Sunday, 9 October 2011

Booming economy: India Inc expats' hiring up 20% this year

MUMBAI: With hiring activities in most Western economies in deep freeze, more and more foreigners, mostly from the US and Europe, are looking at India for jobs, a trend that has resulted in an up to 20% jump in expat hiring this year, according to headhunters.

According to industry estimates, there are as many as 40,000 expats working in various industries across the country today.

"Hiring of expats has picked up by 15-20 % at all levels since last year, mainly on account of India being one of the fastest growing economies, offering huge job opportunities ," recruitment process outsourcing firm Elixir's consulting manager for international practices, Ratnesh Kumar said.

An increasing number of expats are seeking jobs in the country on account of job cuts in their home countries, coupled with rising outsourcing and high taxes, he said, adding that this was happening more in the US and Europe.
The Indian experience also adds value to the expats' resume, reflecting an individual's ability to adapt and deal with diversity, he explained. These professionals are mainly being hired in the banking and financial services, automobile, pharma and retail sectors , apart from areas where the domestic industry does not have competencies, like alternative energy, the complex infrastructural sector, etc, he said.

"While CXOs are generally offered around $2,50,000 per annum, mid-manager level employees get $80,000-1 ,25,000 per annum ," he said. The number of foreigners seeking jobs in the country are no longer limited to the middle and senior levels, but is spreading over to beginners as well, he said, adding that at present, there were around 40,000 expats working in the country and the number was still growing.

What is interesting is that these expats are given compensation almost at par with what is being paid in foreign countries.

"Expats, with specialized skill sets, which are not available in the country due to financial or technology constraints, such as molecular research, are being offered highly attractive packages," Kumar said. Companies are also offering attractive leadership positions to experienced expatriates, ranging from mid-level managerial roles to departmental heads.

However, the attrition rate of expats is around 10% annually, mainly due to difficulties in communication and cultural differences , Kumar added.

Echoing a similar view, Globalhunt Director Sunil Goel said some global companies have their largest centres in the country on one hand, while on the other, many local organizations are also going global. "So expat hiring is becoming the need of the hour, where foreigners from various parts of the globe are taking up multiple roles and are recruited as experts in sectors like infrastructure , healthcare, power and energy, oil and gas and automotive," he said.

According to TeamLease Vice-President Rituparna Chakraborty, the country has seen increased demand for expats across various industries, especially following the 2008 recession in developed economies. "Professionals from Europe, South-East Asia and the US mostly are being hired, mainly by sectors like travel and tourism, retail , aviation, education and sports, where we see maximum traction," she said. Talking about salaries, she said, for most levels, it is on a par with industry standards, unless they are being brought in for a particular skill that is niche and non-existent within the country.

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