This is not the time to switch jobs, unless you have a compelling reason to do so. India Inc is slowing down on recruitments as the Indian economy loses steam.
Aviation, BPO and financial services, which went on a hiring spree during the economic boom, seem to have developed cold feet. Fresh recruitment in manufacturing and infrastructure has also hit a rough patch, according to industry experts.
Aviation, which is passing through a major crisis after oil prices rose to a record $145 a barrel, seem to have lost its yen for talent. Expats, who came rushing to India with the onset of low-cost airlines, have left their jobs. Retrenchment seems to be the new buzzword in the sector.
Budget carrier Go Air has cut 400 jobs in the last six months. Deccan has frozen recruitment and is reviewing its business plans due to the sudden increase in jet fuel prices.“We don’t want to hire people and then lay them off as done by some airlines,” said Hitesh Patel, Executive Vice-President, Kingfisher Airlines, which controls budget airline Deccan. In the next few days, employee salaries will also see a reduction.
“We are moving away from fixed costs to variable costs. Since January, we have frozen fresh recruitment and cut manpower by 30 per cent as we withdrew from several sectors,” said Edgrado Badiali, CEO, Go Air.
Aviation training schools, which mushroomed in anticipation of the boom, are eyeing jobs for their students in the Middle East where the industry is still growing.
The story is the same in other sectors. “The slowdown in the job market is really happening. ITeS, infrastructure, industrial manufacturing, banking and BPOs that were well recruiting last year, have taken a hit,” says James Agrawal, consulting director & head, BTI Consultants. Companies like IBM, TCS and Patni Computers have slashed jobs in their software and BPO operations.
Financial services are looking at quality recruitment and not quantity. And salary hikes are also not as good as they were.
“A 30 per cent hike in salary is the least you can expect when changing jobs. Last year, it was a minimum 50 per cent. The job scenario also depends on the position you are joining at, it is easier in the junior level,” says Shrikant Rege, CEO-India, American Express Bank Ltd.
However, the correction in the stock market, the stability of the government and the nuclear deal are making people optimistic about the economy. “After Diwali, the economy should take the upward turn,” said Prashant Khambaswadkar, head, human resource and administration, HDFC Standard Life Insurance.
(With inputs from Saurabh Turakhia)