July hiring numbers fall as economy slows: Naukri

The slipping economic growth rate has started showing in the recruitment numbers, according to the latest numbers released by India’s biggest recruitment firm Naukri.com.

The July numbers showed a decline in hiring in sectors that depend on domestic demand, instead of catering to the foreign markets.

Sectors that showed a slowdown include banking, oil and gas and auto.

India has been witnessing slowing growth due to high inflation. Prices of essential commodities are up 10% year on year, forcing the central bank to raise interest rates. The high interest rates have made loans more costly and made it more difficult for businesses to expand, affecting recruitment.

Banking recruitment was down by about 16% in July compared to June, Naukri said.

“Although sectors like ITES (BPO), Telecom and Insurance have seen about 4% to 8% increase in their hiring levels in Jul-12 when compared to Jun-12, the overall hiring level for these sectors are still 12%, 18% and 35% lower than pre recession levels,” Naukri said.

As a result, the Naukri Job Speak Index, which compares overall hiring activity to that in July 2008 (before the recession) fell in July compared to June.

The Job Speak Index slipped from 1210 in June to 1197 in July. A value of 1,000 indicates that hiring was at the same level as in July 2008.

The Index was in the 1,000-1,100 levels last year. This year, the Index has been hovering around 1,200 mark.

“The overall recruitment market in the economy is very challenging and most recruiters are staffing smartly and are not going overboard. However, unlike the last downturn which came like a jolt, this time companies are more prepared and cautious” said Hitesh Oberoi, Managing Director and CEO of Info Edge India, which owns Naukri.com.

Banking and Insurance professionals saw 16% dip in their demand during the same time period. Similarly, Project Management Marketing HR and IT-Software professionals saw dips within the range of 2% and 6% respectively during the same time period.

On the other hand, the demand for customer service, production and sales professionals witnessed increase in demand in Jul-12 when compared to Jun-12.

Pune and Hyderabad saw 4% and 3% increase in hiring levels in Jul-12 over Jun-12, while Kolkata and Mumbai witnessed stable hiring levels during the same time period. On the other hand, Bengaluru and Chennai saw 3% dips in hiring activity during the same time period.

According to an earlier-published Naukri Hiring Outlook Survey, only 62% recruiters anticipated new jobs to be created in the second half of 2012, as compared to 72% at the beginning of the year.