Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Salaries in 2009- the shoe will pinch

Nothing has really changed in the last year!!As I keep telling my pals who call to check if I am doing well..."the boom never affected me-so too the bust !!"

Well, if the same time last year, a recruiter never got used to handling 'drops' (remember most people had multiple job offers then, and could only join one employer and didn't even have enough time to keep all concerned informed?) -we always chided ourselves for not seeing those 'early alarms' -the unanswered calls/mails, sudden increase in meetings -and repeated extensions of the joining date- this year, the symptoms seem to have spread to the clients!! Suddenly, corporates seem to have developed cold feet -at times to defer making offers, or once having made an offer- to defer joining date ( one hears of thousands of campus hires who hold lucrative and juicy letters), even suddenly withdrawing them at the eleventh hour!!

It hurts -either way :)!!

Seriously, one can only keep our expectations more realistic this time around, and learn to manage disappointment better!

The economy has begun the new year firmly in grip of a downturn and the job landscape is littered with freezes and layoffs. I don’t think we should expect a respite for the next two quarters, at least.

It doesn't take an economist to predict!! As uncertainty on the jobs front deepens, cutback in household ( and impulsive consumer) spending will rise. If consumers curtail more expenditure, business sales and earnings shrink further. The collapse in profit margins and lack of demand will force more companies to freeze hiring or even implement lay-offs. This becomes a vicious cycle.

What would that mean for salaried professionals?? As per the Business Today Omam Consultants Salary Survey the indications are that salary increase will be lower compared to last year:

1.there are lesser jobs in the market compared to last year. Also, lateral hiring is less, as companies restrict investments in new ventures.
2.focus will be more on performance-oriented pay rather than fixed pay.
3. some functions like business development, technology and operations may carry a premium compared to (other) support .

Well, our individual performance is perhaps the only variable..we can control!!

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