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India – Recruiters report slow hiring activities

11 June 2013

Bucking the general trend, employment in India between April and June has remained flat. What is usually considered an employment ‘springtime’, the expected 15-20% growth in employment has failed to materialise.

Commenting in the Economic Times India, managing director of Indian recruiter ABC Consultants, Shiv Agrawal said, “We are not bullish at all about the next few quarters and there is no indicator to say things will be better. We should gear up for jobless growth as both replacement and new hiring has stopped.”

Aditya Narayan Mishra from Chennai-based Randstad India also commented that “these months have a natural tendency to look up, but this time the mood is not there and business will not increase the way we had expected.” According to the Economic Times India, Randstad India has recorded nearly a 10% drop in ‘openings’ compared with the same period last year.

These comments appear to support the recently released Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, which, despite acknowledging the weakest Indian forecast since Q3 2005, has reported that the weaker demand has not been accompanied by a corresponding anticipated decline in payrolls. None of the Indian employers surveyed intend to reduce their workforces in the coming three months.

ManpowerGroup India attributes some of the downturn in hiring to the ongoing contraction of the country’s once-burgeoning business process outsourcing industry. An employment hurdle acknowledged by the report is an on-going skills shortage despite more than a quarter of employers surveyed indicating they will add staff in the next three months, they anticipate difficulties in finding applicants with the necessary skill-set.

The recruitment firm Futurestep India does not expect any significant rise in hiring attributing current opportunities to incremental growth and replacement hiring. Sreenivasa R Yadavilli, managing director of Futurestep India added that “not a single sector is looking up and all seem to be in the wait-and-watch mode.”

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