Indeed, the world’s #1 job site, recently analyzed the freelance job market in India between January 2019 and 2021 revealing a 22% jump in hiring in January 2021 compared to January 2019. As the pandemic disrupted the job market compelling organizations to restructure their workforce, data on Indeed concurrently shows that postings for freelance jobs spiked between May and June 2020, a nearly two-fold increase from the same period in 2019. With the implementation of work-from-home structures, job search activity post-March 2020 was consistently higher than pre-pandemic levels, peaking in April 2020. However, data shows that at any point in time, freelance job postings have outstripped freelance job searches.
Indeed also studied the nature of freelance jobs against the rapid digitization and skilling of India’s workforce. Data shows a concentration of freelance jobs in the creative, tech, sales, and recruitment fields with these sectors contributing to 55% of the freelance jobs posted on Indeed. As of Jan 2021, Freelance Writer was the most in-demand job in this segment, followed by Freelance Designer, Recruiter, Developer, and Digital marketer. Business Development Executive and PHP developer also emerged in the top-10 freelance job titles in India.
Sashi Kumar, Managing Director, Indeed India, said “Pushing the freelance community to the fore, the pandemic year witnessed increased hiring and search momentum for freelance jobs on Indeed. We believe that changes in the external job environment and the added flexibility of work-from-home, have significantly improved the attitude of the employer and job seeker towards freelance jobs. In addition to optimizing productivity, freelancing provides a sense of ownership and creative freedom that are sought after, especially by the younger, more agile workforce. Our data also indicates that these jobs were most sought after by job seekers in the 20-29 year age bracket.”
Indeed looked at understanding if freelance jobs were more sought after by some age groups over others. Data highlights that searches for freelance jobs were highest in the 20-29 year age group - this cohort contributed to 73% of freelance job searches on Indeed in January 2021.
The pandemic has indeed led to a spike in the search for freelance jobs as companies veered more towards flexibility. This trend is expected to continue in 2021 as more organizations continue restructuring the workforce and work models. This is also evidenced by a report by Flexing It, Asia’s largest platform, which stated that while the median fee earned by freelance consultants dropped by almost 25% between the first and second quarter of 2020 but started picking up in the 3rd quarter onwards- slowly reaching pre-COVID levels.