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First jobs won’t come easy this year

business Updated: Jan 01, 2009 21:50 IST
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For students weaned on a diet of the India growth story, the job market is not exactly happening in 2009 as the enter the work-force in the new year.

Job growth is slowing and many companies are counting their surplus staff and in no mood to hire, say industry experts.

“There will be no more free lunches for students,” said Raj Bowen, managing director, India, at Personnel Decisions International, a human resource consultancy firm.

Campus recruitment, an old indicator of corporate optimism, is down.

“Because of lesser participation by corporate bodies, the period of campus recruit season has been extended from December to April-May. Earlier it used to be till mid-March,” said an official at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, who asked not to be identified.

The number of campus hirers is down to 60 this year from 200, say industry executives. The Big Four of software, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and Satyam are expected to hire 58,000 between them this year, down from 60,000 in 2008.

“Overall, there will be a drop in employment generation,” said YV Lakshminarayan Pandit, managing director of SHL, an international HR consultancy firm.

Even in venerable IIT, Mumbai, only 450 of 1,200 graduates have got offers so far, down from 450.

Rammohan Rao, dean of the Indian School of Business, said his school was trying to widen the net by bringing in more firms.

The answer to a job crunch could lie in sectors that will still see a shortage.

“For instance, sectors like insurance, healthcare support, retail, education are still seeing a shortage of available talent,” Bowen said.