HEADCOUNT INCREASE in the range of 30-35% over last year with high demand for roles in the technology functions; focus is on expansion in tier-3, 4 cities and rural markets Business on the Road to Recovery, Lenders Step on the Hiring Pedal Saloni Shukla@timesgroup.com Mumbal: Anticipating business growth as the economy opens up fully, Danks and nonbanking finance companies (NBFCs) have ramped up hiring plans with an increase of as high as 30-35% in recrultments from a year earlier, especially of those on the technology side of the business. Private lender HDFC Bank, which aims to reach 200,000 villages in the next 24 months, has plans to hire more than 2,500 people in the next six months, while the Shriram Group is hiring 5,000 across its many companies. ICICI Home Finance is looking to onboard 600 employees by December while Kotak Mahindra Bank, too, has resumed hiring closer to preCovidlevels. The Shriram Group is recrulting mainly in the south and north India, across tier 34 citles. Shriram City Union Finance is expanding its gold loan business, whhie Shriram Housing Finance is expanding primarily in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. "With normalisation returning, we are strengthening functions such as sales, credit, collecCalling for CVs HDFC Bank to hire ICKCI Home 2,500 people In Finance to recruit the next 6 months 600 employees by December Shriram Group bl to recruit 5,000 B across verticals = Kotak Mahindra Bank resumes hiring to pre-Covid levels tions and support for supporting our growth plans across the gTOup," Shriram City Union Finance managing director YS Chakravarti sald. "We are acquiring talent across diversified portfolos such as home loans, APF (approved project finance) and cross-sell verticals. At Shriram Life Insurance, we are developing the distribution models that would help us expand our rural presence and tap the rural customer segments." Financial institutions had brought hiring toa halt as they dealt with the aftermath of the first and second Covid wave. With businesses returning to Demand for roles in technology. K sales, creditand M collections normalcy and growth expected to pick up in the festive season, companies are adding to their full-time workforce to be ahead of the competition. Also, with the increased emergence of technology, banks and non-bank lenders have ramped uphiringinthetechnology and fintech space. "Even as hiring has resumed closer to pre-Covid levels, our focus has shifted towards hiring of new-age and digital talent with the necessary skillsets; these could be in the areas of digital, IT infrastructure and analytics," said Sukhjit Pasricha, group chief human resource officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank. ICICI Home Finance plans to conduct recruitment drives across its pan-India branch network in sales and credit, enabling the company to cater to the increasing demand in the affordable housing segment. "We see growth opportunity in the affordable housing segment across 530-plus locations we are present in," sald Anirudn Kamam, MD, ICICI Home Finance. "Ow pan-India recruitment drive willatd our growth plans as we focus on hiring local talent for our branches." According to an HSBC survey, most Mdian businesses are Investing in their Workforce as they Iook to rebuild from the pandemic and fuel growth ambitions. As much as 80% of the surveyed businesses in Indiaexpect to increase their full-time employee base over the next12months. "Withtheimpactof the pandemic ebbing away and an economicrecovery on the cards, businesses are gearing up for growth," sald Rajat Verma, head of commercial banking, HSBC India. "This positive sentiment is evident as businesses are investing in hiring and upskilling their workforce."