Firms look for better resources at low packages

Unable to freely hire people like last year and forced by tough market conditions, employers are increasingly taking their pick cautiously. Companies are resorting to what they call ‘upgrading talent’ or getting better resources at existing pays or even lower packages. Recently, a large Delhi-based real estate company roped in a new CFO from a two-wheeler major at almost the same salary to replace the incumbent financial head as it felt the new man had an experience of managing a bigger organization and was known to be a better hand. As it was unpleasant to ask the incumbent CFO to move out, the company sidelined him. He was asked to report to the new hire.

Obviously, he’s now looking for a new job. This is not a rare case. A Mumbai-based hospitality major has asked a top-notch head-hunting firm to find a new HR head as the current boss’ performance didn’t match up to its ‘expectations’. However, the company doesn’t want to pay more.

Head-hunters say a substantial number of their clients are demanding similar upgrades as they think talent is just ‘available’ in the market. While a Delhi-based executive search firm says 10% of its client are looking for upgrades, another search firm, Executive Access, says as many as 30% of its clients have mandated it for such people.

According to EMA Partners International managing partner K Sudarshan, professionals having the experience of handling crisis situations are in big demand now. “If it was about skills in managing growth in a booming economy, it will be about tackling a slowing market where firms would have their eyes now,” he adds.

Organizations feel they have grossly ‘overpaid’ candidates in the past and it’s time to benchmark talent against industry standards. The need gets more pronounced as companies scout for people who can manage slowdown and its impact better.