MUMBAI: In a boost to hiring sentiment, October 2021 has emerged as the strongest month with active white-collar job openings crossing the 3-lakh mark for the first time in over 20 months, according to staffing specialist staffing firm Xpheno’s report. With a record 3.2 lakh active openings across sectors, October registered a 12% growth over September this year. The growth, on a year-on-year basis is 16%. The report, shared exclusively with TOI, says the number for active openings for October takes the active jobs count to nearly 30% higher than the volume register in pre-Covid months. What’s driving the hiring volume is organisations servicing current demand and also taking into account the capacity expansions for the upcoming year. To fill in vacancies, organisations are said to be relying on a healthy mix of entry level and lateral hiring. On the other hand, startups are fuelling the lateral hiring markets with attractive salary packages for experienced professionals. Entry-level openings formed the bulk — 31% — of the overall volume and was up 1%. Mid-junior openings (28% of volume) grew by 13% followed by mid-senior roles (23% of volume) at 11% growth in volume. While this is the strongest point in a rising curve so far, Xpheno’s co-founder Kamal Karanth, said the best is yet to come. “It’s not surprising to see the active job openings at an all-time high arising out of the new digital world’s pent-up demand. However, the best is yet to come as many traditional sectors like manufacturing, construction, BFSI & hospitality & travel industry haven’t come back to their pre-Covid peak yet,” said Karanth. “The average active jobs funnel over the last 4 months has expanded by nearly 45% compared to the funnel in the same period last year. This is a strong sign of recovery and consistent positive hiring action across key sectors,” said Karanth. Multinational companies (MNCs), said Karanth, are seen contributing to active jobs in the last quarter of the year that’s otherwise known to be a slow hiring quarter. Aggressive and active hiring funnels from MNCs is a clear indicator of the business demand and talent needs for the next year. Some of the prominent employers with active openings for the month were Accenture, IBM, Siemens, Bajaj Finserv, EY, SAP, Wipro, Shell, JP Morgan Chase, Oracle, Kyndryl, Google, Amazon, Zeta, Paytm and Byju’s. “We haven’t hit the peak of active jobs yet as the technology industry is still driving the bulk of the demand. However, an inclusive job market is likely to return in the last quarter of this fiscal when a higher vaccination rate would encourage previously affected sectors like hospitality and travel, construction, manufacturing and BFSI to open up further,” he said. What strengthens the long-term confidence among employers in onboarding permanent headcount, full time opportunities contributed to 94% of overall active jobs. The slice of full-time opportunities has grown by 67% this fiscal.