It's A Happy Diwali And A Happier Job Search

Hiring is picking up! Where are the jobs?

<div class="paragraphs"><p>A firework display is seen in Washington, D.C. Photographer: Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg</p></div>
A firework display is seen in Washington, D.C. Photographer: Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg

Out of a job, the sole earning member searching for employment, facing financial strains—rings a bell? Just a few months ago, your LinkedIn page was probably full of such posts.

Today, a scroll down and the page throws up a dramatically different picture. "Promote me or I quit", "Why you should ask for a raise", "How often is it OK to change jobs" are just some of the posts that might pop up.

As economic activity continues to climb, India's job market is on the mend. While engineers and IT professionals are still the most in demand, other industries are also now seeing more hectic hiring activity.

"India is witnessing never-seen-before activity in hiring," said Pawan Goyal, chief business officer at job listing portal "We are in a phase where there is going to be a talent war at least for the next six months or one year," added Amit Vadera, business head at TeamLease Services Ltd.

Most job websites are reporting improved activity, although the aggregate improvement in employment is not as stark as what is being seen across headline-grabbing sectors like technology.

  • The Naukri JobSpeak index rose to a fresh all-time high in September.

  • As on Oct. 1, 2021, job postings on Indeed were 9.6% above the pre-pandemic levels.

  • The Monster Employment Index, though, is still below the pre-pandemic levels even as hiring has increased 8% over the last six months.

Near-double-digit GDP growth in the current fiscal, firmer aggregate demand, and improvement in industrial activity and services sector indicators are fuelling a modest job growth in India, according to the Employment Outlook Report by TeamLease for the October-December 2021 quarter.

None of these indices are comparable to each other since most rely on activity on their own platforms to judge the job market.

While assessment of the magnitude differs, the message is common—hiring activity is picking up.

Startup Frenzy Leads Job Market

Well-funded startups are leading hiring.

In the startup ecosystem, employee headcount has increased 30% in the last six months, according to a release by RazorPay Software Pvt. The e-commerce sector led this growth, its analysis of payroll data of over 25,000 employees across 360 startups suggested.

Total salary spends at these startups increased 43% between April and September in the startup ecosystem, the release said.

Edtech, fintech, and electronics (online and offline) are some of the sectors that witnessed a significant increase in their salary spend during the last six months. Moreover, some startups even increased the median salary of their employees by 7% this year.
RazorPayX Payroll Insights

Hiring activity in the software and software services sector reached an all-time high on Naukri in September. The tech sector has recorded positive growth consistently post the second wave, Goyal said.

Other sectors seeing improvement include retail, hospitality and travel. These sectors, which were among the worst hit by the Covid crisis, are now opening up. Job growth in these segments has picked up with the nation gearing up for the holiday season and an anticipated celebratory atmosphere, according to Naukri.

The printing and packaging industry has also seen an improvement on account of rising online sales, Monster said. Roles in logistics and supply-chain management have risen for the same reason.

Data provided by TeamLease ranks IT, educational services, healthcare and pharmaceuticals as sectors with the highest intent to hire.

Festival Economics

The absence of the third wave of Covid infections has allowed the economy to reopen ahead of the festive season. That means temporary hiring for activities linked to the festival season has also picked up.

For instance, during the Navratri and Durga Puja, demand for decorators and DJs saw triple-digit growth, according to data collected by Just Dial Ltd. based on searches on its platform.

Caterers and event managers are also back in demand.

This year during the festive months, seasonal and gig workers are in more demand, said Sekhar Garisa, chief executive at

It's A Happy Diwali And A Happier Job Search

Advantage Employees

As the job market heats up, employees have the upper hand. From higher salaries, to joining bonuses and greater flexibility, they are able to negotiate a good deal for themselves.

A survey by Willis Towers Watson Plc showed that India will see the highest salary increase in 2021 across the Asia-Pacific region.

Salaries are projected to see a median increase of 9.3% next year, translating to an average increase of 8.8%, the survey published on Oct. 20 by Willis Towers Watson said. That compares to a median salary increase of 8% and an average increase of 7.4% in 2021, the survey said.

All the tricks that companies have used in the past are also coming back. ESOPs, special incentives, performance-linked incentives and rewards are on the table.

On the flip side, companies are seeing more attrition.

That's a sign of growth, Vadera said. "When attrition starts to go up, it is a sign that the market has started hiring. It's an indication of greater opportunities."

Employees are also seeking greater flexibility to work-from-home and some are able to negotiate it amid the hiring frenzy. According to a survey by LinkedIn, a sizeable share of employees were reluctant to return to office and preferred to stay on in smaller cities.

Organisations are struggling to pin down millennial tastes and preferences. Employee engagement and flexibility will play a big role in determining whether an organisation can attract and retain talent, Vadera said.

Pain In Some Industries Remains

Hiring in the travel and tourism industry has also shown a sharp rebound. Still, job listings in this sector were 46% below the pre-pandemic levels in September, according to Naukri. As per the Monster index, job listings in this sector are still 66% below what was seen before Covid-19 struck.

Job listings in the auto and auto ancillary industry were 26% below the pre-pandemic levels in September, according to Naukri. Monster pegged the gap at 27% for this sector. Retail job listings were 12% short on Naukri and 16% lower on Monster.

Oil and gas, power, infrastructure and energy job listings are also below the pre-pandemic times.

On TeamLease, intent to hire was the lowest in travel and hospitality, marketing and advertising, and consulting.

"We see that hiring activity in some industries that were hard hit by Covid-19 has definitely declined to moderate levels," Garisa said. Still, they are keeping pace with the recovery, he added.

The signs, Vadera said, are that every industry is picking up.