Salary hikes to fall 5 percent, further decline possible: Study

February 19th, 2009 - 7:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) The slowdown-hit Indian corporate sector will reduce annual salary hikes by about five percent, a survey by human resource consultants Hewitt Associates released Thursday said.
Companies are looking at an average 8.82 percent hike in salaries as compared to 13.3 percent last year, the survey of 480 companies across India said.

“Countries worldwide are experiencing the burden of slow economic growth. However, with a 7 percent-plus growth rate, India still has one of the highest salary hike structures in the world along with China,” Sandeep Chaudhary, head of the performance and rewards consulting division at Hewitt India, told reporters.

On a cautious note, he, however, added that the 8.82 percent figure was reached at in December and January - when the survey was conducted - when many companies were in the process of revising their respective appraisal structures, due to which a further 1-1.5 percent hike in the structure was possible.

While the average salary hike has come down, Chaudhary said a few organisations are also reviewing salary cuts, especially that of the top management.

“Many organisations are looking at further revising their pay increase structure, while some may even postpone the appraisal date by a few months,” he said.

Among the sectoral pay hikes, the pharamaceutical sector was projected to get the highest increase of 13 percent, while IT and retail would see the lowest hikes: 6.7 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively.

Realty and infrastructure firms were kept out of the scope of the survey completely, Chaudhary said, explaining that the “dismal performance” of these sectors would have kept the pay hike projections to nil or even negative.

The survey gave a rather positive outlook on the job market, saying over 63 percent of the companies were still open for fresh hiring and with only 16 percent considering downsizing.

“Only 37 percent of the companies have frozen fresh recruitments. However, mass hiring is something which the job markets won’t see for some time to come,” he said.

According to him, the average retrenchment rate stands at over 51 percent in the US and about 31 percent in China.

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