It may rain jobs in the country this year, as the government's policies for "achche din (good days)" and signs of an end to a long industrial downturn are likely to whip up an appetite to hire across several sectors in corporate India.
Headhunters, who spent at least three years in relative wilderness, are seeing a rosy mood as green shoots appear in manufacturing and services alike.
The Narendra Modi government's growth push is expected to boost hiring by at least 25% and it may go up to 40% in 2015 over the previous year, say recruitment industry executives.
The hot sectors for hiring are banks, financial services, insurance, defence, healthcare, information technology, media, hospitality, travel and professional services.
"Political and economic stability is going to have a very positive impact. There could be as high as 40% growth in hiring in some of these sectors," said Bhavishya Sharma, director of Athena Executive Search, an executive search firm.
"Also, insurance and defence sectors will see a rise in executive-level hiring with the introduction of new foreign direct investment (FDI) policies as we anticipate a large number of multinational organisations to start their India operations."Other sectors that will be at the forefront are banking, financial services and core sectors where the increase in hiring would be more than 25%, followed by sectors like auto, software and information technology.
"This is based on the assumption that we will be able to meet the expected GDP (a measure of the value of goods and services produced in the country) growth rate of 6.5% in the 2015-16 fiscal. And if GDP growth reaches 7-8% in coming 3-4 years, about 9-10 million jobs could be created," said Pankaj Bansal, chief executive officer of PeopleStrong, an HR consultancy firm.
The government has eased foreign direct investment norms in the insurance and defence sectors to 49%, while the RBI has granted licences to new private banks and is in the process of granting licences to "small payment banks".
According to Indian Staffing Federation, a body of private employment agencies, hirings would grow 12% in the first six months of 2015.
Recent surveys by various human resources firms echoed similar trends.
The Employment Outlook Survey by workforce solutions major ManpowerGroup says Indian employers are expecting a brisk hiring pace for the January-March period. The country has also emerged as one of the most optimistic nations in the world in terms of hiring plans for the next three months.
While the figures for December are still awaited, the Naukri Job Speak Index for November 2014 showed a 13% hiring growth on a year-on-year basis.
Also, the index has seen a significant rise in hiring activity since the beginning 2014, while momentum picked up significantly after May.
In addition, the emphasis of the government on the manufacturing sector is expected to create 100 million jobs in the next 10 years in the manufacturing, mining and infrastructure sectors.