Since September, hiring across sectors have witnessed an upswing. Industry experts point out four major factors driving this increasing trend: the rapid digital adoption by various businesses leading to a significant rise in demand for tech talent, rising talent demand as organisations are clearing their backlogs, wider acceptance of remote working across the globe and global companies increasing their talent investment in India owing to the visa and travel restrictions.
Anshuman Das, Co-Founder and CEO, CareerNet Technologies, said, “We have seen 80 per cent jump in the number of hiring requisitions in December as compared to September. Sectors such as digital, FMCG, manufacturing, IT, healthcare, and construction lead the hiring spree while travel, tourism, and hospitality are gradually opening.”
Das expects hiring activities to stabilize by March-April and plateau by August-September 2021.
Similarly, Abhishek Agarwal, Senior Vice President, The Judge Group, said the increase in hiring was witnessed in Wholesale & Retail sector and Services sector (around 2 per cent), Manufacturing sector (around 1 per cent), Transport and Utilities sector (1 per cent), and Public Administration sector (around 4 per cent).
He said, “All other sectors have shown a decline in the hiring trends for Q4, 2020. Most of the hiring has been done in small-sized organisations, followed by medium and large-sized organisations.”
However, he added that the YoY hiring is still down by around 20 per cent as against the same time in 2019. “Post-Unlock, companies are taking stock of the impact of right-sizing and business prospects leading to an uptick on a month-on-month basis,” Agarwal said.
Opportunities for C-Level professionals
Experts say there has been a significant uptick in the traction for the gig economy concept this year, particularly in the early months of the pandemic.
Speaking on the same, Vineet Arya, Founder, COHIRE, said what started as a way to manage the crisis has now emerged as the preferred way of doing business: more efficient, productive and effective.
“This has created a host of opportunities for very senior or C Level professionals to work as Gig CXOs especially in domains like Marketing, Finance, Human Resource and to a lesser extent, Technology and products,” he said.
Traditionally, sales have been a very “physical space” but, Arya said, even this is now opening out to virtual operations, especially in niche IT areas. “Product/Consumer sales continue to be wary of the WFH culture but are likely to follow suit,” he added.
Employees must enhance their interpersonal & communication skills
Speaking on some of the roles most in-demand in the light of the emerging WFH culture, Das from CareerNet Technologies said while functional skills such as coding (software programming, development), content creation, research analysis, data analytics, digital marketing, and online teaching continue to be in demand, certain soft skills are gaining significance in the light of an emerging work-from-home culture.
“To excel in the days to come, employees must enhance their interpersonal and communication skills, time management and self-discipline, social activeness and knowledge enrichment, and multi-tasking and work-life balance while maintaining their physical and mental health,” Das said.
During the pandemic, Yogita Tulsiani, MD at iXceed Solutions, said, an AI-based automated solution is proving beneficial integration, especially to the remote hiring & remote work.
“It’s the future of the work that provides process improvements, better candidate engagement, automation of manual effort and cost-saving. In recent times, talent analytics is gaining massive importance in the work culture helps to take real-time data-driven insights in the talent pipeline thus helping quick & efficient decision making,” Tulsiani said.
According to Pasupathi Sankaran, Chief Operating Officer, HirePro, with the recruitment process getting digitized and the quantum of digital data that is generated, big data analytics is gaining more importance than ever.
“AI technologies such as automated proctoring can deliver fraud-free assessments, even before the human effort from HR is involved in the process. With AI-powered identity verification, auto-proctored assessments and interviews, organisations can make sure that their key workforce is not spending unnecessary hours in the hiring process,” he said.
Additionally, Sankaran said automation of communication will facilitate smoother and timely coordination between candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers.
However, Agarwal from The Judge Group said though not much will change when it comes to the roles in demand, companies will require people to multi-task.
“The challenge would be more about balancing work-life in WFH culture as it might look easier, but WFH is a challenging proposition; this is the reason that many companies are trying to go for a hybrid work culture where certain days will be WFH and on other days an employee has to reach office,” he said.
He further said, “I would also like to add that remote working is overhyped as many multinational companies have been handling employees remotely for more than a decade now.”
Cognitive flexibility, critical thinking, and coordination with others will be the three most important skills that will help people become efficient in WFH or hybrid working scenarios, added Agarwal.