‘With record funding, start-ups will be a major employer in 2022’

Nicolas Dumoulin, senior managing director, Michael Page India and Thailand, told Shubhra Tandon that increased business activity will lead to expansion and growth at both mid-and junior-level hires, while salary increments would be over 10% this year. Edited excerpts:

Nicolas Dumoulin
Nicolas Dumoulin, senior managing director, Michael Page India and Thailand

India’s start-up ecosystem will be a major employer of talent in 2022. Nicolas Dumoulin, senior managing director, Michael Page India and Thailand, told Shubhra Tandon that increased business activity will lead to expansion and growth at both mid-and junior-level hires, while salary increments would be over 10% this year. Edited excerpts:

It’s been two years since the pandemic hit and changed the way we work. How was hiring different in 2021 vs 2020?

The hiring in 2021 has been vastly different from that of 2020. The market saw a noteworthy growth of 80-100% at the CXO level hirings and 40-50% at the mid-level. Hiring in the industry has been done across all sectors but the major share has been consumed by the mid-level hiring, which reflects at 40-50%. We can easily single out the technology sector here as the demand in the sector surged hiring. Other sectors like healthcare, consumer tech, edtech, fintech, ITeS, manufacturing, industrials etc have also seen a big spike in hiring. The new-age start-ups have also played a big role.

With the Covid concerns still not behind us and the scare of Omicron and third wave, how are companies setting the pace for hiring in 2022?

As of now, there has been no change in hiring practices as industries and companies have realised that putting it on hold would cause a delay in long-term plans as they could potentially struggle to find talent later on. The start-up sector will see a surge in hiring due to record levels of funding. We also expect traditional sectors like consumer, banking, retail, hospitality and F&B to pick up pace. Another area that will notice a boost in hiring is manufacturing (both Indian and multinational companies) due to the ‘Make in India’ push by the government.

What kind of hiring in terms of numbers can we expect in key sectors in 2022? Kindly share some firm numbers on the top five sectors according to you.

The year 2022 is going to be an extension of 2021, where the emphasis will be laid on technology as talent is very scarce there. New-age and traditional industries will look at hiring talent from that space. Healthcare is an industry that will continue to grow, but there is a margin there where we will see a push from India’s top domestic players. Leadership hiring is expected to grow at 20-25%. Mid-level hiring will grow at 30-40%. Both traditional and new-age businesses will focus on strengthening leadership teams. Increased business activity will lead to expansion and growth at both mid- and junior-level hires. Overall, 2022 is expected to see 30-40% growth in hirings vs 2021.

CXO search mandates in India have seen a spike of up to 80-100% compared with Q3 2020 – Outlook for 2022?

CXO will have the same level of hiring as where we are today. Hiring activities will remain the same and it is unlikely that it will slow down as there is still expansion and room for growth in the economy.

How have employee expectations changed over the last two years in terms of their work profiles and salaries?

With the blurred lines of work-from-home and work-from-office, people are still finding their feet and learning how to juggle professional and personal life. Everyone has created their own needs and the employer is required to understand those needs. From a salary perspective, expectations have increased by a big margin due to increments that are going on in their industry and markets. Expectations are high and we are looking at a plus 10% increment which is considerably higher than the last half-decade. While shifting jobs increment increases to 25-30% and can go further up to 50-100%.

What is the outlook on gig economy jobs in 2022?

What I have read and understood of the market is that a lot of companies are still navigating ways to incorporate these jobs—a lot in content, tech space. Gradually, we will move towards that when more candidates are comfortable and confident in their skill set but that will require more time in the Indian scenario.

‘Great Resignation’ has gripped India too. How big a threat does this look?

I don’t agree with the term ‘Great Resignation’. A lot of people in the past year have compromised in their roles, being unhappy with company policies with which the pandemic was handled and that created the need to seek jobs elsewhere or relocate closer to families. I predict this’ll calm down…I do see this gradually slowing down next year.

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