Healthcare, manufacturing, and technology are expected to remain the key hiring sectors in 2021 despite the COVID-19 pandemic situation still impacting the recruitment trends across India. The salary increments in the said sectors are projected to be between 6% to 8%.
The said sectors were also at the forefront last year.
"Having shown resilient recovery before the second wave took hold, expectations are high for renewed recovery in the latter half of 2021 - provided movement restrictions ease and consumer demand strengthens in accordance to relief measures," according to a report by RGF Professional Recruitment, a Gurgaon-based human resource consulting firm.
Titled 'RGF International Recruitment's Salary Watch 2021: India', the report presents an overall assessment of salary data collected about over 19,000 candidates in the country and offers projections and benchmarking to help employees and employers take informed decisions on compensation.
As per the report, the boost in demand for healthcare services and pharmaceutical production has spurred a rise in compensation for talent with experience in Regulatory Affairs (Healthcare) (increments as much as 8%), Sales & Marketing (Healthcare) (8%), Manufacturing, Production and Operations (8%), medical areas (7%). Senior personnel and R&D talent across industries are also projected to see higher increments (7%), corresponding to the urgent need for experienced and skilled professionals.
While technology has always been a top priority for India, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital strategies for businesses of all sizes and across sectors as they cope with the "new normal", the report noted.
"From fintech to healthtech to ecommerce, companies of all sizes underwent a digital transformation to bring much-needed services to customers in need, such as payments, medicine, and groceries. With technology, small businesses and startups had a chance to participate in a hyper-digital economy that improved access for all," it added.
Tech talent employed in roles like software development, artificial intelligence, robotics, and data science commanded some of the highest salaries in the region, averaging between Rs 50 and 80 lakh per annum and wage increments of as much as 40% when changing jobs.
As new technologies unlock greater efficiencies in the manufacturing sector, there has been a corresponding demand for talent with smart manufacturing and tech expertise, the report said.
"Industry 4.0, driven by artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, has been deployed in sectors such as supply chain management, construction, and shipping. The Indian government has also been focusing on providing incentives to manufacturers in certain sectors such as automobiles, pharmaceuticals and food products to bolster the domestic supply chain and promote self-reliance," it added.
Engineers and managers in roles such as research and development, application engineering, manufacturing, and project management have experienced a considerably higher demand as compared to other functions, seeing year-on-year increment growth of 7% - in line with India's increased appetite for tech-driven manufacturing, according to the report.
Meanwhile, the Corporate Services and Consumer Goods industries are expected to see lower increments this year, despite their projected overall growth with an average year-on-year increment of 6% and 8%.