BUCKING THE TREND

Business Today|August 09, 2020

BUCKING THE TREND
INA SEASON OF LAYOFFS AND PAY CUTS, SELECT COMPANIES ARE NOT JUST HIRING, BUT ALSO COMPENSATING BETTER, HERE'S WHY
E. KUMAR SHARMA

This year has been particularly good for 25-year-old Vignesh Sridharan. The management graduate from XLRI has joined as a trainee in the sales and marketing division of Reckitt Benckiser, a company he interned with last summer and got a job in October. The company held on to the offer even during the pandemic, and Sridharan was onboarded in June. He is currently operating out of Kolkata.

In a season of layoffs and pay cuts, Sridharan is mindful of the happy confluence of three factors — luck, choice of sector and the value of sticking to commitments that recruiters make. All three played out in his case. Among his batch of 180, the majority had no issue of any sort, either in getting a job offer or in onboarding. Sridharan's choice of the FMCG sector has helped him too. Irrespective of any crisis, essential items will be in demand.

Some 2,000 km away, in her hometown in Surat, Kiran Sharda, 22, a student of IIM Udaipur, remotely concluded her first summer internship with a leading consumer and specialties chemicals company. “They call us the pioneer batch of this virtual world and it felt good,” she says. Sharda is now waiting for her second-year online classes to begin. Her senior and a gold medallist from the Class of 2015, Angad Singh Abrol, after being part of two startup founding teams since 2015, chose this year “to take a pause from an entrepreneurial career and get deeper insights into product management.” He recently joined as a senior product manager in FarEye, a SaaS-based solutions provider for logistics players. “If you are skilled enough then every time is a good time to look for a job,” says Abrol. The same applies for companies as well. If a company is good and is in a promising space, access to funds is not a challenge even in the middle of a pandemic, he adds. FarEye, he says, “raised $25 million in April 2020 and has expanded its manpower with remote hiring by over 12 per cent amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.” He sees a clear trend in more hiring by tech-based solutions providing startups.

So, why do some companies see sense in ramping up on quality talent instead of resorting to layoffs? How are managements, in times of cost-cutting, approaching hiring? What are they conveying to graduates, business partners, and most importantly their own people? In some cases, it is driven by an expectation of a business rebound and in others, a confidence in respective brands and a simple demand-supply equation where good talent is available. There are companies from FMCG, finance, tech-based startups, healthcare, and e-commerce sectors who are rejigging their businesses models to adapt to the new reality.

Much More Broad-based

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August 09, 2020