Saturday, February 07, 2009

Who's hiring?

I must admit this title is picked up from the online version of Business Line daily that summarises some of the news articles related to jobs across industries and then gives a few links to some trends.

A similar initiative from the online version of Economic Times gives another version of the job market- albeit generalising industries-both within India, and otherwise.

Almost every day I get phone calls from well wishers, as well as those concerned about their careers, if the ground reality is being truly reflected by the media!!

My own take has been the following

-If there is smoke, there must be a fire somewhere!!
-Companies -especially those doing business on their own money- are hiring!
-Yes, there are a lot of layoffs, deferred salary payments, and a lot of uncertainty and insecurity that is reflected by the panic.
-A correction was overdue-and so it's happening!
Truly speaking, I do not think the situation is as bad as it is portrayed to be. But there is general sense of sanity prevailing-and most companies are making efforts to review all aspects of the business -and so, naturally 'people issues' also are under the lens.

Looking back to the days when I first started working (in 1984!! - oops I will complete a silver jubilee in a few months!)- there have been different phases- right from when government/ PSU/ Banks were the major employers, ( the pre-liberalisation days), then the arrival and growth of the MNC companies (94 to now), the self belief and emergence of Indian business groups-and of course, the attention from the world across thanks to outsourcing & off shoring!!

One glaring that the salaries in the last 3-4 years have gone up phenomenally!! And ironically -not all who have benefitted-truly deserved most of it! Perhaps it was the war for talent, the demand and supply gap, inability of companies to 'farm' talent within-and resort to 'poaching' readymade talent..and in the bargain, tripping over each other and over paying at times...
This present economic slowdown has helped most companies/employers sit up and take notice. Review processes, systems (or lack of it!). And so we are seeing a lot of knee jerk reactions from different companies! Some admit that the partying days are over, and so one cannot carry 'passengers' for much longer. Some reward the performers more appropriately ( and in a measured manner- performance related 'variable' component being more adopted now). Some force people to go on leave or sabbatical. Some admit that they are 'shaking the tree so that the bad apples fall off' .
How long will this last??

Well, it depends on who blinks first!! The employers are already willing to hire great talent who were otherwise inaccessible earlier. Perhaps at salaries their businesses can afford to pay!

On the employees side, some are yet to reconcile that one may not get the customary 25-30% hike in salaries when they change jobs in India...that the present generation have taken for granted. Perhaps it was in the context of the annual increments being 10-15% in the recent past in India. ( In the US, the corresponding figures were a fourth of these figures!! Psst- I recall even in 1991 I was thrilled when I got a double increment - (then) a 3 digit number by way of increase in the monthly salary!!)

Going by the GDP growth of around 6-7% predicted (for this year and the next!)- compared to 9% for the last few years, it is obvious the impact in India is a 'mild' one compared to recessionary trends in the West. Opportunities are bound to be lesser-and so only the best will thrive-in these circumstances.

As for the rest, it is time to get real, get back to basics- invest in their own training and development, and get used to going up by the staircase-as the elevator may not just be available as yet :-)!

Happy hunting! Have a great weekend!!

PS:As far as Team Options goes, here are some of the new positions that we are aware of-that we are working on-both directly and through our network of associates, in addition to the post made hot jobs as of 28th Jan 09 !!

-Director Software engineering for a product company @Hyderabad.

-Sales Head -enterprise solutions -for a IT product company focussing on the India market.

-ODC head for an IT services company

-Estate Manager for an infrastructure company

-A specialist is required in Netherlands! Someone who has done at least 2 full implementations with the FINANCIAL Module of JDEdwards OneWorld-ideally rolled out JDE financials at multiple locations in a client in the Agricultural industry!

- L1 Support analysts in Singapore -with at least 3yrs of experience in Unix Shell scripting, preferably with exposure to Autosys.

-SAS BI technical consultant, Informatica production Supervisor and Sharepoint developer for Riyadh

Should you know of anyone -who would fit and be willing to be considered for any of the above openings, and wish to know more, I shall be glad to provide you with any inputs you may need. Please reach out to [email protected]!!


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