Thursday, October 29, 2009

CXO hiring in India ...picking up!!*

Earlier this week, a financial daily journalist had reached out to me, among others, regarding a feature she was doing on the CXO hiring assignments in the recent quarter.

While I am yet to notice the same in the media as yet, I thought I shall share some of my experiences!!

-As compared to the previous 3 quarters, there has been a significant interest in the hiring of senior professionals in the past couple of quarters.

If the immediate knee jerk reaction to the economic downturn in 2008 was companies resorting to cutting costs –and holding back expansion plans in early 2009, most companies have realized that they cannot ‘get ahead of the pack’ by being afloat!! Strategic hiring has helped some break away from the herd- and implement some game changing ideas to prepare for the boom time-even as they tightened up systems and processes.

-Interestingly, different industries have been hiring different talent for CXO level.

IT service companies have looked at beefing their sales penetration, while the product companies have i improved their marketing- especially online marketing presence.

Infrastructure companies have been on the prowl for CFOs to raise money, and help restructure the debt –in a bid to rationalize costs. Quite a few power companies are in the race-considering the huge demand-supply gap!

Companies catering to the rapidly growing telecom market have been looking for CEO/COO to help enter Indian market-and have been looking for talent –with excellent contacts with the major stakeholders-i.e. Government, Operators and Equipment manufacturers.

-There has not been a difference in the salaries- as most the talent sought have been niche. And moreover, since these are very critical people,on whom the company’s success is hinging on, there has not been any discounting of salaries compared to 2008. There has been an increase of variable component-in the CTC figure though-with a substantial ‘productivity linked component’!

-There has been a sense of urgency to buy out notice periods-after almost a year of lull.

Typically Indian companies have 2-3 months notice period –while most foreign companies are used to people joining in a month’s time once the hire has been finalized. Considering the opportunity time to ‘go to market; the hiring companies are keen to absorb the increase in costs.

Interestingly, as the incumbents are already senior professionals-and privy to a lot of sensitive information and strategic inputs, most employers are willing to let go of people-without too much of fuss-by quickly moving in colleagues laterally to take over the responsibilities immediately. There is however, an increasing emphasis of a proven track record in the Indian subcontinent-even if the person has been abroad of late.

Well, the above trends are more reflective of the action we at Options have been involved in, I shall be glad to have updates regarding the experiences you have been abreast with.

RSVP [email protected]

* I guess the devil lies in the detail!! One must appreciate that the two quarters, after the Sept 15th 2008 fall of Lehman Brothers, was pretty poor. In contrast, even a moderate increase -and on a low base- can be flatteringly deceptive as the headline!

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