2013 Hiring: Some Open Their Doors Wide, Others Stay Shut

Sectors like retail and FMCG are gung-ho about recruitment, especially in sales and marketing functions. Healthcare hiring too is expected to ride industry expansion. BFSI and auto, however, remain cautious

The hiring outlook and the growth of jobs in the new year will be a mixed bag, reflecting the performance of various sectors in the year gone by.
Companies in sectors like fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), retail, healthcare and pharmaceuticals remain optimistic and will continue to hire in increasing numbers next year, but banking and financial services, information technology-enabled services (ITeS) and automobiles are likely to create fewer jobs with companies continuing with a cautious and conservative approach towards new hires.
Hiring is estimated to continue unabated in FMCG, often referred to as a slowdownproof sector. “The growth is expected to continue in the medium-to-long term given the broad-based consumption and rising consumer incomes,” says Ashutosh Telang, VP & HR head at Marico. Marico, says Telang, will continue to invest in new talent ahead of the growth curve in the coming year and there will be no significant changes in the company’s fresher/lateral hiring mix. At Godrej Consumer Products, the growth in manpower headcount in India over last year will be in the range of 3% to 4%. “Demand will primarily go up for functions in sales and marketing and R&D in the FMCG sector,” says Rahul Gama, EVP, HR at Godrej Consumer Products.
Sales and marketing profiles will be in demand in consumer durables too. Samsung is looking at an over 20% manpower growth in these functions in 2013. About 25% of the full-year recruitment will take place in the first quarter of the coming year and recruitments will be focused on functions like retail and distribution sales, and roles in digital marketing and their enterprise business. “As consumer durables companies look towards expanding their distribution, I expect recruitments to go up in sales functions,” says Sanjay Bali, VP, corporate HR at Samsung.
Developments like foreign direct investment in retail are expected to lead to substantial job opportunities in the sector, but the lack of trained manpower and staff will continue to be major challenges. “We are expecting across-the-board growth in demand in retail, but this would also be the sector with the maximum number of challenges in hiring,” says Sangeeta Lala, cofounder and VP at TeamLease Services. “The lack of sufficient coverage of food retail and practical inputs in the graduate and post graduate-level courses requires investments in training, which will lead to longer lead times in getting people ready,” says Ramesh Mitragotri, chief people officer at Aditya Birla Retail. Aditya Birla Retail plans to create around 2,000 new job opportunities in financial year 2013-14, an increase of 22% over last year, says Mitragotri. “The overall growth and entry into a number of formats like speciality and cash and carry will depend on the same pool of people for hiring. Therefore there will be intense competition.”
Aditya Birla Retail will also concentrate on training fresh graduates and postraduates in the coming year for roles that traditionally see lateral hiring. The company will hire around 350 professionals in the first quarter and about 75% to 80% of the hiring in this quarter and the next will be for fresh hires. Jobs and manpower growth in healthcare is expected to be 20% to 22%, compared with 14% in 2012, estimates Umapathy Panyalla, CEO of Apollo Hospital in Bangalore and regional head in Karnataka. “The increase is due to expansion plans and robust growth expected in the industry. FDI in healthcare will also drive up competition,” he says. Lateral to fresher hiring, he adds, will remain at around 40:60, and firms will have to change their hiring strategy to look at tie-ups with colleges and agencies for fresher and lateral recruitments.
It’s a challenging time for sectors like BFSI, which have been severely affected by the slowdown. Anuranjita Kumar, country human resources officer at Citi India expects the hiring outlook in 2013 to be largely stable or decline marginally in the absence of aggressive hiring by most large companies in the sector. “Companies will continue to reengineer processes and embrace technology to enhance sales effectiveness, productivity and controls,” she says. In 2012, the headcount at Citi India grew by about 8% and Kumar expects to maintain the same level of talent growth in 2013. The company will focus on client-facing roles for retail banking, besides operations, finance and technology.
ITeS, on the other hand, is likely to see flat manpower growth in the coming year with an increased emphasis on lateral and specialised hiring in the first few quarters. “Companies have been sitting on large fresher hiring and will have budget cuts in the new year. They will be looking at lateral hiring because clients will demand specialised skills that will have to be delivered in lesser turnaround time,” says R Elango, HR head at MphasiS. SapientNitro India will ramp up hiring by 15% to 18% next year. “The percentage figures are in line with 2012,” says Prashant Bhatnagar, director, hiring and staffing, SapientNitro India.

Source: Times of India

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