure, and the freedom for employees to think outside of the box.
At a less hierarchical Western firm, a young, talented, and ambitious employee can quickly be recognized for their performance and advance through the organization. This is achieved by clearly defining key performance indicators (KPI), and empowering teammates to make their own decisions about the best way(s) to achieve their objectives.
Employees value an inclusive workplace culture that treats them like individuals and helps them grow professionally. MPOWER Financing, for example, supports every employee who creates a professional development plan by providing up to US$1,500 as a stipend for approved training purposes. When organizations provide these types of benefits, they are most impactful when implemented with intention. Organizations like MPOWER that actively invest in their employees’ learning and encourage managers to put suitable effort toward this goal have a decisive advantage in attracting and retaining talent.
Foreign firms are particularly valued by women. Consider South Korea, where in 2010, working women earned only 63% of what men did — partly because they faced social pressure to quit when they had children, which made it hard for Korean women to build their careers. A Harvard Business School report noted that foreign and multinational firms were recruiting large numbers of educated Korean women whose talent was overlooked by domestic firms.
American firms are known to work hard at achieving gender parity by actively seeking, considering, and hiring women at all levels of the organization. American firms also commonly have policies and programs that measure and recommend changes to how they can address challenges and create a more equitable environment for women — including policies around preventing harassment and providing flexible schedules for working mothers.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Finally, foreign multinational firms often lead with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the forefront of their recruitment and talent initiatives. International firms focus on ensuring inclusion, appreciation, and acceptance of diverse viewpoints and that employees are valued regardless of race, gender, age, religion, national origin, socioeconomic status, physical ability, and/or sexual orientation.
At MPOWER Financing, for example, nine out of the firm’s fifteen-member senior leadership team are either immigrants and/or from racial minority groups. Furthermore, five of MPOWER’s nine Board of Directors members, and seven of its 11 Advisory Board members are either immigrants and/or from racial minority groups. The firm values colleagues with different viewpoints and has created an environment where minority voices are heard and accepted.
Inclusion means not just tolerating differences, but celebrating them. MPOWER has company-wide cultural holiday parties and celebrates life events such as weddings and babies. The firm administers a monthly employee survey as a “pulse check” to gauge employee satisfaction, while an Ambassador Team identifies ways to keep team engagement high. The Ambassador Team has helped to drive key policy changes including to the firm’s dress code and work-from-home schedule.
There are several reasons why Indians increasingly love working for American firms, but the primary ones are that they provide opportunities for all employees — including women and minorities — to professionally advance their careers. But how can you secure a job with an American employer? In the next part of this series, we’ll discuss how to format your resume for international eyes.
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