The first Covid-free festive season in two years is creating an estimated 5-6 lakhs seasonal jobs in the country during August-December, increasing about 20 per cent over the last year, with offline retail and e-commerce leading the pack, experts say.
“Retailers are expecting a big boost in their sales both online and offline. We are expecting to see an increase of around 20-25 per cent jobs compared to last year’s festive period. The estimated numbers of new jobs would be around 5 to 6 lakhs in these festive months,” said staffing firm Manpower’s senior director Alok Kumar. CIEL HR Services MD and CEO Aditya Mishra estimates the number to go up to 4-6 lakhs this year compared to 3-5 lakh temporary jobs estimated to have been created between last August and December.
Manpower’s Kumar says retail (FMCD, Lifestyle products), e-commerce, BFSI, logistics and warehousing are the sectors hiring keenly. “There are few new sectors like beauty products, health & wellness products where the demands have gone drastically high compared to last few years.”
All major e-commerce players, such as Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Meesho and Snapdeal are kicking off the festive shopping season with their annual big sales today. Flipkart told Business Today that it will be creating 50,000 additional direct seasonal jobs in their supply chain this year, while online fashion retailer Myntra had said it is adding 16,000 seasonal jobs.
“The last two pandemic years, e-commerce managed to do well, but retail was not flourishing. This time, the push is on retail. So, consumer goods sector is seeing a lot of demand because people want to buy things for their homes. Plus, hospitality and tourism spaces have also opened up,” says Indian Staffing Federation’s Executive Director Suchita Dutta. She sees 15-20 per cent hiring increase in these sectors, but a 30 per cent hiring growth in the hospitality and tourism sectors because they were not hiring much for the past two years. The roles in demand in e-commerce are delivery and warehousing personnel. In-shop demonstrators and customer support are in demand in offline retail, while operations and process executives in BFSI and beauty and health advisors in personal care sectors also sought-after by companies this time. Customer support roles in call centres are also in demand.
The hiring began as early as the second quarter, especially in July itself, the experts say. For instance, offline fashion retailer Marks & Spencer Reliance Retail, which does not work with temporary colleagues, ramped hiring with an additional 10 per cent head count in the second quarter itself. The number is usually 5 per cent in an average year. “Our workforce is in place because we have a very rigorous training on products, customer proposition as well as store-level processes. We had paused all hiring after the pandemic hit. This year the business has to go back to normal because customers are raring to go the stores. We have invested in about 200 people at the store level,” the firm’s Head – HR & Sustainability Mukta Nakra told Business Today on the sidelines of the Retailers Association of India’s Manning Modern Retail (MMR) 2022 event a few days ago.
Job portal Monster’s July index showed the retail sector posting an impressive 10 per cent jump compared to the year-ago level, indicating that festive hiring was certainly on the rise. Consumer brands such as electronics brands and apparel companies are all launching new products and hiring temporary staffers, experts say.
In fact, Mishra is noticing a smaller trend of many companies introducing retention bonus for the temporary staff given the high demand and attrition where staffers switch jobs even for a Rs 500 hike. “Companies are saying, ‘I will pay you Rs 5,000 as a retention bonus’, especially in companies which requires 4-5 days of training to sell a technical product such as a fintech product. The training is intense for complex hi-tech products also.”
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