Higher salaries, challenges lure workforce to temping

Written by Diksha Dutta | Diksha Dutta | New Delhi | Updated: May 2 2012, 07:59am hrs
Higher salary, challenging work profile and increasing importance of temporary jobs is leading youngsters to leave their permanent jobs in the corporate sector and join temping or staffing companies.

Asha D souza, for one, recently left her job at Accenture to join Synova, a consulting company that also helps big organisations with temporary staff. I got a 30% salary hike after joining Synova, which would not have been possible if I joined another company with the same profile. I was looking for a different working profile, that too with different companies, says D'souza.

After six years of working in three permanent jobs, Dsouza realised that temping was a good option to make her career more challenging, of course coupled with bigger bucks.

Salaries of temporary workforce in India are booming and the gap between packages of temps and permanent staff is shrinking. Sangeeta Lala, vice-president, TeamLease Services, India's largest staffing company, says: Two years back, there was 12-15% salary difference between temps and permanent staff of companies. But now it has come down to 4-5%. While the temporary salaries have been increasing at 14-15% year-on-year, permanent staff has been experiencing a 10% average salary hike.

The temporary staffing team at Teamlease has reached 70,000 employees from 58,000 in 2008. Usually such companies like Teamlease, Manpower, GTL, Synova keep shifting their staff from one organisation to another whenever the concerned client needs workforce. HR experts confirmed that all big companies like IBM, Maruti Suzuki, Bharti Airtel, ICICI have been increasing their temporary staff salaries in recent times.

Aparna P Ranadive, head, human resources and administration (HyperCITY), agrees: The salary range of temporary staff varies, and it could be at par with that of permanent employees, at some levels in the hierarchy, especially at the lower end of the pyramid.

Basudev Mukherjee, executive director, Indian Staffing Federation (ISF) says: The size and scope of the staffing industry is at a very nascent stage. Today, the organised temping industry has 6 lakh employees and it stretches across manufacturing, consumer durables, retail and the automobile sector. Internationally, temps get higher salaries than in India and follow policy of equal work and equal pay.

Some companies believe that they have to spend the same to hire talent, whether temporary or permanent.

Ashu Malhotra, senior vice-president , human resources, Tulip Telecom, adds: We have temporary staff for many projects like the West Bengal government call centre work, which has 1,700 employees and the NIC Vidhan Sabha project employing 1,300 people. It is a misnomer that temporary staff salaries are low. If you hire any talent today, you have to pay him as per the market standards.

Other sectors like retail or telecom might pay temporary staff as high as permanent staff. Sectors like IT might even pay temps more. Poornima B, president, Synova Innovative Technologies, says: We feel that the IT sector pays temporary staff even higher as it needs niche talent for specific jobs and would not like to hire them permanently. Typically, temporary staff would be paid a lakh higher than permanent staff in the IT sector.