Companies such as Maruti, Hyundai Motors India, and Tata are separating the gold from the rust from what is left of Detroit. Detroit was once an iconic automobile hub, and it is going through a journey of bankruptcy. But now it is turning out to be the ideal hunting ground for the car-makers who are eyeing talent laid off by General Motors, Chrysler and Ford.
The Big Three of Indian auto sector are scouring Detroit and other such fallen auto hubs across the US and Southeast Asia, placing advertisements in leading auto magazines seeking engineering talent, expats as well as NRIs, to run factories back home.
“With big automakers like GM, Ford and Chrysler downsizing people, we found that there was a capable population in the US, which can be effectively used to meet our own requirement,” says SY Siddiqui, Maruti Suzuki’ s managing executive officer for HR & IT.
India’s largest carmaker had sent a team to Detroit to shop for talent. It bagged 10 engineers so far, two of them expats. “We are so happy with our talent acquisition that we are looking at hiring more from Motown next year,” Mr Siddiqui says.
Maruti has plans to hire around 500 people in managerial capacity next fiscal year. And also an equal number of people will be recruited by the automaker on the shopfloor.
The company plans to enhance its R&D capability to become a 1-million unit carmaker by 2010. For this, it plans to scale up its R&D workforce from 781 to 1,000, apart from adding to the talent pool in other departments. In the current fiscal, Maruti plans to hire 500 engineers and 200 technicians.
The compensation package for those automobile engineers shifting from US to India depends on three factors: competence, the comparative cost of living and the prevailing compensation market in India.
Sunil Goel, director of GlobalHunt India, says there is a serious shortage of skilled manpower in India, which has forced these companies to look outside. He believes that hiring trends in the automobile sector in India are showing signs of a turnaround, and expects recruitment to increase in Q3 and Q4 this fiscal.