Most Of The Hiring In Manufacturing Sector Taking Place In India, China

March 25, 2014 | Business World India

By Sachin Dave

Even as the general elections come closer, the question remains in everybody's mind whether the job market would see any growth at all in 2014. Yet, there are some sectors which are set to grow in the year especially for top level executives although their pay structures are going through a lot of change, Christine Greybe, president, DHR International, a global executive search firm tells BW| Businessworld’s Sachin Dave. Excerpts...

Have you seen the global hiring scene change in 2013?

We have seen a shift in the market. In 2013, there was a pick-up in the US market and now Europe is recovering. It’s slow but it’s definitely happening. For Asia, it was slightly more challenging in 2013. But in 2014, we feel encouraged by the prospects of mobility and scope for growth and expansion. Restructuring is going on in many organisations in Asia. Our footprint is strong in the US and wherever the American multinationals are going, there is a pick-up in hiring and recovery. One of our initiatives for 2014 will be driving the Indian conglomerates along with the Korean, Japanese and Chinese multinationals to growth in Europe and the US.

How do you see the movements in emerging markets such as India at a time when there is a lot of volatility?

Volatility in a market is important. A market with no movement is not so good for us. So when there is a downturn, we are leveraging the turnaround CEOs who would fix the situation. In growth markets, the focus is more on CEOs for start-ups. In Asia, you see lots of opportunities for CEOs who can tackle growth as well as challenging markets. Of course, growth markets are easier but both the markets throw up opportunities.

Has there been a change in compensation offered during the slowdown?

Historically there have always been compensation linked to cash, but now we are seeing a switch in compensation linked to base, bonus or equity and long-term incentives. Due to the financial crisis, you have some changes in compensation benefits and there is a lot of thought process involved in deciding how to link equity with the performance of the company and not now but over a period of time. Equity plays much larger part of compensation that it used to. All industries are doing that at multiple levels. It is, however, tough in some countries where it is not easy to have equity due to the government norms, say in places like China, Japan and so on. There is lately a lot of creativity involved in deciding how to link the individual’s performance to the company’s performance.

Which are the sectors that are faring better in the downturn?

We have seen growth in technology and consumer retail. The retail sector particularly in the US has grown dramatically and hence seen a lot of hiring during 2013. We have seen some uptake even in financial services but it is still cautious hiring. In manufacturing, there has been some slowdown. Most of the hiring in manufacturing sector is taking place in India and China. Another area where there has been a lot of hiring and which continues to grow is life sciences mainly pharmaceutical, diagnostics, medical devices and healthcare. It continues to do well and there have been lot of investment coming in this sector due to lot of reasons. Lots of investment including government as well as private equity is coming in R&D in life sciences. We have some 16 practice areas which have witnessed the most growth. This year, some of these trends are continuing. Like in technology space, especially the telecom sector, we have seen good hiring cycles even in 2014. Same is the case with financial services where we see growth mainly due to the banking licenses that would be given.

There has been a huge investment by Indian and Chinese companies in Africa. What are the hiring strategies of these companies there?

Actually it’s interesting as the Chinese companies are definitely bringing their own CEOs and senior level executives. On the other hand, the Indian companies are much more interested in hiring local talent. So there is a marked contrast. Africa is a complex market because people think of South Africa versus the rest of the continent. Most of the work is taking place in the Middle and Eastern Africa which is very different. There are people from India who want to send executives from India to Nigeria or from China to Kenya. Sometimes they want to find people in these countries and it is tough as there are a lot of cultural diversities in Africa. I think for us, Africa would feature heavily in our growth strategy in the near future as it has a huge potential. The biggest opportunities are in agriculture, mining and telecommunication sectors in Africa.

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