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Indian employers who are always on a hunt to tap potential talent, have started embracing new  practices for employee engagement such as offering better perks, paid leaves and so on. Amongst them, spouse hiring is one trend that is fast catching up among Indian employers. Yes. You heard it right.

What exactly is spouse hiring?

Spouse hiring refers to the concept where either of the spouses is hired by the company, where one of them is already working.

Spouse hiring has become the new lingo that has been dominating the Indian employment scenario for some time now. More and more companies are drifting from traditional norms and embracing the concept of spouse hiring, wherein both, the husband and the wife work for the same company.

While some conventional employers refrain from this practice, in order to keep the professional and the personal lives separate, new age employers have found that spouse hiring can actually be a good idea. Most of these employers believe that, hiring both partners in a company facilitate better employee retention and also ensures improved employee engagement.

Companies following this Employee Engagement Trend

One of the first companies to bring spouse hiring in India, was a Pune-based organisation named Synechron. The company gradually put this practice in place after requests from employees started pouring in. Synechron is of the opinion that since they consider employee feedback strongly, they chose to implement this kind of a hiring practice after taking feedback from all employees. The company has 5000 employees globally and the new policy has been a huge hit all over. So much so that, within a week after the ‘spouse hiring program’ was launched, more than 50 queries dropped in. In the words of Faisal Husain, CEO and cofounder, “We expect this policy to impact about 2,000 married employees at Synechron globally”.

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Following suit, few more companies joined the bandwagon and launched a ‘spouse hiring’ program. And surprisingly, most of these companies have received substantially positive feedback. Organizations like Maruti Suzuki, Amazon, MTS India, SAP Labs, Aegon Religare have introduced similar policy with certain changes, For example, in PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PwC), spouses can work together provided they are not in the same team or report to each other. Most of these companies have embraced this step in an attempt to curb attrition and ensure employee engagement.

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In the words of Jagjit Singh, human capital leader, PwC India, “Spouses working in the same organisation increase the level of employee stickiness. Most organisations are now more open to the idea of spouse hiring”.

Most of the organizations that have implemented the concept of spouse hiring have followed the caveat introduced by PwC that spouses cannot work in the same team or report to each other. Human capital leaders are of the opinion that, in a drift from the traditions, companies have become far liberal and are open to spouse hiring these days, but do not allow them to work in the same department as this can raise conflicts of interest.

Changing views on spouse hiring in recent times

Till now, spouses working in the same organization was largely looked upon as a case-to-case basis. It is sometimes seen as weird when companies do not allow spouses to work together for them; but some couples consciously choose not to work for the same organization keeping in mind de-risking strategies.

However, today employers are looking beyond such challenges and focusing on the benefits of spouse hiring. Most corporates feel that spouses working in the same company increase the level of employee engagement.

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How can companies benefit?

Well, there are certain benefits for employers if they opt to hire the spouses of their already existing employees. Some of them include the following:

  1. When spouses work for the same organizations, chances of employee engagement increase manifold.
  2. Since there remains a personal touch, chances of employee attrition is also considerably reduced.
  3. Studies have found that employers are able to retain workers for a longer period of time when both the spouses work together in the same organization.
  4. Chances of team bonding/ team spirit and working together as a crew also gains importance when spouses work for the same company.

Coming along with a caveat

Nonetheless, this kind of hiring practice does come with its fair share of caution like the one mentioned earlier in the article. In most cases, employers ensure that both the spouses are employed in different verticals and do not report to each other at any cost. This caution is followed in most organizations and with this caveat in mind, they are opening up the idea of couple hiring.

All said and done, on a final note it can be said that spouse hiring as a recruitment strategy seems to be doing well for the time being for most employers in India. So, if you are an employer and willing to try new recruitment methods, you can definitely opt for spouse hiring and reap its benefits in your organization.

Source: Economic Times

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