Steep Jump in Hir­ing Ex­pected in Q1

The Economic Times - - Careers: The Fast Track -

Sreer­adha D Basu & Rica Bhat­tacharyya

Mum­bai: In­dia’s job market is showing signs of recovery from the lows hit in the af­ter­math of de­mon­eti­sa­tion, and re­cruit­ment firms ex­pect up to 50% jump in hir­ing in the next quar­ter com­pared to Novem­berDe­cem­ber lev­els.

Re­cruit­ment and staffing firms such as TeamLease Ser­vices, ABC Con­sul­tants, Quess Corp, An­tal In­ter­na­tional, Peo­pleStrong and The Head­Hun­ters said hir­ing man­dates have started com­ing back from com­pa­nies across sec­tors such as bank­ing, con­sumer, in­fras­truc­ture, re­tail and engi­neer­ing, which had sus­pended or cut back on hir­ing af­ter the gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion to dele­galise about 86% of cur­rency in cir­cu­la­tion led to a se­vere cash crunch across the coun­try.

“We will be back with a bang in the AprilJune quar­ter. Hir­ing will shoot up by as much as 50% com­pared to de­mon­eti­sa­tion lows, led by agri-re­lated in­dus­tries,” said Joseph Deva­sia, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at ex­ec­u­tive re­cruit­ment firm An­tal In­ter­na­tional.

Hir­ing ex­perts say be­sides re­tail and FMCG, com­pa­nies in most other sec­tors in- clud­ing re­tail, con­sumer goods, durables, lo­gis­tics, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, bank­ing and auto are also re­turn­ing to the job market.

“About 90% of the re­cruiters we are speak­ing to are bullish on hir­ing,” Deva­sia said.

He said that af­ter a dry spell in Novem­ber-De­cem­ber due to un­cer­tainty over the im­pact of de­mon­eti­sa­tion on the econ­omy and var­i­ous busi­nesses, the job market started pick­ing up Jan­uary on­wards with im­prove­ments in liq­uid­ity and con­sumer spend­ing.

Gu­ruprasad Srini­vasan, pres­i­dent, peo­ple and ser­vices, at Quess Corp, said the firm’s hir­ing man­dates have seen in­creased 10-15% in the last cou­ple of weeks com­pared to the de­mon­eti­sa­tion lows. “We ex­pect this to go up to 40% in the com­ing quar­ter,” he said. The Man­power Em­ploy­ment Out­look Sur­vey of 5,089 In­dian em­ploy­ers in the Oc­to­ber-De­cem­ber quar­ter had in­di­cated a likely growth in pay­rolls in all four re­gions and seven in­dus­try sec­tors in the last quar­ter of 2016 with nearly a third of em­ploy­ers look­ing to add to their pay­rolls. Af­ter de­mon­eti­sa­tion, how­ever, the bulk of all hir­ing came to a stand­still with em­ploy­ers go­ing into wait-and-watch mode.

Search firms now ex­pect hir­ing to pick up across all lev­els, from en­try level to se­nior post, as there are some pent-up de­mands too.

“Dur­ing Novem­ber till mid-Jan­uary, most com­pa­nies had tem­po­rar­ily sus­pended hir­ing or put it on the back­burner to fire­fight the im­me­di­ate im­pact (of de­mon­eti­sa­tion) and meet rev­enue tar­gets for the quar­ter and yearend. Those man­dates are now com­ing back,” said Kris Lak­sh­mikanth, CEO at The Head Hun­ters In­dia. He ex­pects nearly 40% in­crease in mid-level hir­ing man­dates in the first quar­ter of the next fis­cal.

Re­cruiters across the board are largely of the be­lief that bar­ring a few sec­tors such as real estate and lux­ury, which are yet to re­cover from the de­mon­eti­sa­tion blues, things are broadly look­ing pos­i­tive.

In the case of in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, whi- le over­all hir­ing has slowed down due to US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s pro­tec­tion­ist stance, com­pa­nies work­ing in new ar­eas such as dig­i­tal and mo­bil­ity tech­nolo­gies are bullish on hir­ing for those roles.

Sec­tors such as pay­ment banks as well as lo­gis­tics will also be pos­i­tive on hir­ing, said Ri­tu­parna Chakraborty, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent at Teamlease Ser­vices. Pankaj Bansal, CEO at Peo­pleStrong, said im­pact of de­mon­eti­sa­tion or Trump on the job market was not se­vere. “There is stress and un­cer­tainty in the en­vi­ron­ment but it has not led to any real ma­jor hit on the hir­ing by com­pa­nies,” he said, adding that net job ad­di­tions in 2017-18 will be at the same level com­pared to 2016-17.

Shiv Agrawal, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at ABC Con­sul­tants, said last year’s good mon­soon helped keep the im­pact of de­mon­eti­sa­tion on job market min­i­mal. “It ex­plains why, while the ini­tial pe­riod was chaotic, peo­ple were back to their nor­mal be­hav­iour soon enough,” he said.

Agrawal ex­pects that com­pa­nies will re­cruit more peo­ple in the April-June quar­ter than they did a year ear­lier. Apart from the usual sec­tors, jobs in road­ways and high­ways are also look­ing up, he said.

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