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Business Standard survey paints bleak picture

Says a mood of caution amongst employers sets the tone for recruitment in the coming six months

Pradeesh Chandran  |  Bangalore 

Bangalore-based job search and career portal focused on senior professionals' hiring, in a study to understand the job market in the country, said just 51% of employers expect to increase their headcount, after backfilling for attrition, by March 31, 2013.

As per the HeadHonchos’ Management Hiring Perspective Report 2012 study, a mood of caution amongst employers sets the tone for recruitment in the coming six months, with hiring in some industries being offset by a headcount freeze. The hiring outlook is even more subdued in the case of senior hiring, raising concerns on the future growth plans of India Inc.

Of the 51% who anticipate an increase in headcount in their organisations  87% expect to grow the total employee strength by 6-20%. However, these gains are offset to an extent by a stagnant headcount or active downsizing among the remaining 49% of employers.

Speaking of the findings, Uday Sodhi, CEO, said: “Weaker hiring plans for mid-management and senior positions signal a cautious approach amongst corporates, especially when supported by the opinion of professionals. An interesting development as we ride out the economic cycle is a proactive approach by corporates and senior professionals to effectively counter the environment.”

The study targeted at employers and their hiring plans, between October 2012 and March 2013, said, nearly 23% of the employers plan to keep their employee strength at the present levels till the end of the fiscal year. Meanwhile, around 26% of the surveyed employers expect to actively reduce headcount before March 2013.
The portal also said that a substantial 36% of employers have reduced their hiring projections at the senior management levels and 33% of employers have lowered projections at mid-management levels.

Professionals from the pharma and the FMCG Industries have strong confidence in their respective industries, with over 6% of pharma professionals and 90% of FMCG professionals expect positive industry growth.

According to the report, telecom industry which is experiencing serious troubles, 28%  of senior telecom professionals believe there will be downsizing in the sector indicating that hard times lie ahead. Other industries in which professionals could witness a downsizing are entertainment and media, at 19%, BFSI 15% and real estate 13% respectively.

“We are closely watching the hiring trends and sentiments in this crucial segment as they reflect business confidence and map the intent of corporate India,” he added.

Compared to the larger metros, professionals in the smaller towns as well as Kolkata are more bullish on industry hiring and growth rates. About 58% of the respondents in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities expect active hiring compared to 51% across India and 49% in the 3 cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.

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First Published: Tue, October 30 2012. 18:00 IST