Hiring scene hits all time low in 12 years: Down from 35% to 14%


This is contrary to the situation a few quarters back in Q4, 2016, when India led the pack among 43 countries, ahead of Japan and Taiwan.

Though India still ranks 7th among 43 countries in terms of hiring outlook, it has recorded the steepest decline in the last one year – down from 35 per cent to 14 in straight four quarters.
This is contrary to the situation a few quarters back in Q4, 2016, when India led the pack among 43 countries, ahead of Japan and Taiwan.

In Q3, 2016, the employment outlook was 35 per cent, which dropped to 32 per cent in Q4, 2016 to further decline to 24 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively, in the next two quarters.

The situation is expected to worsen even further in Q3, 2017 as a survey with 4910 Indian employers by ManpowerGroup put the hiring outlook at 14 per cent – a straight fall of 35 percentage points from Q3, 2016.
Among those surveyed, only 16 per cent declared that they planned to expand their workforce, while 61 per cent did not foresee any change in the workforce. The final net figure of 14 per cent of positive employment outlook has been derived post the adjustment of seasonal variation.

While India maintains its pace of decline, another BRICS country has shown improvement in hiring outlook steadily for four consecutive quarters. From a complete negative situation, the Brazilian employers have finally reported positive hiring plans for the first time in more than two years.

At one point of time, India’s positive hiring sentiments were driven by the services sector. Now, the situation has been completely overturned – it’s the services sector which has recorded the steepest decline in hiring outlook. Hiring expectancy in the sector has fallen by 28 percentage points since Q3, 2016.

The manufacturing sector follows next with a fall of 26 percentage points in the same period. In finance, insurance and real estate sectors, the drop in hiring outlook is 24 points — from 35 per cent in Q3, 2016 to 11 per cent in Q3, 2017. The only sector which has managed a status quo or marginal fall is the public administration sector. However, in the quarter, employers in retail and wholesale trade have shown the maximum positivity in hiring with 20 per cent of those surveyed saying they plan to expand their workforce, though it’s still a decline by 11 points vis-à-vis Q3, 2016.  

A G Rao, group managing director, ManpowerGroup India, says, “In the wake of uncertainties in global markets, employers in India are adopting a wait-and-watch policy. This is probably the reason we are not seeing them commit to the same optimistic hiring plans.”

“In the current situation, technology has restructured the way the world functions and organisations are embracing these technologies based on changing business requirements. It is important for Indian employers to redefine their workforce strategies and adopt innovative ways to leverage the strength of their employees and stay competitive in an increasingly volatile economy,” adds Rao.

In comparison to the previous quarter (Q2, 2017), all three market regions – south, east and west have recorded a negative hiring sentiment while north has maintained a status quo. The worst hit market has been south where there has been a decline of 6 percentage points, while in the east and west markets of India, the hiring intentions have declined by 3 percentage points.
In terms of the size of businesses, the worst hit are the small companies with 10-49 employees. These companies have not shown an intent of hiring; instead, they plan to decrease the manpower strength by 5 per cent. The medium-sized companies (50-249 employees) plan to increase workforce by 13 per cent while large companies (250+ employees) have shown a positive intent, planning to increase workforce by 21 per cent.
An overview of the global results indicates employer confidence is similar to that reported in the second quarter with the majority of respondents’ content to either retain current staff or grow payrolls marginally as they await more definitive signals from the marketplace.

The forecast indicates payrolls will grow by varying degrees in 41 of 43 countries and territories over the next three months.
When compared to the previous quarter’s results, forecasts have improved in 17 countries and territories, declined in 16 and remained unchanged in 10. However, a more confident pattern emerges when forecasts are compared with this quarter last year as hiring intentions have improved in 26 countries, declined in only 15 and remained unchanged in two. Globally, the strongest third-quarter hiring plans are reported in Japan, Taiwan, Hungary and the United States. The weakest forecasts are reported in Italy, the Czech Republic and Finland.

The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey is conducted quarterly to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforces during the next quarter. The survey is based on interviews with nearly 59,000 public and private employers across 43 countries and territories to measure anticipated employment trends each quarter.

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Prajjal Saha is the editor and publisher of HRKatha, which he founded in 2015. With nearly 25 years of experience in business journalism, writing, and editing, he is a true industry veteran who possesses a deep understanding of all facets of business, from marketing and distribution to technology and human resources. Along with his work at HRKatha, he is also the author of the Marketing White Book. Thanks to his extensive experience and expertise, he has become a trusted source of insight and analysis for professionals across a wide range of industries.