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Indian employers to increase hiring in coming months

Views 2 Views    Comments 0 Comments    Share Share    Posted 12-08-2009  

NEW DELHI: India Inc is hiring again. After months of rigorous cost-cutting, which included recruitment freeze and even downsizing of workforce in some cases, several Indian employers are looking to increase hiring in coming months, according to different surveys.

The Economic Times did a survey on select listed companies across sectors such as telecom, infrastructure, consumer goods, auto, pharma, technology and power, and all the respondents said they plan to increase their headcounts in the next three-six months. The companies planning to increase hiring include Infosys Technologies, Maruti Suzuki, Lupin Pharmaceuticals and Standard Chartered Bank.

A larger survey done by job portal TimesJobs.com noted an upswing in the hiring sentiment among Indian companies. The survey, which polled 5,000 companies across sectors in Indian metros, showed that almost half the respondents from Delhi and Mumbai are planning to increase hiring in the current quarter.

Even the IT capital Bangalore seems to be returning to reality after witnessing mass layoffs in the past quarter of 2008, with one-fourth of the firms planning to raise their headcounts this quarter. Interestingly, 52% of these firms said they are undertaking replacement hiring. Four-fifths of the firms in Delhi and 57% recruiters in Mumbai are hiring to ramp up for growth, said the survey conducted by TJ InSite, the research wing of TimesJobs.com.

The results show that Corporate India is upbeat on the economy in spite of the looming threat of a drought due to shortage of rains in this monsoon season and the fears of swine flu that has sparked panic in several cities. “Swine flu is not a pandemic yet; unless it goes to such proportions, there will be no impact on the job market,” says Sunit Mehra, managing partner of executive search company Hunt Partners.

Though these concerns remain, India Inc’s general mood is optimistic with the feeling that economic recovery has well and truly begun gaining traction across sectors. July’s robust car sales and industrial production figures bear out this optimism.

Globally, too, the signs are encouraging with lower-than-expected decline in the US economic growth for June quarter and a rebound to growth of the South Korean economy. “The quarter-on-quarter growth that India Inc has witnessed both in terms of revenues and profits, and the continuation of government stability, policies and commitments, have brought a more optimistic business forecast for organisations,” said Vivek Madhukar, vice-president of TimesJobs.com.

The TimesJob survey covered sectors such as IT, BPO & ITeS, engineering, logistics, healthcare, architecture, hospitality, travel & tourism, finance & accounting and sales & marketing.

India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki, which hired 300 professionals from engineering and management campuses last year, plans to take the strength of its engineers in R&D department to 1,000 by April next from around 730 now. Drugmaker Lupin, which has over 50% of its employees in India, plans to add up to 1,000 people, including medical representatives, R&D professionals, IP managers and clinical researchers
, this financial year. “Healthcare not being a discretionary spend, the industry has largely been insulated from the economic slowdown,” explains Lupin Pharma president-HR, Divakar Kaza.

Reflecting signs of recovery in IT and financial sectors, Infosys and StanChart too plan to hire thousands this year, the ET survey found. HR consulting firm Manpower’s global quarterly employment outlook survey for July-September said India has the most optimistic employment outlook globally.

“There is a slow and steady upsurge in hiring intent across sectors. The advent of new players and aggressive expansion of large telecom giants has added to the bullish outlook,” said Surabhi Mathur-Gandhi, general manager of TeamLease, a staffing solutions firm. A TeamLease study showed that the number of companies looking to hire almost doubled to 42% in the current quarter from 22% during April-June. Hiring intentions by companies had dipped by 30% q-o-q in the first quarter of 2009 and 10% in the second quarter.

The employment outlook is computed as the difference in the proportion of respondents who report an increase in hiring needs and those who report a decline in hiring needs over the previous three months. The hiring intentions reflect the movement of business outlook index that went down by 50% in the first quarter and 8% in the second quarter. For the current quarter, the business outlook is up 24%, according to TeamLease surveys.

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