C level hiring is on in full swing
Mini Joseph Tejaswi
The Times of India May 20, 2010

Bangalore: Not just campus recruitment, the ‘C’ level (read leadership) hiring too is back again, after a recession induced 20-month slumber.

With this, third party hirers have a huge mandate to hunt suitable CXO candidates to fill thousands of vacant and newly created positions across industry verticals.

Nirupama V G, MD of recruitment firm Ad Astra.

With this, third party hirers have a huge mandate to hunt suitable CXO candidates to fill thousands of vacant and newly created positions across industry verticals.

“With market recovery, there is a visible uptick in the CXO hiring. The trend is seen across south America, Asia Pacific and India and across verticals,” says Ray Pereira, director, Kenexa India.

Industries like healthcare, infrastructure and real estate have seen huge venture capital and private equity play in the recent past. This has resulted in the creation of several newer business streams and foot print expansions. Every realty firm has an arm for low cost houses or independent divisions for retail space, office space, highend condominiums and villas, and each one run by an independent head/CEO. Healthcare firms like Appolo, Wockhardt and Columbia Asia are expanding by leaps and bounds. Domestic hospitals are increasingly run by CEOs who understand branding, market positioning and sales operations today.

Also, sensing huge business possibilities in the country’s civil infrastructure space, almost 100 international infrastructure consulting firms of multiple disciplines have directly or indirectly set up shops here in the last couple of years. Sectors like manufacturing, aerospace (design, production, engineering, consulting, support services, component making and MRO) are hiring large number of leadership talent. Real estate firms are filling top jobs in the property management, leasing space. BFSI, IT and BPO sectors too are seeing large number of top level hiring with a focus on sales, marketing, delivery, operations. IT/ITeS sector alone is expected to hire over 2,000 CXOs during this fiscal while an equal number is expected in the infrastructure (power, manufacturing, cement, oil, logistics, telecom, road/rail). The booming healthcare vertical is expected to onboard around 500 CXO candidates this year.

Sunil Goel, director, GlobalHunt India, an executive search firm says, there is significant traction in the ‘C’ level hiring in the last few months as companies have concrete business plans and are on an expansion mode. “Also, in the last few years CXOs never got an opportunity for job change. So, the current spurt in CXO hiring is driven by attrition, replacement and a sizable fresh demand. Also, a substantial volume of leadership is required for the rural market push.”

According to Nirupama V G, managing director of another hiring firm, AdAstra, “Not just big ticket hiring, very attractive compensation packages are also back in the market.” For instance CFO (chief financial officer) salaries are up from Rs 80 lakh per annum levels to Rs 1 crore, HR heads get upto Rs 1.5 crore, CEO (telecom/retail, real estate) salaries are up from Rs 2.5 crore to Rs 3 crore and more. In most cases salaries are garnished with stock options and perks. Even small and medium firms are offering Rs 50 lakh plus handsome variable pay for CEO candidates, from the earlier Rs 30 lakh.

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