New Delhi: Mutual funds’ hiring activity has picked up again after witnessing a period of severe talent crunch as the downturn led to near-freezing of new recruitments in the industry.
According to experts, the fund houses have turned upbeat on hiring with markets seeing a recovery, however, recruitment would now be in a cautious and rational manner.
“Mutual fund industry was impacted and froze all their hirings post the meltdown, but around fourth quarter we observed markets picking up and showing some signs of life,” executive search firm Ma Foi Global Search Services said.
“Hiring of professionals will in fact rise but in a more strategic and objective manner. The MF industry is still experiencing challenges in terms of maintaining profits, but it has risen from its standstill position, as such the hiring scenario is also optimistic,” HR consulting firm Planman HR managing partner Deepak Kaistha told PTI.
Despite the downturn, number of fund houses in the country have mushroomed to 40 at present from just nine in 1993. The combined average assets under management of all fund houses stood at Rs7.61 lakh crore at January-end and have crossed a record Rs8 lakh crore mark in November last year.
“Industry, in general, is hiring cautiously and MF sector is no exception. While the sector has faced a severe talent crunch over a period of hyper expansion, it has just about recovered from a period of irrational payouts,” TeamLease Services VP (sourcing) Rajesh AR said.
“So it is likely that a fairly high level of rationality will persist while fund houses scout for the right kind of talent,” Rajesh AR added.
“Mutual Fund companies started hiring towards fourth quarter but much of the new hires were observed in sales and service functions and not so much at senior level,” the Ma Foi report on hiring trends in the industry in 2010 stated.
Recruitment across various sectors including mutual fund industry had come to a standstill last year, as global financial crisis hurt sales, dented order books, forcing companies to resort to cost cutting measures.
Talking about the overall hiring sentiment in corporate India, Rajesh AR said, “hiring has, indeed, taken off although the numbers remain conservative. Businesses are in market for talent but have been going about acquiring talent in a deliberate, systematic and best practices based manner.”
However, he added that “until the time the new hiring processes gestate, hiring en masse would be very rare.”
Moreover, senior level hiring has taken precedence in the early part of the last quarter and continues to be the focus for most MF companies, experts said.