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MUMBAI : Leading executive search firms such as TeamLease Services, Quess Corp, Adecco India and CIEL HR Services are increasingly turning to homemakers to scout for recruiting talent for India Inc. as they strain to fill openings amid a spike in demand.

“These homemakers don’t rely on a database but tap into their circles of former colleagues, building societies, and social circles to get the right candidate for the company," said Guruprasad Srinivasan, group chief executive of Quess Corp, which has 800-1,000 such people working for a fee. Compared to this special gig force, it has about 1,200 permanent recruiters in its teams.

The recruitment firms discovered the effectiveness of homemakers as hiring agents during the pandemic when many decided to join the recruitment industry as gig workers.

The demand for recruiters exploded as companies, especially in the information technology, startups and pharma sectors, went on a hiring spree after a two-year lull because of the pandemic.

Several recruiters who look for potential candidates for new job openings are themselves being offered double-digit salary increments and bonuses by their employers in the hope of retaining them. In addition, some of them are being hired by corporates for their own human resources teams.

“There is a 50% better success ratio when these homemakers go scouting for a candidate than our regular recruiters. Their tenacity and networking skills are untapped," said a senior recruiter.

Homemakers who had taken a sabbatical from their careers or were entrepreneurs until covid-19 hit their businesses are becoming the talent pipeline for the recruitment industry.

“The homemakers are asking the right questions to the candidates. They know when the candidate may be too tired to talk, can figure out if they are genuinely job hunting or will drop out during the negotiations," said A.R. Ramesh, director of digital business solutions, professional staffing and international engagement of Adecco India.

The recruitment industry is split into staffing firms that hire in large numbers, both temporary and permanent workforce; recruitment firms that take care of junior and middle management; and search consultants, popularly called headhunters, who take the CXO or leadership position mandates.

“There are many in Bengaluru and Hyderabad aware of the IT sector’s needs and understand the profiles because of their family and social networks. IT resumes and posts are available online, and homemakers in these cities close these positions swiftly," said Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder of staffing firm TeamLease Services.

Recruiters say they will try to get more such freelance homemakers, and some are earning a couple of lakhs a month by becoming gig recruiters. “The payouts are 5-8% of the candidate’s salary, and the homemakers are roped in for hiring of junior to middle-management roles. The senior roles require trained headhunters and many meetings, which is not possible without adequate training and experience," said the CEO of another recruitment firm who did not want to be named.

Aditya Narayan Mishra, director of CIEL HR Services, said his recruitment teams would look into getting more homemakers for a few hours a day as recruiters. “They are good at multi-tasking with so many chores at home, and when they focus on different profiles, their dedication is unparalleled," Mishra said.

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