Fireworks start in job market ahead of Diwali
Ahead of Diwali, the Indian job market is seeing a record bounceback from Covid-19 lows on the back of increased business optimism, economic recovery and mass vaccination rollout.
Job openings are at a new high and the competition for talent - especially those in technology - is at a level not seen in many years, more than half-a-dozen recruitment firms and job sites told ET.
Mandates are up by a minimum of 15-25% compared to pre-Covid levels and at the top end, they have more than doubled, according to firms including Randstad India, ABC Consultants, Antal India, CIEL HR, TeamLease Services NSE -2.19 % and data from job site Indeed.
"This frenzy is something we haven't seen in the last two decades," said Sanjay Shetty, director - professional search & selection and strategic accounts at Randstad India.
Leading the demand is the technology and the tech-related sector as the pandemic has accelerated the move towards digitisation even in traditional industries.
Financial services and fintech, retail, logistics and e-commerce, healthcare and pharma, consumer, and manufacturing are all seeing a strong surge in numbers.
Job postings on Indeed on October 22 were a record 18% above the pre-pandemic baseline (February 2020). "Thanks to Covid-19 retreating and a strong vaccination drive, job growth continues to accelerate," said Sashi Kumar, head of sales at Indeed India. "More workers are finding jobs or starting to pick up their job search."
Shiv Agrawal, managing director of ABC Consultants, said multiple factors are driving the job market boom. The 'Great Resignation' and consequent high attrition is causing a surge in replacement hiring and there is pent-up demand from companies who had put hiring plans on hold during the pandemic.
"There are new investments, companies have had healthy profits, there's an appetite to hire," Agarwal said. "During the pandemic, companies have restructured, now the floodgates have opened. September and October have been right up there with our best months ever." He said he is having to turn down client requests because of the hiring rush.
Joseph Devasia, managing director at recruitment firm Antal India, said mid-level hiring is seeing the highest spike currently, followed by leadership hiring. "Post the Great Recession in 2008, we witnessed a surge in hiring; right now, we are seeing a similar or higher surge," he said.
Mid-level hiring is also seeing the sharpest surge at TeamLease Services, where overall hiring activity recorded a year-on-year growth of 89% in August. It also surpassed the pre-pandemic levels of August 2019 by 24%. "The surge in hiring activities in the October-December quarter compared to the year-ago period is being led by the engineering and manufacturing as well as the technology sectors," said TeamLease cofounder Rituparna Chakraborty.
CIEL HR Services has seen a 50% jump compared to the same time last year and a nearly 15-20% rise vis-a-vis the pre-Covid times.
"The rise is largely powered by the investments flowing into the startup ecosystem and technology-led companies," the company CEO Aditya Narayan Mishra said. "And secondly, it is due to the accelerated investments in digitisation by companies across the globe."
Axis Bank has added people across various verticals including technology, new skills, corporates among others. "Optimism is definitely there... We are hiring in a big way," the private bank's HR head Rajkamal Vempati said.
Edtech unicorn Eruditus plans to nearly double the headcount for its India business over the next 12 months across various functions, but particularly instructional design, marketing and sales. "We are very bullish. It's getting tougher to hire good talent in this market but there are a lot of opportunities," its CEO Ashwin Damera said.