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Companies look to hire temp staff for management posts

HR experts say temp staff to soon become common practice among Indian companies

M Saraswathy  |  Mumbai 

Temp staffing in organisations for entry level positions may be a norm in most industries. But this has now spread to mid and senior management positions as well. Human resource experts said with the instances of having temporary personnel for management positions beginning to increase, it will soon become a common practice among in India.

Ronesh Puri, MD, Executive Access said that these are very early days where are experimenting with temp staffing/interim management in India.

"Overseas it's very common and popular, however in India it is just a starting. This is a trend that will catch on more because it is a win-win situation for the organisation," said Puri.

Industry experts said that sectors like IT, e-commerce and functions like sales and marketing have a high quantity of temp workers. However, some traditional brick and mortar companies, say recruiters, are still conservative and hire only permanent staff.

The salaries of temp and permanent staff is also coming, which is another factor for the rise in temp jobs. According to a recent study human resources consulting firm Team Lease, the temp and permanent salaries have been converging since the last few years. The study added that now the margin of difference between the two has almost diminished, adding that sales and marketing jobs have been predominantly on the temp landscape.

Indian Staffing Federation has also earlier said that Flexi Staffing industry in India is growing at a pace of 10-15% year-on-year and this trend is likely to continue in the coming years. It added that according to the available industry data, there are around 1.3 million working in the organised sector though prominently dominated by unorganised players.

"At times it take times to get someone who fits into the shoot for long term and one cannot afford to have a vacuum at this position, there need to be someone who is more credible in business else it can be suicidal for the organization. Hence the need for the Interim Management is increasing these days as there is lot of competition in the market and one needs to be very active and alert to maintain the status and brand of the organisation," said Puri.

With the increase in volatility in the economy, temp staffing has further been given a push, say consultants. Satya D Sinha, CEO, MANCER Consulting said that there is a gradual structural shift in the economy, which has lead to increase in temp staffing across all level in various industries.

Sinha said that flexi-staffing at CXO level is also on the rise due to challenging economic environment and regulatory dynamics.

"Today very few can afford to make long term (10 years) strategies as survival depends on understanding the short term fluctuations and changing itself accordingly," he said.

Apart from the IT-ITeS sectors, recruiters point that others sectors have also warmed up to this idea. Sinha mentioned that sectors like FMCG, consumer durablea, e-Commerce and pharma are bullish about temp staffing at senior management level.

"The trend is also seen in start-ups to hire C-suite to get experience hands to work on building stage," he said.

Unlike in temp staffing at entry or mid level, interim staffs at senior level are highly skilled and more responsible. Sinha informed that these temporary leaders are also supported by a dedicated permanent team with strong domain knowledge and clear responsibilities.

A comparative analysis of the five TeamLease annual salary primers released between 2008 and 2012 showed that the gap between average temporary (temp) and permanent (perm) salaries has narrowed over the last five years. The difference nearly five years ago was in excess of 8%. It said that the temp staffing industry continued to clock double digit growth (between going up to 20%) year on year, in terms of salary hike, the 2008-09 recession being the only aberration.

First Published: Fri, August 02 2013. 11:21 IST