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Business News/ Industry / Human Resource/  Job hunters pick startups despite layoffs
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Job hunters pick startups despite layoffs

Despite the layoffs, the market is predicted to be favourable for Indian job seekers in the current quarter

About 22% opted for 'high-paced career progression', and 20% of respondents want to work with startups since they provide better compensation plans to employees compared to corporates (Photo: Mint)Premium
About 22% opted for 'high-paced career progression', and 20% of respondents want to work with startups since they provide better compensation plans to employees compared to corporates (Photo: Mint)

The startup sector remains the top draw for job-hunting candidates despite the recent turmoil. High pay packages, stock options and quick career moves remain the top factors for candidates to enter a sector that laid off more than 17,000 employees last year.

Despite the mass layoffs, startups remain a preferred choice for employees, as 79% prefer to work with them," said a Mint + Shine Talent Insights report, which gathered responses from 820 senior human resources executives across sectors.

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The study for the October to December quarter showed that executives prefer the flatter hierarchy and quick decision-making in the new-age firms. About 39% of respondents will work for a startup due to the learning opportunities it provides.

“Since founders -and employees often work together, the flow of information, ideas and response to a crisis is quicker than in a large organization," the study said.

About 22% opted for “high-paced career progression", and 20% of respondents want to work with startups since they provide better compensation plans to employees compared to corporates.

Recruiters, too, have noted that despite fund crunches and a global recession, information technology (IT), IT-enabled Services (ITeS) and startups remain preferred industries.

“Given the kind of mass-scale hiring that IT does, it remains an important sector for junior and middle management. Startups, too, are recruiting engineers on a large scale, and when the expected tenure is barely two years, the layoffs don’t concern many," said Aditya Narayan Mishra, chief executive at Ciel HR Services.

Over the past two quarters, the big tech firms have announced layoffs and a hiring freeze. The big tech firms’ job openings in India are also down by nearly 90% of their typical hiring volumes, making startups a viable option for software developers, coders and AI and machine learning experts.

However, despite the layoffs, the market is predicted to be favourable for Indian job seekers in the current quarter, as seven out of 10 IT companies in India want to expand their headcount during this period, according to the study.

“Breaking the archaic market trends, startups today have not only emerged as new destinations for job opportunities for candidates but also are contributing to new skills development akin to corporate houses," said Akhil Gupta, CEO of Shine.com.

Tenure of a job also came into focus as the days of Great Resignation seemed to be over. However, most don’t want to remain with a company on a long-term basis.

“Fifty percent of respondents prefer to continue with an organization for 2-5 years compared to 22% of respondents who want to change within the first two years of their career," said the study. Although the number of offers and opportunities may have dwindled, 82% of the Indian workforce intended to switch jobs by the end of 2022. Most of them belong to the younger age bracket of freshers or Gen Z.

Companies such as Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) said they have multi-pronged ways to retain talent.

“The company has a structured talent assessment process which is being successfully done through the Development Centres, which encompass a structured and objective process to identify the strengths and developmental needs of employees in terms of the required competencies, which also boosts our pipeline of homegrown leaders," said C. Jayakumar, executive vice president and head of corporate HR at the engineering giant said in an email response.

L&T has recently onboarded a batch of over 3,000 engineering trainees, marking a three-fold increase from the last fiscal year. About 30% of these 3,000 trainees are women.

L&T has another leadership programme, Seven-Step Leadership Development Programme, which offers young employees with high potential access to a curated learning experience delivered by thought leaders from Indian and international business education institutes.

According to the study, 43% of employers are turning to improving their companies’ rewards and recognition programmes to boost employee morale.

The programmes aim to make employees feel valued through extra vacation days, flexible working, bonuses, and awards.

About 22% of employers believe in providing their employees with opportunities to upskill so that they don’t feel stagnated.

Reliance Industries, Deloitte, Citibank, PWC India, Tata Communications, and Sun Pharmaceutical have partnered with skill training platforms like Coursera and UpGrad. The upskilling platforms are now offering customized courses in subjects like Python, AI, and leadership management skills.

For India Inc., upskilling is also turning out to be an important retention policy since counter offers, and out-of-turn salary hikes are impacting profitability. Last month, Reliance Industries decided to offer its employees’ families access to Coursera’s business certification programme. For the December quarter, the top skill profiles in demand were sales and marketing, data science, AI and ML followed by coding.

Another aspect of post-pandemic workplace dynamics is how corporates have been comfortable with hybrid or work-from-home systems. However, over the last couple of quarters, companies have been asking employees to get back to work. And this showed in the study’s metro versus non-metro recruitment trend.

“Employers are more likely to hire from metro cities (74%) than non-metro cities (26%)," said the report.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Devina Sengupta
Devina tracks and writes on workplaces, human resources and education for Mint. She also occaisionally writes an opinion column. She hosts a podcast on interesting HR trends in corporate India called The Working Life.
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Published: 08 Jan 2023, 10:08 PM IST
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