Anjali Prayag

Bangalore, Dec. 27

DEMAND it and you'll get it was the employee mantra through the year. Undoubtedly 2005 was the year of the `employee' for India Inc.

Recruitment consultants were active with hiring stepping up across sectors. Though IT has been fuelling the recruitment engine (TCS became the largest private sector employer in the country with its headcount crossing 50,000), ITeS, telecom, BFSI, retail and auto sectors too are picking up people in thousands.

Salaries across all sectors and categories shot up. "And next year will be no different," says Mr Gautam Sinha, CEO of TVA Infotech, an IT recruitment firm, adding, "But mind you, the emphasis was on `good employee' as companies became more discerning and insisted on hiring performing employees".

With most companies having put in place stringent performance evaluation systems, gone are the days of `across-the-board' hikes. "And next year, the differentiation between performers and non-performers will widen even further," Mr Sinha envisages.

Talking of widening gaps, India Inc continues to struggle with the demand-supply disparity. With more MNCs setting up shop here, this gap will only get bigger, anticipates Dr Pallab Bandyopadhyay, Chief People Officer, Scandent Solutions.

"While services giants like Infosys and Wipro will continue hiring freshers to stay afloat, mid-sized companies will be looking at laterals, but across all categories companies will demand employees with better communication skills to go with technological skills," he says.

The year also saw huge salary increases: averaging about 20 per cent across all categories and sectors. While CXO salaries reached a peak (some commanding over Rs 3 crore per annum), freshers too enjoyed a hike (the average soared from Rs 1.8 lakh to Rs 2.2 lakh per annum).

"It has been a good year for employees in this part of the world," says Ms Nirupama V.G., Associate Director, TeamLease. Even for the recruitment industry the party has just begun.

Very rarely do recruitment firms lose clients these days as companies want people `here and now.'

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 28, 2005)
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