Employment outlook analysis deals with the prospects of creating and sustaining jobs in the market for a specific period and the actual steps involved in making this vision come true against the background of real-time uncertainties. Employment outlook is rather complicated, although it can often be characterized as positive or negative in the overall big picture. For this reason, employment outlook is often examined in the context of a specific industry, class of organizations, or geographical region.
India’s employment outlook
It is notable that India has, for most of the pandemic and even before it, maintained an overall positive employment outlook. The reasons for it, broadly, are as follows:
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1. Availability of literate, young, market-ready professionals
2. A plethora of industries growing at a competitive rate in addition to IT: Manufacturing, Retail, FMCG, e-Commerce, Technology and STEM fields, Banking, Telecom, Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare, and allied services.
3. A positive hiring trend, if somewhat marred by the retrenchment observed in the pandemic, is still uninterrupted in the past year to 18 months. This causes India to be one of the four top countries in the world with a positive hiring trend and employment outlook. The others are Taiwan, China, and Japan.
4. Ability to adapt to trends: India’s IT industry and several others supported by EdTech and ITeS took to the digital transformation movement long before it became mandatory – before business sustenance depended on it. As a result, now most industries in the service sector are able to move to fully-remote workforce engagement, allowing/encouraging teleworking or participation of distributed teams.
5. There is a clear emergence of the temporary/contractual workforce: Workers being hired for part-time positions, independent contractors, remote workers, and those individuals who act as full-time consultants are no longer the exception. There are plenty who choose this as a way of life to work remotely or from the clients’ location, often employing a hybrid of the two. This allows greater work-life balance and effectiveness in the role for which they are hired.
According to the Employment Outlook Report Q1 (April-June, 2021) by TeamLease Services, a survey conducted during the period January-February, 2021, out of the 21 sectors reviewed, more than 8 sectors will witness a 9-12% rise in their intent to hire in the current quarter. However, these data inputs are conditional based on the intensity of the current lockdowns. According to the survey:
- Predictably after spending upwards of 14 months reeling under a pandemic-led healthcare emergency, the hiring outlook in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector leads all others at 58%. The collapse of the in-person schooling and upskilling arena led to an explosive growth in the EdTech sector, which flourishes at 55%.
- Manufacturing and construction spaced for only a short while, and accelerated again without the plague of Central lockdowns. The Central government of India divested the responsibility of laying down covid-related curbs to the state authorities. Vaccination against the fated coronavirus proceeds at full speed, and upcoming lockdowns proceed to outline the specific conditions under which construction activity can be carried on. This leads to a positive employment outlook for construction workers and consumption in the Consumer Goods and Power and Energy sectors.
- Attrition, on the other hand, has not been hit as hard, with the major gains still being observed in IT, ITeS, KPO, and EdTech.
- Hiring in the Knowledge Process Outsourcing sector, FMCG, Agriculture sector, Retail and Logistics have all kept up with the upward trend that is usually expected (and fulfilled) in IT, ITeS, and e-commerce sectors. This keeps the hiring outlook across sectors between a promising 30-58%, with healthcare taking the lead as aforementioned.
- Bangalore is among the top five cities scoring high on intent to hire at 52%. Delhi is a close second at 45% and other up and coming cities like Hyderabad and Ahmedabad range in the 30% range. The encouraging fact about tier-I cities and metros is that they also breach the same margins (41%), owing to a growing employee-friendliness, remote working trends, and distributed teams logging in from these regions, and tier-III cities (at 24%) and tier-II cities (at 32%).
- It is observed that large corporations recovered quickly compared to startups, small, and medium-sized companies. They were able to adapt quickly, lie low during the peaks struggles of the past year, and proudly return to business with a 40% intent to hire, compared to a 20%~ in the latter categories.
- The other encouraging factor is that from the point of view of an organization’s hierarchy, hiring has been evenly distributed in the range of 21%-28% across entry-level workers and junior executives all the way up to seniors. This shows that career progressions across several industries and the requisite succession planning for higher-level executives among India Inc. will continue to follow a roughly positive trend.
- Hiring in the junior levels promises to be higher than that in the senior cadres – as companies rejoice under the leadership of experienced executives who have successfully led businesses through the volatile period of the pandemic. Going into 2022, only 22%-28% hiring may happen in the senior cadre while entry level jobs continue to fill at a rate of 21%-25%.
- Sales in all the promising sectors remains one of the most lucrative fields, with an overall 41% intent to hire. This is followed by Blue Collar, Marketing and IT jobs moving through hiring procedures at an admirable rate.
- A good part of the resilience in the Indian Rupee compared to other global currencies is attributed to the vaccination success seen among India’s considerable population. Workplaces are able to subsist on minimal staff numbers and adaptability is driving productivity.
- Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, and Pune are among a list of 14 cities to be watched for positive Employment Outlook. Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, and Kochi score high in the FMCG sector driving a busy consumer economy across the country.
The narrative observed in the last quarters and current one gives a hat-tip to a consumer-driven budget released by the Finance Ministry of the Government of India. It promises to bring consumption, liquidity, and fiscal spending back on track, nearly to pre-pandemic levels.
In the world of work, the drivers of the teleworking model veritably saved costs for the establishments which would otherwise invest in office spaces and employee amenities. These advancements in the mindset as well as the slow but sure nudging of traditional workplaces into ones that allow for employee-centric, or rather, outcome-led workplaces maintain an overall positive employment outlook in India.
- Employment Outlook Report Q1: April – June, 2021 | TeamLease | Intent to Hire | April 2021
- India among top four countries with positive hiring outlook, shows survey | Financial Express| FE Bureau | 10th June, 2020
- Job outlook for 2021: Overall job industry outlook for the coming year | India Today | India Today Web Desk | 23rd March, 2021
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