Gone is 2009 and discreetly use 2010 as the year of opportunities

Industry experts look back at the highs and lows of 2009, the successes and failures and some of the highlights that dominated Indian Inc. In an exclusive twopart series, they say that the learning derived and lessons learnt will pave the way for a very fruitful, productive and an optimistic 2010.

Manufacturing & Engineering:

The economic slowdown in the early months of the year was one of biggest challenges of 2009. The manufacturing industry was marked by relatively low attrition rates, reduced hiring and renewed interest in the manufacturing sector amongst the engineering graduates. We saw younger employees and recent recruits a bit jittery and anxious, especially those probations were coming to an end. It required continuous conversations with them to make them aware of what they need to focus on and dispel their anxieties. Also, in 2009, we saw a reduction in attrition across organizations. There was better talent availability due to downsizing, in India and globally.

We see an increased hiring in 2010 and higher rates of attrition too. The message for graduating students as well as perspective employees is that there will be enough for talent in organizations this year, vis-a-vis last year. One should be focused towards preparing oneself for opportunities to come since there will be more competition of those opportunities to. In 2010, one must carefully analyze and evaluate one’s strengths interest areas and long term plans and then seek a job with an organization that provides learning, empowerment early responsibility a productive work environment a culture that nurtures and most importantly whose value system resonates with yours.

IT :

There was continued demand for talent in business consulting and domain intensive roles, apart from niche and new technologies. We also saw sustained demand for off shoring services such as IT infrastructure management and BPO functions and hence the requirement for experts and specialists in these functions rose. Over the year, the key focus of talent acquisition teams changed from hiring generic skilled resources as buffers for future ramp ups to meeting the demand for niche skills just in time. Generating revenues ceased to be necessarily about adding headcount as companies tried to break the linearity between head count and revenue growth and invested heavily in services such as automation, consulting and analytics, where the revenue per individual is higher.

The pace of decision making in client organizations has accelerated. There is relative stability, if not recovery, in clients’ businesses. This has helped accelerate the signoff and launch of a number of projects. As a result, hiring is aggressively picking up again. Off shoring has not lost any of its sheen and is an even more attractive proposition in the light of hat the global economy has witnessed in the recent past. The pressure on companies to adjust to the new environment an adopt cost optimization initiatives will only benefit goal sourcing. This will translate into greater employment opportunities for the IT industry which continues to be seen a growth oriented industry. This also spells great career prospects for students and professionals from and not just technical backgrounds.

Retail:

The year 2009 has been a watershed year. With a lot of chains biting the dust, a number of players closing down hundreds of stores, everyone else slowing down growth plans, reality finally hit the industry. The entire hullabaloo created by unwanted award ceremonies, conference and consultants became a tragedy of errors. For retail, this recession has segregated the good, the bad and the ugly. It has also helped everyone to look at their models and improve the approach to customers, stakeholders and shareholders. The industry is emerging wiser, saner and more realistic and is paving the way for further consolidation.

The New year is full of promises consumer sentiments as well as the economy to come back on the growth path leading to a good growth in retail sales and profitability. Aspirants to learn more about the industry the company and the economy as much as possible through meetings, research and direct feedback from customers suppliers and industry experts. This will help you to get an understanding of the company’s strategy and the kind of roles that it offers.

Banking

2009 was not only a challenging year from a business and people perspective, but also that forced organizations to look at more innovation people practices in response to a challenging external; environment. One of the major highlights in the recruitment domain in the year 2009 in our industry was a shift from bulk recruitment to more specialized / niche recruitment.

2010 will be an exciting year for the financial services industry and will therefore, also result in exciting career opportunities. The challenge for job seekers is to invest time in understanding organizations as well as the requirements of the roles that they are applying for as this will help them towards making more informed career decisions.