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Hiring activity rises 14% in December, to see an upward swing this year: experts

"There is positive sentiment and a clear upward swing in hiring from October-December 2020 quarter. In fact, on overall basis the hiring in January-March 2021 quarter will be the same as this quarter last year," says Aditya Mishra, CEO of CIEL HR Services

Sonal Khetarpal | January 7, 2021 | Updated 20:36 IST
Hiring activity rises 14% in December, to see an upward swing this year: experts
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The New Year brings with it hope and positivity. This is visible in the hiring sentiment too. Last year, certain companies had completely frozen their hiring but that is beginning to change. They are filling in vacant positions and many have increased their hiring specially in digital roles of cyber security, IT, virtual reality and 5G, among others.  

According to Naukri JobSpeak Index, there was an increase in hiring activity by 14 per cent in December 20, at 1,972 as compared to November 20, at 1,727. While at a year-on-year level, the overall hiring showed a decline of 10 per cent in December 2020, it still signals a clear recovery of the job market as the index registers the lowest year-on-year decline during the post-COVID months.

"There is positive sentiment and a clear upward swing in hiring from October-December 2020 quarter. In fact, on overall basis the hiring in January-March 2021 quarter will be the same as this quarter last year," says Aditya Mishra, CEO of recruitment firm CIEL HR Services.

The hiring is led by technology firms be it health-tech, fin-tech or ed-tech thanks to the digital push as a result of the pandemic, adds Mishra.  

Naukri's index also saw an increase in hiring in the insurance in December 2020 by 45 per cent over November 2020 as a need was felt for securing their health and businesses in the post-COVID era. The Auto & Ancillary sector saw growth at 33 per cent with increased consumer demand during the year-end period. Other key sectors such as BFSI (18 per cent), Pharma/Biotech (28 per cent), FMCG (21 per cent) and IT-Software (11 per cent) too have shown positive growth month-on-month.

Pawan Goyal, Chief Business Officer, Naukri.com says, "While hiring in April-June 2020 was down by 56 per cent compared to last year, subsequent quarters showed a steady recovery. Year-on-year hiring in October-December 2020 is down by only 18 per cent. This improvement is led by sectors such as IT, BPO/ITES, Medical and Pharma. Key sectors like Hospitality, Travel, Auto and Retail are still bouncing back, and the sequential numbers reassure us of robust recoveries in 2021."  

IT sector is one of the leading sectors for recruitment. Every year their maximum hiring happens in April-June quarter and gradually reduces over the next two quarters because most of the IT firms get business from the US and European markets where the financial year is January-December. So, by the time the orders are signed, its execution happens in April-June. But this year due to the pandemic companies were cautious and there was also uncertainty due to the immigration rules under Trump administration. But in October-December quarter hiring increased by 20 per cent over the previous quarter when usually it is 10 per cent lesser than April-June quarter. This year has been a reverse in that sense, says Mishra.  

Also, the intent to hire seems to be regaining its lost ground. According to TeamLease Employment Outlook Report- January-March 2021, the hiring intent for entry, mid and senior has risen by 2 per cent, 4 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively. But there is stronger intention to hire junior talent. An increase in the same by 7 per cent indicates demand for talent with a work experience of two to five years.  

As per the report, the intent to hire has registered a 6 per cent increase in the period between January and March 2020 compared to the previous quarter. The positivity in the job market is attributed to business recovery, strong FDI inflows as well as the thrust from the government towards creating a positive regulatory ecosystem.

"Sectors such as FMCG, retail, footwear, consumer durables have been cautious but they are hiring at junior levels for functions in sales, operations, supply chain etc as the firms are looking to expand their reach in the rural markets," says Mishra.

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