Job offers dry up as economy faces the heat

A sharp deceleration in hiring  by companies in the first quarter of this financial year has pushed the job market to an 18-month low, according to senior executives from Manpower India, Randstad, TeamLease, GlobalHunt and Futurestep, all leading hiring and staffing consultants. But the worst is yet to come, they warn, forecasting that hiring could shrink by another 2-5% next quarter. Some companies have started revising their manpower requirements downwards, they add.

A crippling combination of factors ranging from the rupee’s fall, global economic turmoil, a volatile stock market, policy paralysis, poor growth numbers and lack of investments has conspired to weaken corporate sentiment this quarter, leading to poor hiring.

“Hiring demand from clients has come down by as much as 30% when compared to 2011,” says Sanjay Pandit, MD, Manpower India, a staffing and placement firm.

“This is the worst we have seen in last six quarters,” adds Randstad MD & CEO E Balaji.

Hiring, which had peaked in March-April 2011, has since been on a roller coaster and has now hit the rock bottom. “The job market is at an 18-month low,” says Asim Handa, MD (India) for Futurestep, a Korn/Ferry company.

Another top executive at a leading placement firm says on the condition of anonymity that some companies have already started revising manpower requirements downwards. “This was not the case even in April,” he says.

“Everybody is waiting to see where the situation is headed…the current quarter is the worst in the past one-and-a-half years,” says Sangeeta Lala, senior VP, TeamLease Services.

Job market watchers say a number of factors will determine hiring next quarter: the monsoon, the state of the European markets and, of course, the state of the economy. “At best though, it will be similar to this quarter’s trends, a muted kind of growth. On the other hand, if the overall situation doesn’t improve, it can decline another 3-4% from here,” says Balaji.

Early this month, when Manpower released its quarterly employment survey, the 5,000-odd employers across industries and sectors that it spoke to maintained an optimistic outlook.

“But while the outlook and intention is there, whatever has been happening in terms of uncertainty regarding the monsoon or rupee’s decline, can have an impact on this sentiment,” Pandit says. He is, however, hopeful that since the Indian economy is still largely driven by domestic consumption, the country may see a slowdown in jobs but not a large-scale impact on hiring outlook.

“It doesn’t look good, be it across metros or even tier-II or tier-III cities. No industry is really looking to ramp up numbers; it’s mostly replacement hiring that is happening. We are expecting hiring to go down 2-5% from present levels,” says Lala of TeamLease Services.

“Right now, we are seeing the lowest point of the past six quarters. We expect the hiring outlook for the next quarter to be moderate,” says Sunil Goel, director, GlobalHunt.

Manish Sabharwal, chairman, TeamLease Services, lists out three imminent possibilities that could send the job market into a tailspin. “One, if there is a major blowout in Europe, companies in India will react; two, if interest rates go up further, eating into the margins; and three, a new non-reformer finance minister will dent the confidence of companies in India,” says Sabharwal.

Source: The Economic Times


Select hiring keeps job market alive

Amid the overall cautious market, there are sectors that are still hiring, with a slew of companies going ahead with their plans to add more people on board. It’s a mixed bag with sectors such as manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare, private equity and ecommerce looking to hire fresh talent, but others such as IT, ITeS, banking, financial services, telecom and retail going painfully slow in their hiring, say job market watchers.

Among the laggards are banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), IT and BPO. “These have mostly been affected by the global economy, especially in case of the last two, which are dependent primarily on work from abroad,” says Sangeeta Lala, senior VP, TeamLease Services.

BFSI is in trouble because besides the economic crisis, credit lending has gone down and foreign banks in particular have slowed down expansion plans, says Sunil Goel, director, GlobalHunt.

Telecom is bearing the brunt of poor policies and retail hiring has been impacted by lower buying power of the people, he adds. However, in terms of volumes, the ones leading the pack are manufacturing, engineering,real estate and hospitality. Pharmaceutical, healthcare, and life sciences are also staying ahead of the curve. “This is based on the demand as well as the fact that these sectors are relatively recessionproof. In countries like India, you need a lot of medical attention,” says E Balaji, MD and CEO, Randstad India.

“Demand is high for senior executives in areas such clinical research, medical diagnostics, hospitals and research & development activities,” says Tejinder Pal Singh, life science partner, Transearch International, a search firm. “Since a lot of such talent is in the West, companies prefer to hire people of Indian origin to head their research activities in India,” he adds.

A spokesperson for the pharmaceuticals major Ranbaxy says the company’s recruitment for 2012 is on track and aligned with the company’s overall growth plans. “We expect to attract the talent that we require for our business plans,” the spokesperson said. Auto major Maruthi Suzuki is cautious, but plans to add about 1,900 to its workforce this fiscal. The number includes campus recruits (management trainees), graduate engineers, laterals at junior and middle management levels, diploma engineers, shop-floor technicians and experienced professionals. The company’s chief operating officer (administration) S Y Siddiqui, sounds a note of caution.

“It is quite possible that the hiring plans may get affected due to the sluggish market demand,” he says. Other sectors that are still hiring include private equity, e-commerce and non-conventional renewal energy. “PE players are chasing good ventures to invest in and e-commerce is seeing a huge growth,” says Balaji. FMCG and consumer durable companies such as Samsung, Dabur and Pepsi-Co are hiring in select functions. Samsung is planning to hire in its B2B and retail (sales & marketing) divisions, according to VP-corporate HR Sanjay Bali. It will also add 45% more manpower in its R&D centres in Bangalore and Noida. The existing R&D manpower consists of about 6,000 people.

Dabur India plans to add about 400 people in its sales & distribution function, besides hiring for its three facilities set up in the last one year. Two of these are in Himachal Pradesh and one in Uttaranchal. “Although we are careful about hiring as we don’t want to go overboard. We will hire about 70 people across these three units,” said Dabur India EDHR A Sudhakar. The company had recruited only eight management trainees from various B-schools this year, compared to 16 last year.

“This number has come down primarily because the attrition rate has dropped at this level. Since the telecom and BFSI sectors are not doing too well, the talent that would earlier shift to these sectors has now stopped doing so,” he added. PepsiCo India too has gone ahead with its plans to hire for 2012. The company’s chief people officer Samik Basu said: “As of now, it’s business as usual for us. It would be too early to say if hiring will get impacted in the coming months. We have not put any freeze on hiring.”

The company has already achieved its hiring target for 2012 and will prepare its hiring strategy for 2013 in September and October. It hired 18 management trainees from B-schools this year.

A similar number was hired last year as well. Another sector that has remained slowdown-proof is education. Education solutions provider Educomp Solutions plans to hire about 1,500 people this fiscal. Says MS Venkatesh, president-group HR & people’s solutions group: The GDP growth does not have much impact on our business,” he added. The company had more than 16,500 employees as on March 2012.

Source: The Economic Times

MNCs to cut 71,000 jobs globally, including HP, Nokia and Sony

A whopping 71,000 job cuts have been announced worldwide by more than a dozen multinationals, including HP and Nokia, so far this year as they attempt to save costs amid uncertain economic environment.

The cuts have been announced by companies from various sectors, during the first six months of 2012, and those from the technology services space are the worst hit.

Companies to have confirmed massive job cuts, running into thousands of employees each, include tech giant Hewlett- Packard (HP), mobile handset maker Nokia, consumer electronic giant Sony Corp, internet company Yahoo, food and beverage maker PepsiCo, financial services entity Royal Bank of Scotland and airline firm Lufthansa.

Camera maker Olympus, Swedish ball bearing giant SKF AB, drug manufacturer Novartis AG, the Anglo-Dutch firm Unilever, computer mouse maker Logitech International, LM Wind Power and mobile network operator Verizon Wireless have also announced substantial job cuts.

Together, these companies have announced job cuts totaling 71,000 in their operations across the world. Incidentally, more than half of the job cuts have been announced in May alone.

Restructuring programme

Individually, the Anglo-Dutch food and cosmetics giant Unilever last week said it plans to cut 500 jobs in Britain as part of a restructuring programme. In addition, it would also see some posts outsourced to India.

In the same week, Nokia said it plans to reduce its workforce by about 10,000 people worldwide by the end of 2013 as the struggling company fights strong competition. The measure is aimed at additional cost savings of 1.6 billion euros (about US$2 billion) by the end of next year.

SKF also said it would slash around 400 jobs in Germany as part of cost cutting measures due to weakening business sentiment in India, China and European countries.

Announcing the job cuts earlier this month, Logitech International said it would eliminate approximately 450 positions, or 13 per cent of its worldwide workforce in a bid to save US$80 million in annual operating costs.

Olympus Corp, which employs over 40,000 employees globally, this month said it would axe 2,700 jobs worldwide, or seven per cent of its workforce, in the next two years. The move is part of the company’s effort to boost its profitability.

In May, HP said it would layoff about 27,000 employees globally over the next two years as part of restructuring move to stem up declining profits and revenues.
The tech firm said workforce reduction would generate an annual savings in the range of US$3-3.5 billion by the end of the 2014 fiscal year.

German carrier Lufthansa, which reported a loss of 379 million euros (US$479 million) in the first three months of 2012, had last month said it would cut 3,500 administrative jobs worldwide in the coming years as part of cost cutting measures.

In the same month, wind turbine blades manufacturer LM Wind Power announced plans to trim its workforce by 180 employees in the US. There were also reports last month that mobile network operator Verizon Wireless plans to cut its workforce by around 180 people in the US.

The embattled smart phone manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) also said in May that it would layoff a large number of employees this year, without specifying any number.

Electronics behemoth Sony, which has been battling years of profit losses, in April had said it will slash 10,000 jobs. Besides, the company said it would slim down its TV line in an effort to right its ailing business.

Troubled internet company Yahoo, which has nearly 14,000 employee, in April announced it would lay off 2,000 employees as part of a savings plan. The move would save USD 375 million in a year for the company.

The company has been struggling to increase its share in the internet market amid tough competition from Google and Facebook.

In February, PepsiCo said would cut 8,700 jobs globally as part of a programme to save up to US$1.5 billion by 2014 to offset high commodity costs and increased spending on advertising and marketing. Early this year, Novartis announced plans to cut 1,960 jobs in the US in a bid to curtailed the expenses.

Source: Deccan Herald

Indian CEOs more optimistic on talent availability

Notwithstanding concerns over skill shortage, Indian CEOs are more optimistic about talent availability and short-term growth prospects than their global peers, says a survey.

Management consultancy PwC’s survey found that Indian CEOs were less concerned about the availability of talent and were willing to invest in training and development.

“Indian CEOs were also more optimistic about talent availability and short-term growth prospects as compared to their global peers,” PwC said.

As many as 66 per cent of CEOs in India were very confident about having access to talent whereas globally only 30 per cent respondents felt the same way. The survey covered 1,258 CEOs across 60 countries and included 76 from India.

About 76 per cent of Indian CEOs were willing to take the onus of providing training for the available talent.

“While it is heartening to note that Indian CEO’s have expressed high confidence in their ability to find talent, it appears that they may be underestimating the extent of this challenge today,” PwC India Executive Director (Consulting) Padmaja Alaganandan said.

As per the survey, 88 per cent CEOs in India were willing to invest in improving the overall living and working conditions of the workforce compared to 55 per cent globally.

“Globally, CEOs are still positive about India and have ranked the country as the fourth most favourable nation for overall growth prospects in the next 12 months, just behind China, the US and Brazil. CEOs in India, in particular, are optimistic about their companies’ growth prospects,” Alaganandan noted.

On the other hand, globally CEOs admitted that they were unable to pursue a market opportunity due to challenges in getting the right talent.

“In India, 41 per cent of CEO’s cancelled or delayed a key strategic initiative owing to skills shortage as against 24 per cent globally,” the survey said.


Know someone, get hired

Refer a friend to the company and get rewarded with a car, an iPad, a motor cycle or cash.  Every software company has recognised the importance of employee referral and encourages their employees to bring on board more of their friends. Through this, the recruitment cycle time is cut by 15-20 per cent. Companies also need not do the mundane cross-checking of an individual’s credentials in the first round. Retention of the referred candidates was better than those coming from other recruitment means, including job portals. And, it is quite rewarding for employees who refer potential candidates.

Read More

Source: The Hindu

Infy delays campus hire joining to July 2012

Infosys has delayed bringing on board some of the 28,000 engineers hired from campuses to as late as July 2013,a visible sign of the growth engine slowing down at the Bangalorebased software exporter.Engineering graduates who were offered jobs at campus placements in August-September 2011 have started receiving their joining dates,which extend anywhere from September,2012 to July,2013.Based on business imperatives and manpower requirements,we expect our on-boarding of fresh hires to be completed by first quarter of fiscal 2014 (which ends in June,13), Infosys said in an emailed reply.For a company struggling to match industry growth rates,this move may erode its perception on campuses besides increasing investor scrutiny,especially when it is pursuing a changed strategic direction with higher focus on software products and business platforms.

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Hiring to be robust despite slowdown: Survey

Despite talks of a slowing economy, Indian companies are still looking aggressively to hire talent, said a survey conducted by a recruitment firm. It added that hiring activity is expected to be robust in the next three months in India. The survey conducted among 5,244 employers by Manpower said the highest recruitment is expected to take place in the services and financial sectors. The net employment outlook of +50% indicates that Indian employers are the most optimistic among 41 countries, said the survey. These findings come at a time when the Indian economy has been faced with sluggish growth numbers over the last few quarters and a potential ratings downgrade by S&P.

Read More

Source: The Times of india

Hiring stable in Bangalore: Naukri survey

In a reflection of the economic turmoil in the West affecting the Indian IT services sector, during May 2012, both IT- software and ITeS the largest job creators in the city have seen a marginal dip in the hiring levels compared to the previous month. The IT-services sector mainly depends on the West for its business.Despite uncertain economic conditions and low GDP growth, the overall hiring activity of Bangalore is moving at a steady pace. The Naukri Job Speak index for May 2012 is 23 per cent higher than what it was a year ago, but monthly growth has been negligible owing to a mixed hiring sentiment across sectors.

Read more

Indian MBA education needs to open up to new models: Dr Soumitra Dutta, Dean Designate, Cornell Univ.

In an interview with, prior to the 3rd Indian Management Conclave 2012, Dr. Dutta talks on the transformation of management education over last decade across the globe. He also speaks on the ‘way forward’ for management education in India.

Dr. Soumitra Dutta, Dean Designate, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, is a key speaker at 3rd Indian Management Conclave 2012 to be held in New Delhi on August 9-10. In an interview with, prior to the 3rd Indian Management Conclave, Dr. Dutta talks on the transformation of management education over last decade and its challenges in India and across the globe. He also speaks on the ‘way forward’ for management education in India.

Dr. Dutta is currently the Roland Berger Chaired Professor of Business and Technology and the founding academic director of elab@INSEAD, INSEAD’s initiative in building a center of excellence in teaching and research in the digital economy. Professor Dutta obtained his Ph.D. in computer science and his M.Sc. in business administration from the University of California at Berkeley. He has been a visiting Professor at several international universities including the University of California at Berkeley, Oxford and Cambridge. He has also authored and co-authored several books. His current research is on technology strategy and innovation at both corporate and national policy levels. His research has been showcased in the international media and he has taught in and consulted with international corporations across the world. He is a Fellow of the World Economic Forum and is on the boards of several business schools and corporations.

In this interview with, Dr. Soumitra Dutta says that a ‘research culture’ is very important to enhance academic quality in management education. He says that Indian B-schools need to open up to ‘new models’ of businesses and education.


Q: You have been associated with Top B-schools for over two decades now. How do you see the transformation in MBA education in last 10-15 years worldwide?

A: Business schools are very closely connected to not just private businesses but also governments and society at large. Hence it is only natural that their roles and missions have evolved as the environment around them has changed. For example, in light of the excesses of the recent financial crisis, business schools have started to focus more on elements of ethical leadership. Given the global challenges that society faces with respect to issues such as global warming and energy, business schools have started to reach out to other disciplines and schools as a multi-disciplinary approach is critical for addressing these important problems. As the role of the government and public-private partnerships have become more important for achieving action, business schools have also started increasing their emphasis on governments and public sector administration. Such evolutions in response to changing environments and needs will continue in the future.

Q: What are the key challenges facing Management Education globally today?

A: The key challenge facing management education is to make the move from management to leadership. In general, business schools have become very good at producing managers who are functionally competent in various management disciplines. Business schools have not been as good in producing leaders who are capable of leading both organizations and society at large. There are several reasons for this. For one, the world has become more global and many business schools still struggle with truly making their learning models and experiences global. Also, new business domains such as ethics are vital for effective leadership but they do not neatly fit within the various management disciplines. Business schools have generally excelled more at the IQ (analytical) aspects of business education as opposed to the EQ (social and emotional) aspects.

Q: How do you look at the level of global perspective in the MBA education in India? What are the similarities and differences in the MBA education in India and other western countries like US, UK?

A: India has a rich tradition of management education – especially within established players such as the IIMs and new emerging players such as ISB. While many graduates of these Indian business schools go on to build successful global careers, the global perspective within MBA education can be improved further. This is true not just for the curriculum of the programs which can benefit from more international cases but also for the composition of the student and faculty bodies at these institutions. Indian MBA education has been modelled after the successful institutions in the US and UK – but now there is a need to open up to new models. For example, Indian managers need to know much more about models of Chinese and ASEAN businesses and education.

Q: The Indian MBA education is going through a crisis where many B-schools are facing challenges on admission and placement. What are your observations on the state of MBA environment in the country?

A: The MBA environment in India is well developed and evolving – but, I do not see a major crisis. However, there are areas where improvements can be made. One important area is in encouraging more rigorous research within MBA schools. Often many of the smaller MBA schools do not have the right quality of faculty or the culture of research. Without the right culture of research, the quality of the MBA education and graduates suffers. Indian MBA schools need to admit more foreign students – this will only improve the quality of the MBA experience for all students. Placement has been a challenge for all business schools in recent years but this is a function of the global economic fragility as opposed to specific factors linked to Indian business schools.

Q: What would be your advice and suggestion to the Promoters & Directors on the way forward for the MBA Education in India? How should they develop a plan to survive & emerge stronger in next 2-3 years period?

A: We should not allow business schools to mushroom around the country when they do not have the right levels of faculty and infrastructure to provide quality learning experiences. Even though I understand that the needs of education are high in the country, I believe that we need to focus on certain minimum levels of quality. Not every MBA school can strive for the excellence of IIMs but at the same time, they do need to assure some minimum levels of quality in faculty and curriculum. If this is not followed, the MBA degree will get devalued in the market. For the top schools like the IIMs and ISB, the need for them is to focus more on research excellence and on creating a culture where research thrives and is rewarded for faculty.

Q: Many Indian Institutions such as Manipal Group are expanding globally. What role Indian Institutions can play in the global arena, especially in the emerging economies across the globe?  What would be your suggestion to Indian B-schools on becoming globally competitive?

A: It is in general a good thing when high quality Indian educational institutions expand abroad. This is one way to bring in the much needed global perspective into Indian education. Indian business schools have to focus on improving their research excellence in order to become globally competitive. If not, they will not be able to attract the best faculty worldwide and the quality of their MBA experience will suffer.

Q: You are going to take over as Dean, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University. What will be your priorities at Cornell?

A: My priority at Cornell will be to enhance the global impact of Johnson and Cornell University. Cornell and Johnson are great global brands and there is lot that can be done to both bring Johnson to the world & the world to Johnson. Cornell’s new tech campus in New York will also provide exciting new opportunities to create new programs and launch new global initiatives.

Dr. Soumitra Dutta will share international perspective and bring insights on how the learning from other countries like USA can be useful in the Indian context at the 3rd Indian Management Conclave 2012.

Deans and Directors from Top B-schools across the globe, academic thought leaders, distinguished corporate leaders, and policy makers including Dr. S S Mantha, Chairman, AICTE; Mr. R C Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India Limited; and Dr. Elieen Peacock, Vice President of Asia and Director, AACSB International will address 3rd Indian Management Conclave 2012 on August 9-10 in New Delhi. The other eminent speakers from universities overseas include Dr. Zhu Lein, Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jaiotong University, Shanghai, China; Dr. Bhaskar Chakravorti, Sr Associate Dean, The Fletcher School, Tufts University, USA; and Professor Said Irandoust, President, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand amongst others.

The key thought leaders from Indian management education domain and the industry who will address the 3rd Indian Management Conclave include Dr. Pritam Singh, Director General, International Management Institute (IMI); Dr. Bala Balachandran, Founder, Great Lakes Institute of Management; Dr. Rajan Saxena, Vice-Chancellor, NMIMS Mumbai; Savita Mahajan, Deputy Dean & CEO, ISB-Mohali; and Dr. YV Verma, Director, LG Electronics – India.  The list of key speakers also includes Dr. MJ Xavier, Director, IIM Ranchi; Dr. PY Agnihotri, Director, IIM Tiruchirappalli; and Dr. C Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor, OP Jindal Global University; Dr H Chaturvedi, Director, BIMTECH; Dr RC Natarajan, Director, TAPMI; amongst others.

For more information on the speakers, theme and to register, log on to