Hiring Trends in India: Lockdown impact on the job market – Q1 2020 Edition

Three quarters have passed since the pandemic hit us and businesses were impacted. While the lockdown has been lifted in most states in India, the continued surge in the COVID cases coupled with restrictions in public transport have made it difficult for the masses to get back to work.

According to the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey released on December 8th 2020, a survey taken with 1518 employers across India, indicates a steady improvement in the intention of companies hiring now, for the upcoming three months. India’s job market is stable indicated at growth of 5% as against 3% in the last quarter.

Additionally, we asked these organisations when they expected to return to pre-COVID-19 hiring levels. 23% of them said that they expected to return to normal hiring levels by the end of December 2020, while 42% of them expected to hire within the next 4-9 months, by June 2021. Medium and Large-sized organisations are more eager to begin hiring within the next year (84%) compared to smaller-sized (79%) ones. Organisations are have also reported an optimistic outlook towards bouncing back within the next 6 to 9 months as they maintain protocols of “Safely Back to Work” to influence the speed of recovery

What this means is that while the lockdown has certainly changed the market and the way we run our businesses, the organizations are working towards normalcy with agility. With the ongoing festive season, the economy too is gradually gaining momentum.

Sectoral Trends for Q1 2021

We do anticipate workforce gains in all the industries we surveyed. Finance, Insurance & Real Estate employers report the strongest hiring intentions with a Net Employment Outlook of +11%, followed by the Manufacturing Sector at +8%.

We also see decent payroll gains in two sectors with Outlooks of +6% in the Mining, Construction and Services Sector, while Transportation & Utilities, and Wholesale & Retail Trade sectors indicate gains of +3% each.

Compared to our results from the previous quarter, the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector grew by +3% and Manufacturing sector has shown improvement by +7%. Other than Transport and Utilities and Public Admin and Education, all other sectors have shown an overall increase in the hiring trends for Q1, 2021.

When it comes to sectors returning to pre-COVID hiring levels specifically, industries showed a strong intention to return back within the next year, but at different levels:

• Finance, Insurance & Real Estate: 47% of these organisations in intend to return to pre-COVID-19 hiring within the next 4-9 months, between December 2020 and June 2021.
• Manufacturing: 47% surveyed have reported wanting to resume regular hiring by June 2021.
• Construction: All Construction companies surveyed planned to return to pre-COVID-19 hiring levels within the next year, while 33% of them reported wanting to resume by June 2021.
• Public Admin and Education: 32% of organisations surveyed intend to return to pre-COVID-19 hiring levels between December 2020 and June 2021.
• Services: 24% of organisations surveyed intend to return to pre-COVID-19 hiring levels by December 2020.
• Transportation & Utilities: 82% of these organisations intend to return to pre-COVID-19 hiring levels within the next year by June 2021.
• Wholesale Trade & Retail Trade: 42% of the organisations surveyed intend to return to regular hiring levels within three months by December 2020.
• Mining: Only 8% of organisations surveyed said that they intend to return to pre-COVID-19 hiring levels by September 2021, the rest anticipated to hire earlier, by June 2021.

India’s Regional Trends

A regional comparison of the trends shows Employers across India expect to increase payrolls during the next three months. When we compared the four regions, we noticed that East was the strongest with a Net Employment Outlook is +11%. In other regions, job gains are anticipated- in the West (+8%), South (+6%) and the North (+6%). The hiring prospects improved by 6 percentage points in the East and the West compared with the previous quarter, while South gained by +3% and North indicating more or less the same with +1% increment. Companies in the western parts of India also showed greater intent to return to their pre-COVID hiring levels within the coming year with 86%, while North (84%), South (81%), and East (79%) were not too far behind.

The survey ultimately reveals that Indian employers are getting back on track and exploring their options to resume running business as usual, with hiring as usual.

For more details on our survey, do send us an email on [email protected].