Mumbai: Hiring of 'grey hairs' or senior executives is likely to grow by 12 per cent this year as companies are looking at battling the continued economic crisis with experience, according to experts.

"Earlier, to gain edge over competitors or to boost the top line companies would take unimaginable risks. Now that is thought of the past and to bring a balance to their aggressive postures men with 'grey hair' or experience are warranted," Executive Searchfirm Symbiosis Management Consultants CEO Vinay Grover told.

"This year will see a growth of almost 12 per cent," he added.

Being risk-averse is a major virtue of senior managers and the ability to take on multiple roles will become the differentiator for these men, Grover said.

"The trend of hiring experienced people started during 2008-2009 post recession after the financial markets were in turmoil and was visible across sectors," he said.

The senior executives are mainly being hired in the banking and financial sectors followed by steel, engineering, power, real estate, infrastructure among others, he said.

However, the compensation offered to these senior executives is notch below the normal compensation levels offered in line with the enriched experience they possess, he added.

Echoing a similar view, Elixir Consulting AVP (IT, ITeS and Telecom Practice) Deepti Yogi said to sustain the economic fluctuations most companies are also looking for experienced professionals, who are generally called as 'Grey Hairs'.

"In today's economic scenario, long-term vision and short-term goals are equally important and should be managed effectively to maintain growth of the organisation. The trend has been there for some time and hiring of grey hair has been increasing by 15-20 per cent every year," she said, adding that this trend will continue as industry wants to have a mix of talent.

Hiring of senior executives has been increasing by 15-20 per cent every year and power and energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, automobile sectors are recruiting most these professionals.

"This trend may catch up with other sectors like BFSI, pharmaceuticals and technology as well," Yogi said.

She added that the packages offered to these senior executives are usually at par with the positions they are being offered.

EWS Search Executive Director Perry Madan said this trend has been in existence for sometime, however, it came into limelight recently as current economic situation is making corporate rely on experienced consultancy and sound advice.

"Senior executives have seen ups and downs of the market and know what it takes to come out of a tough market when everything, including consumer confidence, market conditions, inflation pressures, governance, and international scenario seems to be going against the industry. Hence seniors with long tenure of service experience are preferred," he said.

Going forward, however, when the going is good people might go back to the original composition and start looking for fresh talent, he said.


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