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

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