The hiring trend in the private insurance firms shows an optimistic outlook in view of the proposed rise in foreign direct investment with experts predicting up to 30 per cent growth in recruitment. "The job scenario in the private insurance segment has been good and it is growing consistently, despite the costoptimisation. Hiring will rise to around 25-30 per cent from last year as more investments are likely to happen in this sector, and big players will eye more business in the country," GlobalHunt Managing Director Sunil Goel told PTI.
If the global economic conditions are better, the hiring would go by up to 40-50 per cent, Goel added. Recently, during a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, the Cabinet decided to raise FDI cap in the insurance sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent under automatic route, under which investing firms do not require prior approval from the government. Shriram Life Insurance CEO and whole time Director Manoj Kumar Jain, however, said the attrition in the industry has come down. "The total agents for the industry in 2012 fell by 9 per cent or around 2.15 lakh (including 1,600 on roll employees) compared to 3.3 lakh agents or 10 per cent in 2011.
In 2012, insurance firms have also closed more than 800 (or over 7 per cent) branches," he added. However, Jain gave a conservative forecast for 2013, saying he expects another challenging year for the life insurers as the sector is not yet out of the doldrums. Talking about capital inflow into the insurance segment if Parliament passes the hike in FDI, Jain said the total share of the private insurance players is little over Rs 25,000-26,000 crore and an additional 23 per cent FDI can bring in close to Rs 5,000 crore of fresh capital into the sector.
Web-based Policybazaar.com CEO Yashish Dahiya said there has been a constant demand for people with good sales and product acumen in the sector. The insurers are ready to lap up such people whom they think will positively contribute to the business; but on the other hand, the hiring for back office support functions like underwriting, etc, may not have seen such a constant demand as the business pie has constantly remained the same, he said. "If the FDI is raised we see demand in sales, technology and operations increase considerably as with more money the insurers would look to expand and be ready to infuse more capital in human resources as well," he pointed out.
The hiring has improved moderately by around 8-10 per cent compared to the previous year, said Aditya Narayan Mishra, President - Staffing and Director – Marketing, Randstad India. However, there is a higher demand for sales professionals and customer service representatives as companies are looking to expand into tier-II and -III cities, he said. "This sector witnessed increments in the range of 8-12 per cent, which were correlated to inflation. We may see higher incentives being doled out as a means to improve performance of the sales teams," he added. Max Bupa CEO Manasije Mishra said higher FDI would lead to expansion of distribution and deepen market penetration.
"Insurance is a people intensive business and as the sector grows, more employmentwill be generated. There will be increase in demand for people in customer service, sales, agents and other core functions of insurance," he added. TeamLease Services Senior Vice President Surabhi Mathur-Gandhi says the hiring is better than last year. "There doesn't seem to be any major noticeable change, in fact we may see a drop this year of 5-10 per cent," she said adding that hiring will continue on the context of attrition. Echoing a similar view, Rajendra Ghag, HDFC Life Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer, said hiring will remain stable this year as well. "Attrition is very high at sales executive level and hiring is mainly done as replacement," he mentioned.