Slow hiring, double-digit pay hikes in store for 2012

New Delhi: The Indian job market is expected to see slower hiring activity, but double-digit salary hikes next year as employers are embracing a "cautiously optimistic" approach amid the economic uncertainty.

Surviving overall global sluggishness replete with large-scale layoffs in different sectors, the domestic employment scenario has gathered some steam toward the end of 2011, as reflected in the relatively better hiring plans of companies.

The experts, as well as different surveys, are projecting a slower pace of hiring activities in the country in the New Year, but said India would still fare better than its global peers.

However, apprehensions are high that the economic slowdown and declining industrial output could seriously affect the hiring plans of corporates, experts said.

"Although there will be a variation in employment generation outlook across sectors, new jobs will continue to be added, but at a slower pace," global HR consultancy Ma Foi Randstad MD and CEO E Balaji told PTI.

"The global economic uncertainty has impacted the Indian market, inspite of the positive sentiments displayed at the beginning of 2011," he noted. In the coming months, recruitment is expected to grow in sectors such as retail, healthcare and IT & ITeS, defence, hospitality, consumer durable and nuclear energy.

Global human resources major Hay Group`s India Managing Director, Gaurav Lahiri, believes that India, to some extent, is insulated from layoffs happening in the developed world. "The Indian employment market is cautiously optimistic," Lahiri said.