Sruthi Krishnan

25 to 30 per cent are people who

have returned

from the U.S.

CHENNAI: With work experience spanning 10 years, Ramesh (not his real name) was part of a marketing team in an IT major. Recently, he received an email, not addressed to him directly, which had an ominous line, “ensure marketing teams exit.” Later, he was informed orally that he had to leave the firm. “If you challenge them, they threaten to terminate you immediately,” he said.

There are more resumes of middle-managerial talent (those who have around six to 12 years of experience) in the market than before. And people are willing to join smaller firms rather than stick with IT majors.

“There is no question about it,” said S. Srinivasan, chairman and managing director of SRA Systems, a software services and development firm. A smaller firm such as his has a better talent pool to choose from, he said. But as the slowdown had affected them too, the talent could not be absorbed, he added. According to HR consulting firms, there are multiple reasons for the increase in the availability of middle-managerial talent. “This has been happening over six months or so,” said Satya Krishnan, director, Saaki and Argus Consulting, an HR management and consulting firm. It used to be difficult to get managerial talent with six to eight years experience, she said. “Now, more such profiles are available.”

It is not as if companies decide to let go of 10 per cent of their middle-management to cut costs, said Ms. Krishnan. People who are not billable, as in those who are in support functions such as marketing, could be asked to leave if the firm decides to reduce overheads, she said.

“People returning from the U.S. mostly fall in this category,” she said, adding that 25 to 30 per cent of the middle management pool available was of people who had returned from the U.S.

Shri Ganesh, managing director, Catch Consulting International, a recruitment consulting firm, said that some companies were following the policy of “expanding the span of control.” Middle-managers who did not perform well were asked to leave, he said, adding that another manager was then asked to take additional responsibilities, he explained.