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India – Temporary staffing becoming more popular at senior levels

02 August 2013

Temporary staffing in organisations for entry level positions has been long established in most industries; however it is now spreading 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 companies in India, according to Business Standard.

Ronesh Puri, managing director at Executive Access advised that these are very early days where companies are experimenting with temporary staffing and 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; such as IT, e-commerce, and functions like sales and marketing, have a high quantity of temporary workers. However, according to recruitment companies, some traditional brick and mortar companies are still conservative and hire only permanent staff.

According to a recent study human resources consulting firm Team Lease, temporary and permanent salaries have been converging over the last few years. The study reported that gap between the two has almost diminished.

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

"At times it take time to get someone who fits into the [job] 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 [otherwise] it can be suicidal for the organisation. Hence the need for 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.

Satya D Sinha, CEO of MANCER Consulting said: “[It] is a gradual structural shift in the economy, which has lead to increases in temporary staffing across all level in various industries. Today very few companies can afford to make long term (10 years) strategies as survival depends on understanding the short term fluctuations and changing itself accordingly.”

In addition to the traditional temporary recruiters in the IT and Information Technology-based Services (ITeS) sectors, recruiters point that others sectors have also warmed up to this idea. According to Mr Sinha sectors; such as Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), consumer durables, e-Commerce and pharmaceuticals, are bullish about temporary staffing at senior management level.

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