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New mantra: avoid layoffs, get creative

Is the time that is considered the one for layoffs and salary cuts a good one to strengthen human capital? Yes, says AIMS International, one of the world’s largest executive search firms.

business Updated: Apr 05, 2009 20:36 IST
Lalatendu Mishra

Is the time that is considered the one for layoffs and salary cuts a good one to strengthen human capital? Yes, says AIMS International, one of the world’s largest executive search firms. It believes an economic downturn is just the time to put your talent in top gear.

“Corporates should be selective while seeking the cost-cutting route,” says Rolf Heeb, president of AIMS International, which is among the top 10 headhunters in terms of billing.

Heeb, currently on a visit to Mumbai, said, “Companies need to be more creative in cost cutting and use available resources in different ways. Besides, they should not forget the element of employer branding.”

In other words, how will the word spread around about a company when there is a turnaround in the economy and it is looking for hot talent? Chances are that employer branding might suffer.

Heeb said AIMS is convincing its clients how they can be creative in retaining people than merely firing them.

AIMS itself is strengthening is base and has decided to expand in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan where it currently does not have presence.

“We want to scale-up further in terms of size, range of services and quality. This is the right time to acquire very high quality consultants. We are utilizing this time to grow and sharpen our skills,” Heeb said.

Against the global backdrop, Indian companies are better positioned as compared to developed markets, Heeb said.

Sectors like telecoms, automotives, pharmaceuticals and healthcare remain relatively unaffected even in the downturn and are showing good signs of growth, Heeb said.

The badly hit ones, of course, are retail, real estate and financial services.

“Certain industries are still hiring people. With a vast talent pool available in the country, certainly India will be benefited once the crisis is over,” Heeb said.