Job offers dry up as economy faces the heat

NEW DELHI | KOLKATA: A sharp deceleration inhiring by companies in the first quarter of this financial year has pushed the job market to an 18-month low, according to senior executives fromManpower India, Randstad, TeamLease, GlobalHunt and Futurestep, all leading hiring and staffing consultants. But the worst is yet to come, they warn, forecasting that hiring could shrink by another 2-5% next quarter. Some companies have started revising their manpower requirements downwards, they add.

A crippling combination of factors ranging from the rupee’s fall, global economic turmoil, a volatile stock market, policy paralysis, poor growth numbers and lack of investments has conspired to weaken corporate sentiment this quarter, leading to poor


“Hiring demand from clients has come down by as much as 30% when compared to 2011,” says Sanjay Pandit, MD, Manpower India, a staffing and placement firm.

“This is the worst we have seen in last six quarters,” adds Randstad MD & CEO E Balaji.

Hiring, which had peaked in March-April 2011, has since been on a roller coaster and has now hit the rock bottom. “The job market is at an 18-month low,” says Asim Handa, MD (India) for Futurestep, a Korn/Ferry company.

Another top executive at a leading placement firm says on the condition of anonymity that some companies have already started revising manpower requirements downwards. “This was not the case even in April,” he says.

“Everybody is waiting to see where the situation is headed…the current quarter is the worst in the past one-and-a-half years,” says Sangeeta Lala, senior VP, TeamLease Services.

Job market watchers say a number of factors will determine hiring next quarter: the monsoon, the state of the European markets and, of course, the state of the economy. “At best though, it will be similar to this quarter’s trends, a muted kind of growth. On the other hand, if the overall situation doesn’t improve, it can decline another 3-4% from here,” says Balaji.

(curtsey: economic times)

Rupesh Yatesh Dalal
Head Research Department

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