Corporates set to step up hiring in 2021
New Delhi: Adapting to the new hybrid normal of remote and office work, cautiously optimistic corporates are looking to hire more people and provide better appraisals in the forth coming year as they step out of the pandemic-ravaged 2020. The coronavirus pandemic emerged as the biggest inflection point for the Indian job landscape. For the corporates, work-from-home and remote workers became the new normal and for the professionals, online learning and digital skills took centre stage. In 2020, most companies "deprioritised" their hiring plans amid uncertain economic outlook, while industries like travel, hospitality, retail, aviation, real estate, construction and automobile were severely hit.
Nevertheless, there is a cautious optimism among corporates and it is getting reflected in their recruitment plans for next year. "Yes. The market is showing positive signs of recovery with almost all the industries showing growth in hiring but with caution. Overall, the intent to hire recovered smartly from 11 per cent during the lockdown period to 18 per cent for HY (half year), and this number is growing," said Deval Singh, Business Head (mobilisation, hiring) at TeamLease Services.
While there is a caution in hiring, the market is displaying optimism. According to Singh, there is a 50 per cent increase in employment opportunities from the lockdown days. Pay cuts have been reversed since Diwali in most organisations and bonuses were issued in few. Some technology companies even declared early appraisals, Singh noted. The latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, which covered 1,518 employers across the country, showed that corporate India is showing "healthy signs of recovery" and plans to hire more people in the first three months of 2021 compared to the quarter ending December.
"With encouraging results of vaccine efficacies and the market largely back to how it was, there is a positive sign of recovery in the job market. Today, with emergence of the hybrid work model, I believe there will be a big push for Agile Talent. 'Remote working' as an employment category is going to open up many opportunities for both employees and employers for niche skills," said Krishna Prasad, Senior Director of HR and Operations at Skillsoft India and APAC.
Experts believe there is no going back to the pre-Cocid-19 world in its entirety and the digital transformation that changed the very fabric of the Indian workforce in 2020 is likely to accelerate further in 2021 and beyond. The year 2020 was also a great year for Indian organisations to evaluate, pilot and adapt technology based solutions for hiring and on-boarding.
"Solutions such as video interviews, artificial intelligence (AI)-based facial recognition tech, data driven on-boarding, which were being talked about as being futuristic as early as 2019, were quickly adapted by many organisations in 2020," said Nishith Upadhyaya, Director, Advisory Services, SHRM (APAC and MENA). Further, Upadhyaya said the pandemic forced corporates to adopt a remote workforce model. But, most companies will be inclined to retain this practice in 2021 as well as remote work opens up the talent pool wider than ever for most businesses.
"Instead of only looking at candidates in the immediate area who have the ability to travel to and from an office each day, they can consider pretty much everyone. "Hence, we feel that most companies will be inclined to retain this practice in 2021 as well," he said.
Dhriti Ranjana Ray