This is one of the country’s largest employers’ advice to job seekers

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KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Employment in the formal labor market begins to pick up from September onwards
  • Hiring activity increases beyond IT sector to real estate, shipping and professional services
  • Hiring picks up faster in Tier 2 cities as compared to large metros
The issue of unemployment has always been a contentious one and claims on employment figures in the country are often hampered by a lack of holistic, official data. One of the largest private-sector employees in the country, Quess Corp though says the formal Indian labour market is now at an inflexion point and hiring trends are finally beginning to look up after a hit since March 2020 when the country first went into a lockdown as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Quess Corp processes over 700,000 payslips each month through its subsidiary All Sec and while the number of payslips being processed is still 5% below March levels, things are beginning to look up says Suraj Moraje, Group CEO at Quess Corp in an exclusive conversation with ET Now. “In our own business we are starting to see hiring revive and its not just the usual suspects”, says Suraj explaining that market leaders are now starting to plan for growth across industries.
The number of payslips being generated per month is a clear indicator of creation of formal jobs and Suraj says sectors like construction, retail, healthcare and professional services are beginning to see single-digit monthly growth since October.
Quess Corp also owns Monster India, a job search site and hiring trends from this database has seen a 13% drop in October versus last year. However, hiring activity has increased by 3% in October when compared to March 2020. Significant growth in job postings has been seen in Retail, Shipping, BPO IT and logistics. Another interesting trend is that hiring is recovering faster in Tier 2 cities like Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Jaipur as compared to Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru or Mumbai.
The shift away from large metros is likely to be fueled by functions that can now be done from remote locations where salaries may be lower. Suraj points out a trend where some businesses are looking at outsourcing entire functions like finance or HR transactions. “People are saying, anyway I am managing my employees virtually, so why not outsource and get rapid cost savings,”¬†he explains.
So where is the hiring happening? The maximum hiring decline is at the top levels as expansion plans go on hold. There is a 31% decline versus March this year in the management level hiring. Freshers are also having a tough time because rapid growth plans have slowed down. Demand is higher for digital talent, analytical talent and automation talent. Areas like HR, Finance and back-office support have seen hiring fall meanwhile.
The key to positioning for hiring right now is to differentiate oneself by learning new skills. “You’ve got to position yourself to where the waters are flowing and where the fish are swimming and that’s how you catch the fish,” says Suraj.

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