Originally published in ETHRWorld
The Indian job market is improving slowly and steadily over the past few months after declining by over 60 per cent in April 2020 and May 2020 year-on-year (YoY), owing to the pandemic, according to the Naukri JobSpeak Index.
However, hiring is still down by 28 per cent in November 2020 versus the previous year at the same time.
Speaking on the same, Dr Pawan Goyal, Chief Business Officer, Naukri.com, said, “Even though the effect of the pandemic is still evident in YoY growth, what drives optimism for job seekers is the continued positive month-on-month (MoM) recovery that makes us hopeful for the coming year.”
Similarly, the number of job postings on Indeed, which is a real-time measure of labour market activity in India, has increased across industries. “Growth in job postings was -18.5 per cent in November 2020, from -50 per cent in June-July 2020,” Sashi Kumar, Managing Director, Indeed, said.
Technology has been the game-changer
At an overall level, hiring in the IT sector started seeing a decline from April’20 onwards, peaking in May’20, down by 54 per cent at a YoY level. However, technology has been the game-changer during the lockdown period with corporates moving to virtual meetings, conferences and even up-skilling programmes.
“Even though the overall hiring across sectors is down by 2 per cent sequentially, IT is up by 10 per cent in November 2020 over October 2020. This is a result of more IT companies taking on the route of digital transformation during the pandemic,” Goyal said.
As a sector, which was at the forefront of fighting the pandemic, Medical Healthcare saw an immediate sequential recovery of 90 per cent in hiring in May’20. Compared to the pre-Covid period, it is only down by 13 per cent during the post-Covid period while the overall index is down by 28 per cent making it the least impacted sector from a hiring standpoint, Goyal said.
According to Indeed, as of November 2020, categories like Construction (33.7 per cent), Pharmacy (21.9 per cent), Insurance (20.7 per cent), Physicians/Surgeons (20.7 per cent) and Production/Manufacturing (6.3 per cent) showed signs of a complete turnaround, recording positive growth compared to November 2019.
“Comparing data between July and November 2020, the ‘Chemical Engineering’ industry appears to be the only one that’s seen a further drop in hiring, compared to the same months in 2019,” Kumar said.
Following the same, SCIKEY Market Network, a platform research data, indicates Healthcare leads with the maximum number of jobs, followed by IT Manufacturing.
“With the unlock in the process, there is a significant increase in the number of WFH and contract job positions in 2020, compared to last year,” Akshay Sharma, Co-Founder, SCIKEY Market Network, said.
Hiring for remote jobs sees a robust growth
Led by the Covid-19 pandemic, hiring for remote jobs too has seen a robust growth and has increased by 3X as compared to pre-Covid levels this year. Goyal from Naukri.com said around half of the remote job postings are from the BPO/ ITeS sector, resulting in a robust growth of WFH jobs from the industry.
“IT-Software, Education/Teaching and Internet/Ecommerce contribute to another quarter of work from home jobs. WFH jobs have also emerged in unlikely sectors such as Publishing and BFSI that have conventionally required the physical presence of the employees,” he said.
While the pandemic has disrupted the job market, Kumar from Indeed thinks it has also created many opportunities for job seekers. During Indeed’s hiring week, the company saw a rising demand for employees with skills in Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Customer Support, and Kumar believes that the demand for these skills will continue to grow even in 2021.
He further said, “Another interesting trend observed during the pandemic was that the ‘remote’ job postings for freshers increased by 157 per cent from April to May, and by 364 per cent from April to August – a reflection of the ongoing change in the mode of work.”
The leading roles for freshers were in the areas of Administration (14 per cent of the total), Tech Software (10 per cent), Customer Servicing (8 per cent), Marketing (5 per cent) and Sales (4 per cent).
Following the same, for SCIKEY, a few roles in demand that have emerged in WFH culture are Designing, Consulting and Marketing.
“The three must-have skills are Adaptability, Learning Agility and Verbal Communication skills since all these are needed for adapting to the changing industrial ecosystems and norms,” Sharma said.
AI and ML are becoming hugely popular
The pandemic outbreak has underscored the significance of connectivity across every sphere of our life with work from home, online meetups with friends/family and virtual entertainment becoming the mainstay.
In the same context, companies are also looking towards diverse hiring to meet the rising demand for jobs like data analysts, data scientists, etc.
Speaking on the same, Priyanka Anand, VP and HR Head of South East Asia, Oceania and India, Ericsson, said, “Given the adoption of 5G in different markets around the globe, our focus is not only on upskilling and reskilling our existing workforce but also hiring talent from outside. It is evident that there will be a surge in demand for jobs like data analysts, data scientists and AI professionals across the world.”
She said with the increasing demand for voice and data services, the demand for network engineers and field maintenance staff will also continue to stay.
Since hiring demand across IT, Healthcare, Engineering, and Manufacturing industries have surged for next-gen digital skills, Vikram Ahuja, Co-Founder, Talent500, said AI and ML are becoming hugely popular in more conventional industries such as healthcare, engineering, manufacturing - which are in phases of rapid transformation.
“Data security and cloud are two other skills in demand. Finally, automation, and especially RPA, is becoming commonplace across many of these industries moving into more tech-oriented directions,” he said.