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'The days of 20-30% salary hikes are gone'

Last updated on: January 21, 2013 13:19 IST

'The days of 20-30% salary hikes are gone'

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Job seekers, brace yourself for a tough 2013!

For all we know, 2013 could emerge as a difficult year for fresh graduates churned out by thousands of colleges and universities in India. But then again there will always be opportunities for those who work hard, believes Sangeeta Lala, co-founder and vice president of staffing company TeamLease.

A recent report published by TeamLease and Indian Institute of Job Training on the trends in India's job market has predicted stagnant hiring till March 2013. To understand the job and salary trend that might prevail in the rest of 2013 for experienced job seekers as well as fresh graduates, Rediff.com in an e-mail interaction asked Lala to do some crystal gazing.

Here are the main highlights of the interview:

  • Companies to maintain a fine balance between performance and productivity of people
  • Permanent hiring is the first to get affected in a downturn
  • Opportunities are most available in sales, customer service space
  • Demand in areas of content development, research analysts, cloud computing, CAD/ CAM design specialists is increasing
  • Job creation continues to be in metros and tier 1 cities
  • Salaries would see a trend in moving to variable components and pay-for-performance in the next months
  • Salary hikes are converging to global levels and anticipated to be sub 10 per cent for achievers
  • Advice to fresh graduates: If you fit in and work smart, the rewards would follow

Click NEXT for the complete interview


Photographs: Rediff Archives

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'Economy is keenly looking to BFSI shaping up to a stable count'

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Though the TeamLease-IIJT Employment Outlook Report suggests a weak first quarter of CY 2013 do you see this trend changing or continuing for the rest of the year?

The hiring outlook presents a contrasting picture of growth and deceleration as businesses strive to sustain their steady state of business, while focusing on net margins and productivity within the organisation. Hiring activity is usually flat in the first quarter of calendar year with tapering upwards by mid-year. However, we do not expect any big surprise in the latter half of the year; it would be gradual growth.

Which sectors do you see taking the lead in hiring this year and which sectors will lag?

Needless to mention that companies would navigate very carefully in the months to come and try to maintain a fine balance between performance and productivity of people. However, traditional industries like manufacturing, engineering should show some stability, as would IT, retail and possibly infrastructure.

BFSI (Banking, financial services and insurance) as a sector was negatively hit in the past years, so the economy is keenly looking to BFSI shaping up to a stable count in the next quarters to come.


Image: An employee speaks on his mobile phone as he walks inside Axis Bank's corporate headquarters in Mumbai
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

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'Salary trend moving to variable components and pay-for-performance'

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What kind of jobs will India Inc create this year? What will be the nature of these jobs as in will there be more permanent than temporary jobs or vice versa?

Perm(anent) and temp(orary) nature of a job is increasingly becoming less critical at the majority mass levels of hiring. With the supply of freshers, MBAs, engineers every year and the alarming situation of employability, candidates are keen to break the barrier of unemployment quickly. The past 18 months have given us some indication that permanent hiring is the first to get affected in a downturn whereas temps continue to run the regular activity cycles.

Talking about fresh graduates which sector do you think will create more job opportunities for them this year?

It is unlikely that additional jobs would be created at the same pace as the coming out of freshers in the job market. Opportunities are most available in sales, customer service space; as much as these jobs bring in quick recognition and growth, these jobs are as most strenuous and target driven.

What kind of salary trends do you foresee in 2013 as India, on the one hand, faces international headwinds and on the positive side reforms are getting implemented on the ground?

Salary is an area which would see a trend in moving to variable components and pay-for-performance in the next months. The days of 20-30 per cent increments are gone for most of Corporate India. Salary hikes are converging to global levels and anticipated to be sub 10 per cent for achievers, niche talent and long-term employees. The rest would just need to invest hard to fuel productivity and recognition in the times to come.


Image: A bank employee counts currency notes at a cash counter inside a bank
Photographs: Jayanta Dey/Reuters

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'Stay connected and stay flexible'

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What are the skills that will be in focus in 2013?

Sales, marketing, customer support, information technology always are the most in-demand, followed by engineering, production and finance. Demand in areas of content development, research analysts, cloud computing, CAD/ CAM design specialists is increasing.

Will the jobs created in 2013 be scattered around the country or will job creation be city and town specific?

Job creation continues to be in metros and tier 1 cities; organisations seek people from smaller towns and cities to fulfil their demands in the larger ones; it helps in economies of scale, growth and management of workforce in a consolidated setup.

What will be your advice for fresh graduates who will be looking for jobs? Dos and don'ts when they go job-hunting...

The two most important drivers would be to stay connected and stay flexible. There is a gaping mismatch to jobs and quality candidates in today's labour market, so a huge amount of networking and maximising the chances of the right job would help a new job seeker.

The person also needs to be open to a job, for the career progression, growth, learning and contribution potential than be inflexible on structures of pay, location and grade. If you fit in and work smart, the rewards would follow!


Image: Students of a graduating class from one of India's colleges
Photographs: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters
Tags: CAD , CAM

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