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Hiring activity revives after a lull; outlook looks positive

Naukri JobSpeak Index for Dec 2020 shows 14% increase in hiring compared to Nov

India Employment (File) People waiting to register themselves at the employment exchange in Allahabad | AP

The last October to December quarter has seen a revival in hiring activity and things have gradually started looking positive. There has been a revival in hiring activity especially in technology companies and consumer products, essential commodities, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, financial services and insurance companies. There has been a revival in the IT and outsourcing business due to the revival of confidence in the western markets. As per the Naukri JobSpeak Index for December 2020, there was an increase of 14 per cent in hiring activity as compared to November 2020. Also at the year-on-year level, the overall hiring showed a decline of only 10 per cent in December 2020 indicating a recovery of the job market.

The Naukri Index showed that the hiring in the insurance sector grew as there was a need for people to secure their health and businesses in the post-COVID-19 era. The auto and ancillary sector also continued to register growth in sequential hiring with increased consumer demand during the year end period. Other key sectors such as the BFSI, Pharma and Biotech, FMCG and IT-Software showed positive growth in month on month hiring in December 2020.

As per the Naukri Index, within metros, Pune and Delhi led the sequential recovery in hiring at plus 18 per cent and plus 16 increase in hiring followed by Kolkata and Mumbai. Coimbatore saw the highest hiring growth of plus 30 per cent amongst Tier-2 cities followed by Ahmedabad at plus 20 per cent and Jaipur at plus 15 per cent in December 2020 versus November 2020.

As per the TeamLease Employment Outlook Report (January-March 2021) with most of the sectors and establishments getting back on their feet, the intent to hire has regained its lost ground. The report observes that junior level talent is likely to be the most sought after resource during this quarter. While the hiring intent for entry, mid and senior has risen by 2 per cent point, 4 per cent point and 2 per cent point respectively, the intent to hire junior talent has increased by 7 per cent point indicating positivity for talent with a work experience of 2 to 5 years. The report has found this optimism visible across industries, cities and even job roles, but cautiously. As per the report, the intent to hire has registered a 6 per cent point increase in the period January to March 2021 compared to the previous quarter. The positivity in the job market is attributed to business recovery, strong FDI inflows as well as the thrust from the government towards creating a positive regulatory ecosystem.

The TeamLease report further points out, of the 21 sectors that have been reviewed in the report, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, educational services, e-commerce and technology startups, Information Technology (IT), fast moving consumer goods, knowledge process outsourcing and telecommunications have taken the lead in terms of intent to hire manpower. It also finds that optimism is much more evident in the Metros and Tier-1 cities. Bengaluru and Delhi with a 10 per cent point increase each are the leaders in terms of cities.

As per the latest Times Jobs survey HR managers were keen on hiring AI, Data Science and Business Analyst roles in 2021. The survey found that most organisations would stick to remote working in 2021 too and most plan to resume hiring and even roll out appraisals gradually to their workforce. The Times Jobs survey also found that most firms were ready to ‘re-hire’ talent laid off during the COVID-19 business turmoil.

HR industry experts such as Aditya Narayan Mishra, director and CEO of CIEL HR Services, feels that there is expected to be a spurt in hiring in the IT industry as there has been a trend towards revival of projects in the IT industry. “Many projects have been given a green signal as many medium sized companies are looking to accelerate their automation journey. As a result, IT and outsourcing companies are filling up the vacant roles quickly. I see accelerated hiring in technology companies due to the funding available and greater comfort among the consumers to go digital in their transactions. Business analysts, Development Operation engineers, full stack developers, cyber security professionals, mixed reality, blockchain and system architects are in demand. Besides this consumer products, essential commodities, healthcare and financial services are penetrating deeper into the rural areas to leverage opportunities there as a result, we have seen a pick up in hiring sales and operations roles in these sectors for the rural markets by about 15 per cent,” said Mishra.


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