After mostly disappointing trends in 2013, the job market in India is looking quite promising in the new year and experts believe that the worst may be over on hiring front and the employees can even look forward to double-digit salary hike of at least 10-12 per cent in 2014.
Notwithstanding the continuing impact of global macro-economic situation and the concerns surrounding India, be it elections or economic slowdown, most of the experts and HR consultancy firms are unanimous that recruitment outlook for the country in 2014 looks bullish.
The sectors that are likely to drive the job market include IT, healthcare, education, development sector moreover the new retail banking licences are also expected to give a decent hiring trend in year 2014.
"Overall looks like the worst is over for the job market and we are entering a zone of another 2-3 years of positive growth if not more," Naukri.com Business Head V Suresh said.
Echoing similar sentiments, TeamLease Services Senior Vice President and Co-Founder Sangeeta Lala said "in 2013, hirings went slow across mid and senior levels, recruitments were done only to replace 'key' gaps.
However, 2014 seems promising and many are forecasting elections to bring us out of this grey guessing phase."
Corporates should come out of the closet and take a stance to grow out of their shells and invest into business again, automatically leading to talent search, she added.
In the year gone by, the job market in India was not driven by global economies, it was more domestic in nature and there was a cautious optimism among employers as hiring was more specific and need based.
"Companies wanted a clear ROI on every hire, quality triumphed over quantity, selection ratios increased, candidates who could hit the road immediately were preferred, negotiations were hard and long drawn, bonus packages (joining bonus, notice period buy outs) were measured," Lala said.
The job market in India started to head North in the later part of 2013. Moreover, revival in the US labour market would mean an increase in the discretionary spends across the IT space which in turn would have a positive impact on the hiring prospects in the IT/ITES sector in 2014.
According to the Employment Outlook Survey by workforce solutions major ManpowerGroup, Indian employers are expecting a brisk hiring pace for the January-March period, especially in mining, construction and services sector.
Moreover, India has also emerged one of the most optimistic nations in the world in terms of hiring plans for the next three months.
With signs of global recovery and signs of positivity in the job market, it's important for companies to attract, retain and motivate high performers. Experts are expecting slightly better increments than 2013 in the coming year.
And employees with good potential and performance will get differentiated significantly, going forward through innovative compensation and benefits, they believe.
"There will be a salary hike in double digit and there will be salary hike of 10-12 per cent," GlobalHunt MD Sunil Goel said but cautioned that the pay hikes would be restricted to above average performers where top performer will be paid higher and below average performer would be paid low increments.
The traditional sectors would see higher increments however, service sectors (hotels, hospitality, telecom, banks) are likely to be a hit on increments given it is a low performing, high attrition segment.
According to Srikanth Rengarajan- Executive Director and President, ManpowerGroup India, "Middle to senior level professionals can expect salary increases between 10 per cent to 15 per cent and bonuses may increase up to 20 per cent".
The top talent would be seeing their pay packets rise up by an average 14.3 per cent, whereas for others, the average salary increment is expected to be at 9.8 per cent, Rengarajan said.
According to experts, social media and job boards would be a significant source of talent in 2014 for white collar jobs and for jobs in urban cities, where candidates have ample internet access.
While, referrals, job fairs and networking would continue to draw the most attention for the larger masses looking for jobs in the smaller cities or without the online access to job opportunities.