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Temp jobs go niche

In the meltdown aftermath, recruiters look for specialist skills even in temporary employees.

Saumya Bhattacharya | Print Edition: April 18, 2010

Call it a ripple effect of the meltdown that annihilated jobs across the world last year. Temporary (temp) jobs, that in the past have mostly been nonspecialised, entry-level roles, are gradually morphing into specialist, niche profiles and organisations across various sectors have started putting a premium on this talent. That's what a study conducted by TeamLease Services Solutions, India's leading staffing agency, brings to the fore.

Salary growth is appreciably higher for profiles with specific skills, according to TeamLease Annual Temp Salary Primer 2010. Industry is handpicking skilled profiles at a much higher increment than the rest. The indemand skills include research specialisation in agriculture, exposure to sales functions across various sectors, exposure to product development in industries such as information technology, and business development expertise in insurance.

Says Rajesh A.R., Vice President (Temporary Staffing), TeamLease Services: "Skilled professionals are getting big hikes and are being sought after." TeamLease has close to 67,000 temps on its rolls.

While general staffing market in the US is an important economic barometer of growth, it's still a nascent market in India.

According to Labour Ministry estimates, the size of the labour force in India is about 420 million, of which the organised workforce accounts for 30 million. Of this, 20 million are government employees, while 10 million are employed in private sector. Of these 10 million, close to half a million workers are employed through staffing agencies, says E. Balaji, CEO, Ma Foi Management Consultants, one of the leading players in staffing.

Despite the current pick up in demand, the market for temp jobs is yet to go back to its pre-meltdown levels. Sectors like telecom, FMCG, power and energy have accelerated hiring on the back of expansionrelated demand. Telecom and energy are, in fact, the new growth engines. Telecom companies in Bangalore, Chandigarh, Delhi, Mumbai and Pune as well as energy businesses in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore gave out a high 10 per cent plus increment for several profiles.

Manufacturing and construction, too, are stepping up hiring, but gradually. "Construction will take some more time to stabilise as the increased demand, created by the Commonwealth Games, is likely to disappear," says Rajesh.

HOT SECTORS

  • Telecom
  • Power and Energy
  • Construction
  • Insurance
  • IT Enabled Services
  • Automobiles

SKILLS & PROFILES IN DEMAND

  • Exposure to agriculture and agrochemicals businesses.
  • Research specialisation in agriculture.
  • Good product understanding.
  • Varied experience in sales function.
  • Good communication and relationship skills.

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