Article: How India's staffing industry grew bigger despite the pandemic

Life @ Work

How India's staffing industry grew bigger despite the pandemic

About 72% of Flexi workforce prefer to continue working as Flexi employees and about 85% of Flexi workers are satisfied with their employment situation.
How India's staffing industry grew bigger despite the pandemic

Despite the gruesome impact of COVID-19 on businesses worldwide, India’s organized staffing industry has continued to grow bigger than ever. The fact that India’s staffing industry not only ended the FY 2021 with a modest 3.6% growth over Mar’20 and but also that it concluded with more than 1.03 million flexi staff across industries (Report: Flexi Staffing Employment Research Report “Annual Flexi Staffing Employment Trends: 2021) further reiterates its resilience and maturity. The pandemic has made India’s labour force realize that the future of business is organized and social security, protections will have immense benefits and is the only way to grow and win the manpower battle.

Flexi Staffing today has redefined its stance in the Indian job economy. About 72% of Flexi workforce prefer to continue working as Flexi employees and about 85% of Flexi workers are satisfied with their employment situation. This is indicative that the long-term effort to transform temp staffing into a mainstream job powerhouse within the mindsets of mid, senior and aspiring professionals has been readily vetted.

Growth in Flexi work format

In 2021, there was a +31% growth in Flexi work compared to other formats of employment in India, as per Flexi Staffing Employment Research Report “Annual Flexi Staffing Employment Trends: 2021. With new WFH and hybrid modes gaining mainstream momentum, flexi workers' preference to continue working in temp format has increased considerably when compared to previous years. Interestingly, the flexi to permanent opportunity conversion for flexi workers which was 8% in 2020 rose to 14% in 2021. 

‘Formal Jobs’ is the aspiration to the much needed productivity the country needs to boost the economy. An inclusive roadmap for creating quality employment across sectors, through formal staffing is able to bring better opportunities. With the pandemic ‘New Normal’ workforce has enablers that are leading towards a much wider representative for the future workforce. 

Women Participation within Temp Grew 

Women participation in temp staffing went up during Covid by 6% while it declined for men by 4% considering the new work format allowed majority of women to return to work and also look at a second career stint. Most opportunities for flexi staff last year moved from outdoor sales to essential delivery services. 

Active Increase of Youth in Temp Job

During the pandemic year, an average of 4% YoY students join flexi jobs in India. Flexi workers employed in Y21 were +21% with higher education and 11% and above with higher skills than Y20. Close to 70% of temp worker composition had profiles of grads and above which were mostly due to the high skillset demand within IT and ITES sector in 2021. This demand stemmed from the increased use and need for digital services usage across the globe.

Growth Driving Sectors

The top 5 sectors to continue to drive temp demand in H2 of 2021 are Healthcare, IT & ITeS, Pharma, Edutech and Ecommerce and is expected to lead employment growth by above 35%. Within these, majority of growth is expected to be driven in the IT & ITeS sector due to firstly, the intensive digital integration and secondly, investment in expedited automation processes by Tech firms. These tech firms are betting big on entry level talent especially in the temp role, opening doors for more freshers to join this job format.

Road Ahead

India's organized staffing industry is expanding beyond the conventional skills, roles, and sectors and now becoming centre stage across industries. Even in a Pandemic year with only 3.6% growth, the growth can be seen in IT staffing, ecommerce, logistics, and manufacturing. While Covid 2.0 might reflect a change in growth in Q1FY22 against Q4FY21, it seems the momentum towards the staffing industry is positive and here to stay.

The formal staffing industry is currently being assigned the role of a facilitator that can address the skill-employment gap and arising concerns within our nation’s workforce.  In the coming days, further simplification of the labour laws, policies, and better regulatory cholesterol will surely propel new in-roads for both the staffing space and India’s economic and employment growth.

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Topics: Life @ Work, #GuestArticle

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