Employers in India intend to go easy on hiring over the next three months compared with the past quarter although the global slowdown is likely to have minimal impact on recruitment plans in India, according to a study released by global staffing services company Manpower Inc.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey of almost 5,000 employers in India across industry sectors indicates that the job market in India is expected to remain dynamic. Net employment outlook—the difference between the percentages of companies planning to add and reduce headcount— stood at 43% after adjusting for seasonal variations, down 2 percentage points from the outlook in the third quarter.

“Despite the positive outlook reported by employers, some industry sectors seem to be experiencing the first signs of a global slowdown,” said Naresh Malhan, managing director, Manpower India. “Employers in both the services, and finance, insurance and real estate sectors are less optimistic than they were in the third quarter, with outlooks declining by 11 and 23 percentage points, respectively.”

Around 33% employers in the finance, insurance and real estate sector indicate positive hiring intentions compared with 56% employers who indicated positive hiring outlook in the third quarter, reporting the steepest quarter-over-quarter decline of 23 percentage points, the survey found. “Slowing economy, coupled with trickling foreign investment, has slowed down real estate projects, which in turn has impacted hiring in the real estate sector,” said Pratibha Malaviya, vice-president and group head, human resources, at Unitech Ltd, the nation’s second largest developer by market value. “Hiring has been mostly happening for new projects. Since many new projects are not taking off in the real estate sector, recruitment has considerably slowed down.”

Unitech hired 50 people, mostly comprising campus recruits, a month for the northern and eastern region in 2007, but it is hiring only 5-10 people a month now. Currently, it is not doing any lateral hiring in these two regions. “We are hiring only for our projects that have taken off in the western region,” Malaviya said.

The most optimistic hiring intentions are reported in the mining and construction sector, where 54% of the employers surveyed expressed intentions to hire in the fourth quarter of 2008 against 45% employers in the third quarter. “This is largely due to the first level implementation of various public-private partnership projects,” said Malhan.