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Flexi staffing to witness more than permanent 

By Soumonty Kanungo Oct 07 2013 , Mumbai

While there is still time for the hiring situation in India to recover, more recruitment over the next few quarters is expected in the flexi staffing category. The attrition level is also likely to be reduced except for a few sectors since the overall job outlook is not positive, which will force employees to continue with their present jobs.

According to Rituparna Chakraborty, senior VP and co-founder, TeamLease Services, a recruitment consultant, the hiring is on now for flexi staffing. “Hiring is happening but a large part is happening for flexi staffing for a contractual period. It is a stop-gap arrangement and will continue unless the economy recovers,” Chakrabarty told Financial Chronicle.

Flexi staffing is contract staffing where an organization benefits because of its staffing flexibility, especially when current projects require extra workforce and that too when the organisation is in need of skilled professionals at a short notice.

“Flexi staffing will definitely be more than permanent hiring as long as the economic slowdown is there. For sales purposes, flexi staffing will continue but the growth will be marginal since the overall hiring sentiment is flat,” said Joshua Madan Samuel, chief operating officer, Covenant Consultants, a staff consulting firm.

HR recruitment company GlobalHunt’s director Sunil Goel believes flexi staffing can be more visible with large global corporations rather than at a local level. “If offers flexibility to an organisation that requires skills and can get their work done through contractual workforce. Compensation, in this case, is higher than the permanent employees since there is no additional benefit associated.”

Chakraborty said that flexi staffing will continue even if it will not be as much as earlier.

“The current hiring growth is 20 per cent year-on-year. This year, we expect it to end up with a decent growth but next year looks sluggish. So the growth will be around 12-15 per cent. So, even if we grow, it will be much less growth than what we were seeing earlier,” said Chakraborty.

Goel also said that hiring from the campuses has shown a decline with more organisations opting for replacement hiring than instead of fresh hiring. The demand is more requirement-oriented since the companies are skeptical on opportunities received from the global markets

According to Samuel, permanent hiring has shown some improvements in the past two months, in ground and medium levels. While manufacturing, infrastructure and energy sectors witnessed a downsizing, BPO, technology, banking, financial institutions, pharmaceuticals and retail continued to do well. “At the senior level, it is a tough situation with very little movements. At the ground level, permanent hiring is on, though organisations are going for some minimum amount of experiences,” Samuel said, adding that when chips are down, sales and marketing will be one segment that will have more jobs despite recession.

The segment, compared to others, is likely to see more attrition despite a slowdown.

“Overall, there are fewer intakes. In terms of sales and marketing, attrition is a big issue in the pharma sector. Economic slowdown has helped a bit because opportunities are fewer and people are more circumspect before quitting jobs,” said a pharma consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, at a recent event in Mumbai.

However, specific sectors like e-commerce, retail, will see a higher attrition level given the opportunities they offer. Goel said a lot of movements is expected in the e-commerce segment,while Chakraborty opined that the sector is poised for a 1,000 per cent growth over next couple of quarters.

“October to December will see a low hiring trend, while things are likely to start showing improvements from next year onwards. At a compensation level, increase is unexpected till the next six month, say, April, and if hikes happen, they are more likely to be in single digit,” Samuel said.