Factories are producing less, exports are shrinking and prices continue to rise sharply. India is in the middle of an industrial slowdown. Companies are hamstrung by high borrowing and input costs. So, there will be fewer jobs on offer this year, right?
Wrong. Despite the deceleration in the broader economy, Indian companies are set to create more than a million jobs across various industry segments, according to various studies — news that is likely to bring cheer to job seekers planning career moves in a year when the economy appears on track for its worst growth in a decade.
However, job hunting this year, be it as a greenhorn or as a CEO, will be more about having the right skill-sets and choosing the right industry, said experts.
According to job portal Shine.com, 2013 will be significantly better than the last two years. “The year may see at least 15-20% jump in hiring — both fresh and replacement hiring,” said Amit Garg, business head, HT Digital.
Besides FMCG and retail, job opportunities are expected in consumer electronics, healthcare, hospitality and financial services. However, hiring in IT and software services are hugely dependent on global business sentiments. “Till the scenario improves, there may not be massive growth-based hiring, but attrition-effected hiring will happen,” said Garg.
Recent trends indicate better opportunities for candidates at locations beyond metros. In fact, in the last few months, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai saw a hiring ebb, while lower tier cities such as Ernakulam, Coimbatore and Baroda saw healthy hiring.
Many companies including Dabur, HUL and Godrej are seeing their rural markets growing. “To penetrate further in the hinterlands, non-metro hiring is at peak,” said Sangeeta Lala, senior vice-president at hiring agency TeamLease Services. “The trend brings cheaper staff and unexplored markets.”
The government’s recent decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail has also spurred action in the placement market. Indian Staffing Federation (ISF), the flexi-staffing industry body, is busy estimating the size of workforce required.
However, recruiters are waiting and watching. “We will watch the economy for the first three months and if all stays well, we will float the vacancies,” S Varadarajan, executive president, HR, Tata Teleservices.
But if you are looking to move, do be prepared to compromise. Tight deadlines, graveyard shifts, performance-based pay and stringent travel and reimbursement policies are the norm as employers seek to cut corners. And be prepared for the employer to get detectives to do background checks on the details stated on your resumé.
“We are working with Nasscom to verify the candidate details to stop hiring people who fake resumés,” said Nitin Bhatt, global hiring leader at Genpact LLC.
And be prepared to hit the ground running, too. “Against the earlier acclimatisation period of six months, one should become net contributor within 90 days of joining,” pointed Amit Das, senior vice-president, RPG Enterprises.
Where there is hiring, can firing be far behind? It is expected that companies will turn less sensitive towards non-performing assets. “Employees at the bottom 5% of the performance curve may face firing or deduction in salaries, if the weak economy (continues),” Das said.