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Retail, hospitality keep job market on growth path


CHENNAI: The onset of festive season, declining Covid cases and continued digitisation-led growth in tech industry saw the white-collar job market expand by over 60% year-on-year (YoY) in September. The count of active jobs in specific sectors like IT and BFSI crossed pre-Covid levels. September also saw a 5-10% rise in month-on-month jobs count with physical retail, travel and hospitality on the road to recovery, and the e-commerce sector prepping for a festive season boom. “Year-on-year, our estimates suggest hiring activity is up by 80-100%. The October-December quarter is traditionally marked by finalisation of HR budgets and plans and we expect almost a 50% increase in jobs activity in this period compared to July-September,” Anshul Lodha, head of Page Executive, India, said. Both traditional and new age companies are expanding teams on the back of diverted capital flows to India from China, he added. The sustained rise in hiring activity across sectors is creating a supply crunch for talent, making it an employee market, where companies employ measures like hybrid work and increased frequency of increments and promotions to attract and retain workforce, HR firms said. Specialist staffing firm Xpheno’s monthly analysis showed that September closed at 285,000 active white-collar jobs with a marginal 3% growth over August and growing 60% from the 176,000 jobs in September 2020. Active jobs in September emerged as the second-highest count for the current calendar year after March’s 290,000, the research showed. “IT services companies will continue to see the build-buy-borrow model of freshers-laterals-contractors, whereas startups, product companies and global captives will continue to grow by hiring a higher percentage of laterals,” Xpheno co-founder Kamal Karanth said. Hiring activity crossed pre-pandemic levels with job postings as on October 1 higher by 9.6% from the baseline levels of February 2020, data from jobs site Indeed.com showed. Sashi Kumar, head of sales at Indeed India, said there is “an air of cautious optimism” as the economy picks up and the job market will continue to witness growth on the back of the approaching festive season. Increased hiring for functional roles indicate businesses are recovering from the impact of the second wave and focused on stabilising operations backed by a robust vaccination drive, he added. Job postings for functional roles such as system engineer, test engineer, lead engineer, process engineer, etc, increased by 43% YoY in September, data from Indeed showed. On a hierarchy basis, fresher hiring is outpacing other job levels as businesses look to optimise costs with fresher hiring. Job portal Naukri’s data showed that the job market maintained its record streak for the third consecutive month in a row, clocking 57% YoY growth in September, according to its JobSpeak index. At 2,753, the index hit an all-time high in September surpassing pre-Covid levels in September 2019 by 21%. Most sectors showed significant YoY hiring growth, according to Naukri, led by the IT products and services sector that grew by 138%. Hospitality (+82%), retail (+70%), banking/financial services (+43%) and telecom/ISP (+37%) also witnessed significant growth with businesses across the country reopening.


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