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Executive hirings up 30% over pre-Covid levels


MUMBAI: Executive hiring is back with a bang. And this is coming not only on the back of pent-up demand but also new opportunities opening up across sectors like green & renewable energy, electric vehicles, education, foodtech, aerospace, defence, consumer space and startups. Executive search firms said C-suite hiring mandates have gone up by around 30% over pre-pandemic levels. For some, placement mandates have nearly doubled. Accord India managing partner Sonal Agrawal, who is also global chair at AltoPartners, said companies are beefing up their management teams in the race towards funding and listing, prompted by the buoyant stock markets. “This includes startups and young companies that did not traditionally use executive search,” said Agrawal. While describing the current executive hiring scenario as “boom time” for search firms, Claricent Partners managing partner Jyoti Bowen Nath said hiring mandates have increased by over 20% from what the firm witnessed in the pre-pandemic period. Other than IT services, Nath said opportunities have emerged even in manufacturing, which executives are keen on lapping up. Executive Access India MD Ronesh Puri said there’s “hyper activity” on the C-suite hiring front in India. “This year has been a year of resignations and candidates are armed with multiple options on the job front. The placement mandates we receive have more than doubled,” said Puri. Page Executive India head Anshul Lodha echoed similar views. Lodha said the mandates the firm receives has gone up by 100% since a year ago. “In addition to other sectors where executive hiring has gone up, a number of traditional businesses are also looking to bring in new professionals at the top. As we move into the last few months of the calendar year, many companies are planning for the future and want to bring in new leadership, which complements their business,” said Lodha. Agrawal of Accord India said many companies have used the pandemic to review costs and pivot their business models and are now hiring as they implement new strategies. Even mid- to lower-levels are witnessing a cycle of resignations and replacement hiring. “Traditional companies have been disrupted by technology and have a demand for digital and tech talent. The ‘great resignation’ is causing churn, specially at mid and lower levels, driving replacement hiring,” said Agrawal. Industry sources said harried companies that are losing good talent are being forced to shell out more for new candidates. Puri said, “Some companies are said to be offering higher variable portions — many a times 30% higher than pre-pandemic salary levels.” Lodha said, “What we are seeing in the job market are new opportunities and bigger responsibilities which are being offered by companies. These make for an attractive proposition for candidates. Many are also offering equity in addition to cash components in salary.”


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