Temping tempting for fresh MBAs

Priyanka Golikeri
April 21, 2010. 1:51 IST
Campuses might be brimming with placements, but MBA student Ronak Solanki wasn’t lucky enough to find a job. Very few companies visited his institute in Mysore.
As he scouted all around Mysore and Bangalore for a decent job, his friend Arun Kumar, an engineering student, suggested an alternative with a temporary staffing firm in Bangalore.
Kumar knew that some temporary staffing firms were hiring. If they join the firms, Kumar and Solanki will work on project basis for IT, retail, and insurance companies, but will be on the payrolls of the staffing firms as temps.
The temp jobs will not only provide them with a salary of Rs8,000-10,000 per month and work experience, but also flexibility and exposure to different organisational cultures and processes.
Though recruitment across MBA and engineering campuses this year has been better compared to last year, students from tier II and III institutes are finding it tough to get jobs.Hence, students like Solanki and Kumar are exploring options like temping, which sometime ago was not given much thought.
E Balaji, CEO of Chennai-based human resource solutions firm Ma Foi Management Consultants, says that earlier, job seekers had a strong preference for being on the payrolls of companiesthey would be working for. “But that attitude is gradually changing with people ready to join temping companies.”
Sometime ago, mostly arts, commerce or science graduates would join temping firms, but now engineering graduates and MBAs are joining as well, says Rajesh AR, vice-president of Bangalore-based staffing firm TeamLease Services.
Human resource consultant Anish Laikar says companies look for temps for functions like finance, administration, accounts, sales and data processing.Starting salaries in temping can range from Rs6,000 in retail to Rs8,000-12,000 in insurance, IT and financial services.
Temping companies are seeing demand from India Inc surging by approximately 12% quarter on quarter. “We are witnessing growth. Hence we should be adding 10,000 temps per quarter,” says Sudhakar Balakrishnan, managing director of Adecco India, a Bangalore-based firm with 81,000 temps.Rajesh says TeamLease would be looking at adding 2,000 temps per month to their current strength of 65,000.
Experts say the demand for temps is growing, as temping allows companies to save 10-15% of their manpower costs in areas like pensions, insurance, healthcare expenses and provident fund.Moreover, for short-term projects, like the marketing of a new product, companies prefer having temps rather than adding more people to their payrolls.
“Moreover, in scenarios like these, where recovery is still slow, companies would prefer not to add to their manpower costs,” Rajesh says. “Thus, they would go for temps.”