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Temporary staffers are back on India Inc's radar

With economy in recovery and job mkt picking up momentum, there has been a surge in temporary hiring in recent past. Highest-paying professions | 10 Tips for dream job

, ET Bureau|
Mar 29, 2010, 04.29 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: Kumar Manish (19) was hired as salesman by a retail chain in Delhi at a salary of Rs 8,000 a month in 2008. Soon after, he found himself without a job as the economic slowdown caught up with the sector, and the store that hired him was left with no option but to shut down. ( Watch)

Two months ago, not only did Manish land a job as a temporary salesman with a consumer durable firm at a salary of Rs 12,000 a month, but the company is also sponsoring his studies.

With the economy in recovery and the job market picking up momentum, there has been a surge in temporary hiring or temping in the recent past. Companies are still cautious about hiring in large numbers, and employing temporary staffers gives them an easier, cheaper option.

Demand for temps has picked up across industries by 12-15 % in the previous quarter, says E Balaji, CEO of staffing solutions company Ma Foi.

“Organisations want to quickly adapt to the changes in the economy, so they turn to the contingent workforce for on-demand access to professionals and experts. They also see the opportunity to reduce benefits and retirement costs,” he adds.

Demand for temps has gone up by over 50% on a quarter-on-quarter basis in sectors such as telecom, energy, FMCG, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and logistics, while automobile, retail, insurance and manufacturing are likely to follow suit, says Team-Lease vice president — temporary staffing, Rajesh AR.

The hiring numbers would be stepped up from the current 11-14 % to about 18% in the first quarter of 2010, according to TeamLease.

“Although telecom and energy had greater manpower needs in the past few months, we see a lot of manufacturing units resuming multiple shifts in factories. This will lead to a higher demand for temps,” says Mr Rajesh.

Consumer durables manufacturer LG Electronics has added close to 2,000 people in the past few months to its workforce, most of whom are temps. “This not only includes sales staff at new stores, but also those working in manufacturing , logistics and supply chain,” says LG head of human resources & management support Umesh Dhal. The company also funds its temporary staffers’ higher education.

Temping is no longer restricted to entry-level jobs or general staffing roles. Companies in the energy, telecom and infrastructure sectors require engineers for network engineering, tower management and projects in the IT/BPO segment. “We get mandates for specialised staff, such as quantity auditors, bridge engineers, surveyors and quality management engineers as well,” says Mr Balaji.

Pharmaceutical company Lupin has seen a 4% increase in temporary staff from the previous fiscal till date in functions such as back office, operations management, office administration, IT support and HR, according to a company spokesperson.

“Temp staffing and outsourcing of non-core functions and certain specialised requirements not only provide support to strategic business units in their growth plans, but also greater workforce flexibility,” says the spokesperson.
Salaries have also gone up in the past one year.

“Not only are businesses narrowing the gap between temp staff and permanent staff salaries, but they are also rewarding the most sought-after skills,” says Mr Rajesh of TeamLease. He adds companies may give temp staffers a 7.5-15 % raise.

Also Read

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Temporary staffers continue to attract employers: Study

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