Rica Bhattacharyya, Times Ascent

Top Startups Stick to Hiring Path Despite a Rough Period

A recent article posted in the Times Ascent talks about how top startups stick to the hiring part. Despite funding challenges, top Indian unicorn startups hired 58,000 employees and experienced a net headcount growth of 25,000 over the past year. Startups absorbed 75% of exiting talent, with significant lateral movement observed among the top 15 unicorns. Despite sector slowdown, confidence in engaging with startups remains high, reflecting their resilience and attractiveness as talent destinationsTop Indian unicorn startups are continuing to add talent despite facing a protracted funding winter and growth challenges.

Data from top 15 unicorns by talent movements — including the likes of BigBasket, Delhivery, Flipkart, IndiaMART, Meesho, Ola, PhonePe, Swiggy, Udaan, Zoho, Zomato — showed that over the last 12 months, this cohort of firms let go of 33,000 employees but hired 58,000, to record a 25,000 net headcount growth. This reflects visible talent retention among startups despite the continued rough quarters since late 2022.

A group of 27 companies emerged the top employers of talent who exited, showed the data collated for ETby specialist staffing firm Xpheno.

Among these, 18 are startups accounting for 75% of the talent absorptions. Further 8out of these 18 startups are from within the top 15 unicorns studied, denoting a significant lateral exchange of talent within the Top 15. The remaining nine firms that classify as large and established enterprises absorbed 25% of the attrited talent.

Except for a few, all the other companies either retained or added headcounts during the period despite a broader slowdown in the startup sector and liquidity crunch.

“It's critical to note that these startups have tackled attrition and also collectively clocked net headcount growth during one of the slowest years for macro talent activity,” said Anil Ethanur, co-founder, Xpheno.

“The continued confidence of talent to engage with startups is an encouraging sign and shows the resilience of this cohort that keeps it shining and desirable among talent,” he added.

“Many of these top unicorns are organically doing well. Even if they have laid off people it was more due to optimisation rather than real cash crunch,” said Amit Nawka, partner, deals and startups at PwC. “The overall slowdown in the sector provided them an opportunity to cut the flab after and let go off many wrong hires who were hired during the peak of 20212022,” he said.

“Within the 100 plus unicorns in India, broadly 50% are doing really well and these top ones still remain attractive talent destinations,” added Nawka. “This is also a great opportunity for the startup community to hire top CXO candidates from within the system as there is a lot of lateral movement.”

The analysis is based on a study of the talent loss pattern of Top 15 Indian unicorns by attrition count. The estimated attrition rates are converted to the absolute count of employees who left over the year.

Read more at https://timesascent.com/articles/where--how-to-use-gen-ai-the-ms-way/158520