Slower growth and deceleration in funding makes India Inc cut costs with entry-level hires

By Shalina Pillai, TNN | 15 Apr, 2016, 11.49AM IST

BENGALURU: Slower growth and deceleration in funding are making companies -including startups -across a range of sectors hire junior-level candidates in place of mid-level ones, according to multiple hiring platforms. In the case of tech firms, the trend is even more pronounced because, in addition to budget constraints, many of the new-age tech qualifications that companies need are more likely to be available among younger employees. 

Online hiring firm Hiree said tech companies are now increasingly preferring people with experience of 1-3 years over those with experience of 3 years and more. It also noted that there's a 15% decline in the salary being offered to the junior-level employees. The data is based on the recruitment se arch patterns of over 400 companies, 60% of which comprised established startups, on the Hiree platform between October 2015 and February 2016. Almost 70% of the candidates surveyed were for tech roles by startups and corporates. 

Mettl, an online assessment service that helps companies in recruitment, saw 40% of its assessments happening for candidates with 1-3 years of work experience in the January-March quarter, compared to 25% in the previous quarter. This was calculated from over 6 lakh assessments conducted by large and medium enterprises across IT, pharmacy , manufacturing, banking and automobile. 

"Companies are becoming more prudent and looking to spend less," said Abhijit Khasnis, co-founder and COO, Hiree.That trend is pushing salary down even at the lower levels.Between October and February , the average salary of a junior (1-3 years' experience) hire on the Hiree platform came down from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 8.6 lakh. 

HackerEarth, which organizes coding challenges for recruitment companies to understand the skillsets of candidates, also says hiring is shifting in favour of junior level candidates. "Also, companies are now looking at particular skillsets rather than work experience. People with over six years of experience will not have technical expertise in Django or Python (programming languages needed for new-age tech apps)," said Sachin Gupta, founder of HackerEarth. 

Ketan Kapoor, founder at Mettl, said companies are today a lot more focused on the skills of the people, and on young people with lesser experience if they can deliver the required output. "Earlier, startups used to make decisions quickly and their hiring lacked rigour due to the pressure to grow . Now, the established startups are sensing a problem and correcting their hiring methods," Kapoor said.

Sunil Goel, MD of recruitment agency Globalhunt, said the concept of junior and senior roles in organizations is changing. "The pyramid of hierarchies is getting flattened," he said. 
Budget constraints are also pushing companies to increase intake of students from tier-2 and -3 colleges for entry-level positions.