To drive expansion, cos resort to hiring seniors

Written by Diksha Dutta | Diksha Dutta | Kirtika Suneja | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 10 2011, 15:47pm hrs
India Inc is back to aggressive hiring for senior positions to drive growth. Industry analysts said that in the last six months the demand for senior executives senior vice-president and above with 15-20 years of experience has seen a rise of around 12-15%. Though the last 18 months have seen increased hiring by companies, it has been mostly confined to entry and mid-management levels. However, interestingly, the increased hiring is not accompanied by commensurate rise in remuneration, which is more realistic today than in the recent past.

For instance, before the 2008 slowdown, the average hike for senior-level executives while switching jobs was around 50% but now it has come down to 30%.

The trend is seen across sectors and verticals and analysts said that the main reason driving the increased hiring is the expansion drive by a majority of companies. For instance, to drive their expansion plans several companies have hired entry to mid-management employees and now require sufficient senior-level executives to structure them into proper verticals.

Confirming the increased hiring at top levels, E Balaji, CEO of HR consulting firm Ma Foi said, Hiring at senior levels has increased 12-15% between January and July this year and is driven by healthcare, biotechnology and infrastructure companies.

According to online job portal Monster.coms managing director (India/ Middle East/ South East Asia), Sanjay Modi, The overall expansion in headcount has made companies expand the top layer. The bottom of the pyramid with up to three years of experience has increased due to new business launches in the last six to eight months. Hence, people with more than 15 years of experience or senior people are also being hired.

NV Tiger Tyagarajan, CEO and president at the countrys largest BPO, Genpact, had earlier told FE: We are looking for new leaders to strengthen our verticals. We are more focused at adding people to our thought leadership team.

James Agrawal, consulting director and head at executive search firm BTI consultants corroborated the trend. The companies are now back on their growth path and need leaders to manage this. In the last 8-12 months, companies have been busy recovering and now the action is actually happening in the domestic market. Thus the company segments which are not very dependent on the US and Europe are hiring senior staff, he said.

Take the case of, a Nasdaq-listed eBay company, which is into online payments. This month the company announced the appointment of Rupert Keeley as senior vice-president for the Asia-Pacific region. Keeley will be responsible for driving the companys growth strategy, and attract and develop talent for the company.

Same is the case with Telcordia, a global telecom services company, which is one of the two firms managing the clearing house for mobile number portability in India.

Our headcount in India has increased by 50% in the last three years, in an attempt to expand in this geography. I changed the entire top-level management once I came in besides adding new positions at the top like a product management head to the portfolio said Telcordia country head Anuj Kapur.

On the salary correction Kamal Kammath, managing director at HR firm Kelly Services said: In terms of salary, the companies are getting more cautious and realistic. Pre-slowdown, the senior management expected hikes of up to 50%. But the companies are now getting realistic and not doling out hikes beyond 30%.