Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chasing the Eclipse

Earlier today, I logged off the television after watching the solar eclipse, acclaimed as the largest one in the 21st century.

Unfortunately, for the thousands of people including scientists, researchers and astro-tourists who converged to a Taregna village in Bihar, adjudged as the best place to view the celestial phenomenon by the NASA, the Sun remained hidden under the cloudy sky!!

I cannot resist drawing a parallel to the macro economic situation worldwide-hopefully the 'once in a lifetime' globally! There are so many theories about how soon the economic recovery will begin, that it makes good reading to pitch weathermen with the economists in terms of accuracy of predictions!!

What about the job market??

I haven't been blogging for almost a month now-as I was hoping to get some clue about the 'next trend' in the recruitment market!! The last 3 weeks has helped me travel across different parts of the country and meeting clients/candidates -across a spectrum of industries that included telecom, lubricants, software, auto manufacturer and infrastructure, but I am still just as nonplussed!

It is all happening..though at different paces according to the life cycle of a specific company. I see responses differ from
- Adding new executive-level jobs
-“Trading up” with new hires for existing jobs
- Freezing/eliminating executive-level hiring
- Not filling open executive positions

While it does keep me personally busy, I must admit it is perhaps due to the fact that we have always worked on 'niche openings' and so 'tough to close' positions in the past too. And yes, the the lag between 'indent' and the closure -is becoming closer to 180 days-as companies are more choosy than ever, and tiptoeing!!

Will I hire, in the NEXT three months, for my firm’s professional staff ? Yes, but only if some one can complement the existing skills and hit the ground running from day one. I wouldn't be amused training someone (as in the past -one grew the crop inhouse) just because there is more availability !!

If I were to look around to some recruiter surveys, conducted by some biggies both nationally and globally,-I am informed

- Senior Executive Recruitment Regains Stability!! A survey by the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) indicates it is "only a matter of time Boards of Directors and top management took action to ensure that they have the right leadership in place to not only weather the recession but to prepare for growth and competitiveness once the recession is over.”

-Strong hiring sentiment returning to India,-the hiring activity has gone up last month-" the highest upward movement last month since July 2008", as per the monthly job index released by

-that businesses of all shapes and sizes across the globe are beginning to enter phase five ( denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are the distinct phases) as they try to come to terms with their world being turned upside down – "Recovery may still be a good way off, but it could be that we are now better prepared to pave the way to it than we have been for quite some time." Quotes a senior official from a global recruitment firm's survey that predicts the market still dropping despite showing signs of levelling off!!

Interesting to put these comments juxtaposed with some of the comments made by IT Czars in India in this week's media reports:

-TCS honcho Mr Ramadurai feels even if recovery happens, it will not be growth as before. New areas offer opportunities . Life sciences, healthcare and pharma, business of energy and sustainability, the carbon footprint, mobile broadband and Wimax, also digitisation in India — apart from emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia or China. "We have to think differently, drive innovation and collaboration."

-Mr Francisco D’Souza of Cognizant Technology Solutions's way forward is to " create a marketplace which doesn’t exist: eg – integrating technology systems sitting on the shop floor with ERP"

-Mr Jan Baan of Cordy comments "business forecast is cloudy" !! Of course, Mr Baan, considered as a visionary in the world of enterprise software, is referring to cloud computing which, he feels, is at least 20 times cheaper than other operating models.

Well, all I can surmise is that the way forward is definitely different. Certainly not the time to be driving looking at the rear view mirror-but to be alert, as one looks at the horizon and manoeuvres through the sharp bends and limited visibility!!

The Sun will shine soon..even as the day still looks cloudy now.Amen!!


Anonymous said...

Your take on the Macro-economic environment and the comparison with chasing the eclipse is humorous and insightful at the same time. Way to go.

India Power Sector Jobs said...

Dear Mr. Menon,

I am in agreement with your view.

The market is slowly opening up and the trend is slowly showing up with companies scouting for talent.

I have been closely following the market and have noticed that there has been a significant increase in number of hires (compared to last 5-6 months)specially in Energy & related manufacturing ndustries,Telecom,IT and partially in Banking & Insurance.
The Consumer services is also another sector following the above.

AB said...

Nice aggregation of comments/opinions/wishful thinkings!

It is believed that complete eclipses bring upheaval / plain english there will be a thorough "churn".... its also supposed to bring new beginnings and now that we just finished the second eclipse in a month be closely followed by another one in another fortnight... lets us hope these "three eclipses" bring "three cheers" and herald the much awaited "turn" upward one!

Arunn Bhagavathula