ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company is hiring close to 300 people every month. The life insurance arm of the country’s largest private-sector lender does it not to expand workforce, but to maintain its strength, as almost a similar number of staffers keeps leaving every month.
“We believe that the insurance sector is under-penetrated,” said Judhajit Das, chief of human resources of the company. “There is an opportunity for profitable growth by serving our customers with the right products that meet their needs. Hence, we never stopped replacement hiring,” he told Business Standard.
The life insurer, functioning since 2000, currently has 13,500 employees. According to senior executives of the company, the current attrition rate of around 25 per cent is in line with the industry average, but unlike most other insurers in the country, ICICI Prudential was making fresh recruitment to replace the employees who left the company.
The average attrition in the “frontline” or junior level staff is as high as 40 per cent, they added. The company has introduced new rewards and recognitions programme to arrest the growth in its attrition rate at the junior level. “We intend to keep the headcount in the range of 13,000-14,000 as of now. Hence, the replacement hiring will continue,” Das said.
According to staffing consultancy firm Mercer, employees in the insurance sector are expected to receive salary increase of around 11 per cent this year. It also expects that maximum hiring will be witnessed in the insurance sector along with chemical and manufacturing industries.
The insurer’s parent, ICICI Bank, has also seen a churn in its employee count in recent months. The bank’s employee base was reduced by 1,300 people in October-December period.
This was the first such significant decline in the bank’s staff strength in two years.
ICICI Bank closed calendar year 2011 with 57,733 employees compared with 59,033 as of September 2011.
For ICICI Prudential the employee base has remained steady at the current level in the past couple of years.