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Executive hirings to drop 50% this year

business Updated: Mar 04, 2009 21:04 IST
Devraj Uchil

Economic slowdown, the phrase junior staff dreaded in 2008, would be haunting senior executives this year. The reason for this is the finding of Gallup Consulting which said 2009 would see a 50 per cent drop in senior level hiring.

With slower economic growth, companies are moving cautiously and expanding less, affecting the number of openings, especially in senior positions. MR Shantaram, chairman of the executive council of Executive Recruiters Association (ERA) said, “Recruitment situation is likely to be such that middle and junior level will see 23 per cent and 21 per cent fall, respectively. Senior level hiring will be the most hit with around 50 per cent.”

“The entry level hiring for international assignments have dropped by 60-70 per cent across the industry,” said Rajesh Kumar Dahiya, vice president, talent acquisition, group HR, Tata Services Ltd. At the same time cautious approach adopted by companies have brought in more stability and less attrition in internal staffing, resulting in lesser recruitment, he said.

The downturn is likely to last for 18-24 months, said Dahiya. The job market usually takes a 2-3 month lead, before or after any economic situation, and the recruitment situation might improve around the time accordingly.

“Staffing at Tata Group has been done cautiously so that there is no wastage of human capital. We are recruiting and it depends on the growth the group is seeing,” Dahiya said. As the growth is not very high and the group is adequately staffed, the recruitment are not likely to be high in 2009.

The survey done by Gallup on behalf of ERA — a non-profit body representing executive recruitment firms, cautioned of fall in dependency on recruitment agencies. “Presently, around 32 per cent of hiring is done through recruitment firms, which would drop to 28 per cent in 2009,” said Prashant Srivastava, MD, Gallup Consulting.

“The job of HR and recruitment professionals gets compounded during crisis,” said Nick Cox, MD, Continental Europe and Rest of World, Hays Plc, an international HR consultancy firm.