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Wanted: Candidates who will not act pricey

Recruitment market makes a comeback, so do days of tough bargaining with a vengeance. How to cope up with lay-off | Professional worth helps scale peaks

, ET Bureau|
Sep 19, 2009, 06.35 AM IST
How to cope with lay-off 
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How to cope with lay-off Top 10 cos hiring Opportunity in adversity
NEW DELHI: When a global asset management company decided to hire a new country head for India in May, the timing seemed ideal. Financial services companies were looking to hire, there was no dearth of talent in the market and the cost to be borne was within the company���s budget. But after four months of constant negotiations, the mandate is yet to be finalised as the candidate wants more money.

Similarly, when a technology company, which employs around 10,000 people in India, decided to hire a new CEO a couple of months ago, it took a month extra and a few thousand dollars more to get the candidate on board.

If search firms are to be believed, candidates are prolonging the entire process to negotiate several times on compensation level and bonus payouts.

Three senior executives of three large executive search firms said the days of negotiations and renegotiations are back. Candidates being headhunted have started demanding salary increases of around 50%, instead of the 10-20% they demanded earlier.

Most mandates are for top managerial or CXO positions as a result of which mandates are taking longer to expedite.

���Over the past few months, there has been a clear shift in the talent demand- supply balance, as the companies have begun recruiting aggressively. We are witnessing a situation where the outstanding leadership talent is being pursued by multiple opportunities, thereby vesting significant negotiation power with these executives.

The financial upside for any senior level hire was hovering at 20-25% until a few months ago. In case of many executives, it has now moved up to a high of 45-50%, as was the situation in the pre slow down period,��� said Transearch International managing partner Atul Vohra.

A Delhi-based headhunter, who did not wish to be named, recounted a similar situation he faced while handling the mandate of a CEO of a foreign bank based in North America. He said after accepting the job offer, the candidate started putting various conditions with regard to higher fixed compensation, guaranteed bonus and more stock options. He also asked the new company to relocate him to the US after three years.

���He wants a large chunk of the variable pay as guaranteed bonus, irrespective of how the business performs. He also wants higher stock options to compensate for the options he would lose in his existing company,������ the search firm executive said.
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