Senior Hiring Takes a Hit, Caution in Job Market:

Just 51% of employers expect to increase headcount, after backfilling for attrition, by March 31, 2013 as per a survey conducted by, India’s job search & career portal focussed exclusively on senior professionals.

Online PR News – 21-November-2012 – Neywork, NY – Only 51% of Employers will increase headcount
49% foresee freeze in hiring or downsizing
Silver lining in Pharma & Consumer Goods industries

New Delhi, October 30, 2012: Just 51% of employers expect to increase headcount, after backfilling for attrition, by March 31, 2013 as per a survey conducted by, India’s job search & career portal focussed exclusively on senior professionals. Hiring activity after backfilling for attrition is a measure of the inherent strength of the economy and a pointer to growth.

A mood of caution amongst employers sets the tone for recruitment in the coming six months, with hiring in some industries being offset by a headcount freeze or even retrenchment in others, as per the HeadHonchos’ Management Hiring Perspective Report 2012. The hiring outlook is even more subdued in the case of senior hiring, raising concerns around investment in green field projects and the future growth plans of India Inc.

Of the 51% ‘optimist employers’ – those who anticipate an increase in headcount in their organizations – 87% expect to grow the total employee strength by 6-20%. However these gains are offset to an extent by stagnant headcount or active downsizing in the remaining 49% of employers.

Against an overall projected increase in headcount of 5% to 5.5% across all levels, a weak 2% increase in headcount is expected at senior levels. Prospects for mid management hiring also look austere, with a 3.4% projected increase in headcount.

This trend is corroborated by mid-management & senior professionals across India, based on ground realities in their industries. As per the survey, an equivalent 51% of professionals foresee active hiring in their organisations, with 38% expecting stagnant headcounts. Interestingly, only 11% of professionals surveyed expect downsizing in their organisation as opposed to 26% of employers.

Speaking about the findings, Mr. Uday Sodhi, CEO, said, “Weaker hiring plans for mid-management and senior positions signal a cautious approach amongst corporates, especially when supported by the opinion of professionals. An interesting development as we ride out the economic cycle, is a proactive approach by corporates and senior professionals to effectively counter the environment.”

“We are closely watching the hiring trends and sentiments in this crucial segment as they reflect business confidence and map the intent of corporate India,” he added.


o Among the 51% optimist employers, 39% are planning to increase headcount by 11-20% before March 31, 2013, while 4% expect headcount to increase by over 20%.

o Nearly 23% of employers plan to keep employee strength at current levels through till the end of the fiscal year.

o 26% of surveyed employers expect to actively reduce headcount before March 2013.

o A substantial 36% of employers have reduced hiring projections at senior management levels and 33% of employers have lowered projections at mid-management levels as compared to March 2012.

o There is a marginally brighter outlook in the bellwether sector of IT/ITES, as 56% of IT/ITES employers expect to increase headcount as compared to 51% across all industries.

o Senior hiring is also expected to grow at a marginally higher rate of 2.4% in the IT/ITES industry as compared to 2.0% overall.

Senior Professionals’ Perspective

Mid-management & senior professionals echo the mood of talent acquisition teams and HR professionals:

o 49% of senior professionals and 51% of decision makers expect hiring activity to stagnate or worsen in their industries.

o Nearly 38% of senior professionals believe that headcount will remain at the same level, while 11% of employees believe there may be downsizing in their industry as a consequence of slower growth.

o As many as 58% of professionals expect their industry to grow only marginally, while 21% of senior professionals expect rapid growth and 21% forecast stagnation or de-growth in their industries.

o Professionals from the Pharma and the FMCG Industries have strong confidence in their respective industries, with over 6% of Pharma professionals and 90% of FMCG professionals expecting positive industry growth.

o 28% of senior telecom professionals believe there will be downsizing in the industry, indicating hard times ahead. Other industries in which professionals could witness downsizing are Entertainment & Media (19%), BFSI (15%) and Real Estate (13%).

o As compared to the larger metros, professionals in the smaller towns as well as Kolkata are more bullish on industry hiring and growth rates. 58% of respondents in the Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities expect active hiring as compared to 51% across India and 49% in the 3 cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. This could be attributed to higher degree of insulation from corporate offices which are more likely to be located in the metros.

o Professionals also expressed an open mind when it came to job shifts, but are not expecting as generous salary hikes as earlier. They demonstrated a sizeable swing of about 30% towards a more active job search, with a segment of professionals, who were earlier not seeking a job change, now keen to explore options.

The findings are an important indicator of hiring in crucial mid-management and senior levels in corporates. As economic & political uncertainty cuts deep into the heart of Indian business, risk-taking appetite and business confidence on the employer front as well as among senior professionals is crucial to growth.

About the Survey

The HeadHonchos’ Management Hiring Perspective Report 2012 is the first-ever attempt to get a simultaneous understanding of both employer sentiment and the perspective of senior professionals in terms of the job market. Mid-management & senior professionals and Talent Acquisition/HR Heads participated in the survey and were each provided different questionnaires.

The questionnaire targeted at employers covered hiring intent between October 2012-March 2013, with a greater focus on mid-management & senior hiring. The questionnaire for professionals covered prospects for growth and hiring in the respondent’s industry, its potential impact on the individual and consequent actions; each profile has been hand-screened to confirm eligibility to participate in the survey, based on the respondent’s current role.

About is India’s premier job search & career portal, exclusively for senior professionals. It has been founded by ABC Consultants, the pioneer of organised recruitment services in India, with a vision to redefine senior recruitment and to offer experienced professionals a robust online model that addresses their specialised job search requirements. provides comprehensive listings of authentic, senior level jobs across industries and locations, as well as a range of specialised services that facilitate senior job search. Specialized career management services by HeadHonchos include Executive Resume writing, Executive Education and Executive Coaching.

For further information, please contact-
Shilpi Bawa | Aastha Jindal Shine Kapoor
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