Hiring Sentiment Picks Up Slightly Across India Post Unlock 1.0
A job seeker holds a “Now Hiring” information sheet. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Hiring Sentiment Picks Up Slightly Across India Post Unlock 1.0

Hiring sentiment improved in India after the lockdown curbs were relaxed, but remained way below the pre-pandemic levels, an industry-wide survey showed.

The percentage of employers that are likely to continue hiring the same number of people as last year rose to 18% since rules started easing compared with 11% during the lockdown period, according to staffing management firm Teamlease’s Employment Outlook Report. That’s still significantly lower than the 97% hiring intent that was seen in India prior to March—when the outbreak took hold.

The data may come as a breath of optimism at a time the economy is witnessing a slowdown. The nationwide lockdown, imposed in late March, brought economic activity to a grinding halt, triggering production cuts and layoffs. Economists are now anticipating a sharp downturn in the country’s GDP, with some even expecting it to contract by double digits.

With the economy reopening in a phased manner, many industries have now actively started recruiting again while adapting to the post-Covid world, the report said. The major drivers behind this are large companies operating in big cities, that are scouting for blue-collar workers along with senior-level executives to steer ships out of troubled pandemic waters.

Businesses in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, education, e-tailing sectors have seen the highest improvements in hiring intent.

The outlook seems to be positive in the coming months too, Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder and vice president at TeamLease services, was quoted as saying in a statement. “We’ll see more and more companies adopting newer models of manpower management like temporary staffing and gig workforce bringing the optimism back into the job market.”

Global hiring confidence, that slumped by almost 70% after most economies shut by April, bounced back slightly led by Asia-Pacific region. Hiring sentiment was the lowest in the Americas region at 8%. Europe, Africa and the Middle East also showed single-digit improvements. Within Asia Pacific, India has so far recorded the highest level of hiring sentiment.

TeamLease expects that as the economy moves towards near-normalcy, hiring sentiment in the country will only rise further. “Though it may take a quarter or more, these businesses will also definitely pick up, bringing about a marginal improvement in the overall employment scenario,” Chakraborty said.

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