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An unprecedented multi-sector survey of India’s top 100 employers has revealed unique hiring challenges at every level -be it entry, middle and senior manager and demand for more credible certification pathways. Assessing the right talent and job readiness for India’s Professionals – challenges and opportunities in the India hiring sector published by Pearson VUE in partnership with independent market research agency IMRB India, top panelists speakers shared their views in a solemn discussion here in the capital. They were Dr. Rajan Saxena, Vice Chancellor – NMIMS; Marco Scarola, Global Director of Marketing Communications Pearson VUE; Divyalok Sharma, Pearson Vue, Vijay K. Thadani, Co-Founder and Vice Chairman, NIIT; Navyug Mohnot, CEO and Founder, QAI; Deepak Mehrotra, Managing Director, Pearson India. In the report, the 100 Indian hiring managers surveyed are from a diverse range of sectors including manufacturing, IT, finance, health, construction, professional services, real estate, media and logistics. The key challenges for hiring managers across levels - ascertaining ability of entry level candidates (56%); finding (69%) and retaining (61%) middle managers; and finding senior managers (53%) with the right qualifications (61%) – all shared a common solution. Whilst the ongoing investment in up-skilling young people was seen to be closing the skills gaps for young people (56%), 7 in 10 participants urged investment into both more specialist certifications and more advanced certifications. Instead, almost 6 in 10 hiring managers (58%) are currently forced to make hiring compromises, the report reveals. Divyalok Sharma, director of client development at Pearson VUE, said: “India is committed to improving the skills and lives of millions of young people. Beyond university and entry-level certifications, there is a greater call for life-long learning and certification so that middle managers, in particular, can better progress and improve productivity and address talent shortages.” Across all levels, candidate credibility was a major concern – with 7 in 10 hiring managers believing the majority of candidates make false claims in their resume. Many even believe that candidates may have cheated on a professional exam (58%). But those figures dramatically improved if the candidate had earned their credential through a computer-based test (CBT). Most hiring managers (82 percent) were confident that CBT is more secure and easier to validate. Sharma added: “Clearly, this hiring and skills crisis will not be solved by more role relevant certification pathways alone. It is also imperative for employers that such training and assessment is seen as rigorous, credible and secure – which computer-based testing has proven to better enable.”