Article: What's happening in India's startup talent market?

Life @ Work

What's happening in India's startup talent market?

The pandemic has posed many challenges but it has also taught the world to look at things differently in terms of business and life in general.
What's happening in India's startup talent market?

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” — Charles Darwin

The Indian startup ecosystem has been hit hard by COVID-19, as companies work on their business continuity plans and keeping expenses low. This has definitely had evident effects on the hiring cycle in the Indian market. On one hand, reports estimate that many companies have furloughed staff or frozen hiring. On the other, industry estimates revealed that more than 200 senior hires occurred in the first three months of the pandemic. In certain sectors such as retail, eCommerce, or logistics, hiring has continued or increased as the demand for online shopping and home deliveries rose during lockdowns.

This means that despite a slowdown, there is an influx of talent waiting for the companies that are still hiring or beginning to recover — from fresher’s to senior leaders. What is clear is that the demand for top talent remains unchanged.

So, what are the top takeaways from the current situation?

Quality talent has become accessible

There is a window of opportunity for startups to spend on hiring quality talent. Also, as remote working and other virtual tools have become the norm, the job market has diversified, becoming geo agnostic. Talent can now be picked up not just from India but globally as well. In future, this will play a major role in how startups plan their staffing requirements as new systems and communications drive a greater level of engagement with employees across borders.

Reinvention and Reskilling

Reskilling has now become crucial across levels. The pandemic has taught companies to take a hard look at their business models leading to a need to reimagine and reinvent. They are now looking for employees who can multi-task and with a specific set of capabilities. For instance, companies are looking to hire top talent well versed in digital capabilities, as most agree that technology transformation will be key to recover from the COVID – 19 impact. 

Remote Hiring and Virtual Onboarding

With lockdown imposed for months, most companies resorted to virtual means to hire new employees. This is very likely to continue with physical relocations, work permits, and visas not being a problem anymore.


The companies that were earlier rigid about their way of working five days a week from the office have now become flexible enough to allow people to commute to work for just a few days a week. The new normal work mode has proven effective in many ways – work from home options and the adoption of tech-savvy collaboration tools has made real office space somewhat redundant. This trend is here to stay and will only improve as enterprises work towards creating a seamless work from home environment.

The pandemic has posed many challenges but it has also taught the world to look at things differently in terms of business and life in general. It might have affected the world in more than one way but it has also made us more adaptable and opened gates to a whole new world of opportunities.

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Topics: Life @ Work, #GuestArticle

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