Salaries are expected to grow by 10 per cent across industries and career levels as organisations are likely to increase headcount this year, says a report. According to Mercer’s 2017 India Total Remuneration Survey, companies are likely to dole out a 10 per cent salary increase across industries in 2018, consistent with 2016 and 2017.

The survey of 791 organisations across industry sectors found that 55 per cent companies intend to hire in the next 12 months, as against 48 per cent last year. “Indian industry continues to project low double digit increases, driven by a combination of an optimistic economic environment and a scarcity of the right talent,” said Shanthi Naresh, India business leader, talent consulting and information solutions, Mercer.

One in two companies are planning to increase headcount, with shared services and hi-tech leading the pack, similar to what was seen in the past two years, the survey said. In the shared services sector, there is an influx of captive organisations across retail, FMCG, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. Newer roles are emerging in supply chain planning, analytics, demand planning, computer imagery, store design and merchandising. With the evolution of value chain of work and the advent of such transformational roles, companies are looking at increasing headcount,” Naresh added.

In terms of attrition, there is a marginal downward trend from last year, where the overall attrition has gone down by 1.8 per cent, from 13.3 per cent to 11.5 per cent. “From a retention standpoint, R&D and sales professionals across levels, continue to challenge organisations, while from a hiring standpoint, organisations find it hard to attract engineering and sales professionals,” the report noted.

Meanwhile, according to Dilpreet Singh, VP HR & HR Head, IBM India / South Asia, India is caught between a widening skill gap and a higher education sector struggling to keep up. “The emergence of a new set of jobs known as the ‘new collar jobs’ — jobs that combine technical skills in areas such as cloud, cognitive, security and data science will require a deep knowledge base rooted in higher education,” Singh said.