News & Analysis

India Inc Gravitates To Gig Workers, Temporary Hirings

Given the upcoming festive season and the headwinds of a global recession, companies are seeking gig workers and temporary hires

At one end of the spectrum, we have the large IT companies ganging up against moonlighting while at the other India Inc, especially the digital retail business, appears to be going after gig workers and focusing on gender diversity through festive season temporary hirings. 

The ongoing online sales has further jacked up demand for temporary workers with several leading staffing agencies claiming that companies are also using this occasion to expand gender diversity in their organizations. 

At the other end of the spectrum, we have IT companies tapping alumni networks, women taking career breaks and other options to provide full-time employment opportunities to gig workers. Between April 2020 and September 2022, these companies hired 1.2 lakh people, according to data presented by UnearthInsight. 


Temporary jobs are in select categories

When we reached out to some hiring agencies, the one theme that came to light was the gender diversity focus, though some of them felt that it was too early to predict such a shift, given that the total number of hirings weren’t really that high. Women were being hired at warehouses and the supply chain though delivery roles continued to be assigned to men. 

The staffing companies pointed to the likes of Amazon, Flipkart and Swiggy as among those actively trying to get more women into temporary positions, especially in the warehouse roles, given the automation levels that makes tasks such as packing, loading and logistics becoming easier to accomplish for them. 

A spokesperson for Myntra communicated that the company had hired 2,500 or more women across the supply chain, which was a 66% increase over last year. Onboarding more women this festive season is in line with Myntra’s commitment to fostering inclusivity across the board,” said the spokesperson.


Gig workers getting the best options

Coming to the gig worker scenario, the UnearthInsight report said over two quarters ending December and March of 2020-21, more than 70,000 freelancers converted to FTEs while in the two quarters ending June and September of 2021-22, close to 30,000 freelancers became FTEs. This reduction was largely due to the companies already meeting their hiring targets. 

Most of these hirings were spread across testing, application development maintenance and support, cloud specialists and microservices. Most freelancers appeared to have got good packages following the great resignation. Gaurav Vasu, chief executive at UnearthInsight. “Indian gig workers earn 50-60% lower on an annual basis (compared to FTEs) while the average hourly rate is also low as the gig ecosystem hasn’t evolved like the West.”

Moonlighting could be trending as the gig economy is at a nascent stage in India and cannot be seen as an alternative to full-time options, Vasu said. A sizable portion of these former gig workers could be moonlighting now, he added. 

According to a survey of 5,000 gig-based employees, the top reasons for joining as FTEs were due to easier access to credit such as home loans and credit cards. Benefits like employees’ provident fund and medical insurance were the other top reasons.



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