News & Analysis

Recession be Damned; India Continues to Hire

India’s overall employment market continues to remain buoyant, if one were to go by an Job Index created by India’s premier job portal. The country joins others such as Singapore and Australia where hiring activities seem to be at a feverish pitch, in spite of the recession fears looming large over Europe, the United States and the APAC region. 

The Naukri JobSpeak Index recently beat all previous records and stands at 3170, up from the previous high of 3074 recorded in February as overall hiring activity surged ahead in July with the insurance industry reporting the highest spike. The surge has led to a 21% year-on-year growth in hiring, though one may discount this as a result of low numbers in July 2021. 


India, Australia and Singapore keep hiring

A report published by CNBC quotes LinkedIn data to suggest that India, Australia and Singapore saw a spike in job postings in the real accommodation sector comprising hotels, motels etc. with paid postings also growing in June compared to a year ago. India saw the biggest spike in accommodation, construction, real estate and equipment rental services. 

However, the data also indicated that the spurt in hiring rates were matched by less competition among job seekers during the month compared to a year ago. The report said that on average, there was a more than 50% decline in applications for paid job postings on LinkedIn across all the three countries. 

While job postings rose, workers became more selective in picking their next role, and so the competition for jobs on average is down, the report said, quoting Feon Ang, MD of LinkedIn Asia Pacific region. This meant workers were demanding more from jobs with remote working being amongst the most valued lure. 

Paid postings in India that offered work from home options remained constant throughout the year thus far, which could also be interpreted as not too many people joining this list of job seekers wanting a hybrid work model. LinkedIn said postings with remote options received only 1.1x more applications on average relative to their absolute share of all postings in Q1 and Q2. 


Take a look at the sectoral growths

There were variations in hiring growth across sectors. While the energy sector saw an 18% growth, the IT services sector grew by 16% in July. Other sectors that showed growth include travel and hospitality (68%), banking (59%), retail (37%) automobiles (34%), and education and telecom at 32%. These numbers emerged from Naukri’s JobIndex. 

In terms of cities, it was Kolkata that showed the highest annual growth at 42% in July, followed by Mumbai at 36%, Delhi-NCR and Chennai at 25% each, Pune at 24%, Hyderabad at 12% and Bangalore at 10%. 

In terms of positions, the report said demand for top management jobs, involving over 16 years of experience saw the steepest growth at 32% while sentiment was also positive in the lowest end (0-3 years) at 20%, followed by 18% in the four to seven year segment and 24% in the eight to twelve year slot. 


However, there’s a different tune playing here

However, a report in ET claimed a visible reduction in hiring velocity with companies prolonging the hiring cycle, delaying decision-making and being choosy while selecting candidates. The report quoted search consultants such as Longhouse Consulting, Ciel HR Services, Michael Page and Xpheno. 

The report claimed that there was between a 20 to 40% decline in the overall pace of action across hiring stages over the past couple of months. It quoted Anil Ethanur of Xpheno to state that a moderation in hiring across key talent sectors was underway with a visible reduction in the velocity over the last six to eight weeks. 

This leaves us in a quandary as to whether to believe the data shared by software applications that help hire or take the word of hiring consultants who do the same for their customers. We think that it’s better to believe in data for everything in this Universe except when it comes to believing in God! 

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