Hiring sentiment in India is lowest in 15 years: Survey
According to the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey of 813 employers across India indicates stable hiring plans for the upcoming three months as compared to the last quarter. Sectors that will lead the job market are likely to be the public administration followed by finance, insurance, and real estate, and transportation and utility sectors. The strongest hiring pace is recorded in the small-sized organizations followed by medium-sized and large-sized organizations. From a region perspective, North and East regions indicate a more positive outlook compared to the West and South.
The survey also included the impact of COVID resulting in the following outcome:
- Nearly 44% of employers reported that they may return to pre-COVID hiring within the next 9 months whereas 42% are unsure about returning back to normalcy from the hiring perspective.
- When asked about existing members of the workforce that have been placed on a job retention or furlough scheme, almost half (42%) of companies suggest they plan to bring them back with reduced hours, however, a portion (3%) indicate these staff will be let go.
Sandeep Gulati, Group Managing Director of ManpowerGroup India said, “Post the ‘right sizing’ exercise aligning themselves to the current market demands, organizations are now looking at improving productivity, new forms of employee engagement, getting furloughed employees back and implementation of technology that are influencing the employment trends this quarter.”
He added that the government is also trying to ease the burden on corporate India by providing various SOPs from production linked incentives to changes in the labor law and leniency on tax returns. We hope to see the impact of these reforms in the subsequent quarters.
The survey also highlights some of the long-lasting transformative effects that the pandemic has had on the workforce, as it asks employers how it expects their ways of working will change.
- 40% of employers plan to offer remote work and flexible hours in the post-pandemic workplace, and around 25% planning to offer a hybrid model to employees.
- However, only 2% of employers expect to offer more opportunities for their employees to learn and develop new skills alongside more health and wellbeing benefits (6%) as the demands of workers shift with many hoping to leverage a hybrid-working model.
Interviewing was carried out during the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak. The survey findings for the fourth quarter of 2020 are likely to reflect the impact of the global health emergency, and may be notably different to previous quarters highlighted the survey.
Over the last couple of months, the economy has begun to open. However, the current scenario of employment in India is still fluid with distorted visibility of the future. The situation is changing every day. Technology will continue to play a key role in the post lockdown eco-system of work and the business landscape.
According to the survey, India’s job market is stable indicated at +3%.
Workforce gains are anticipated in six industry sectors out of seven during the upcoming quarter. Public Administration employers report the strongest hiring intentions with a Net Employment Outlook of +9%. Respectable payroll gains are also forecast in two sectors with Outlooks of +7% in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector and Transportation & Utilities sector.
The Mining and Construction sector indicates the status quo while the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector and Services Sector indicate gains of +2% each and the Manufacturing Sector at +1%. When compared to the previous quarter, the Transport and Utilities sector has grown by +1% and the Public Administration sector has shown improvement by +4% which is, indeed, noteworthy. Other than these, all other sectors have shown an overall decline in the hiring trends for Q4, 2020.
India’s Regional Trends
A regional comparison of the trends shows employers in all four regions expect to increase payrolls during the next three months. The strongest labor market is expected in the East, where the Net Employment Outlook is +5%. Elsewhere, limited job gains are anticipated in the
North, with an Outlook of +4%, and in both the South and the West, with Outlooks of +3%.
Hiring prospects improve by 2 percentage points in the East when compared with the previous quarter while remaining relatively stable in the North and the South. In the West, the Outlook is unchanged.