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Tier-2 cities shine as hiring hubs, remote work and upskilling drive talent inflow: foundit Insights Tracker

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foundit (formerly Monster APAC & ME), India’s leading talent platform, published the foundit Insights Tracker (fit), presenting the latest findings on hiring trends for August 2023.

Hiring dipped 3% month-over-month, according to the latest tracker. In addition, e-recruitment activities in India fell by 5% in August 2023 compared to August 2022. The index further dropped from 275 in August 2022 to 260 in August 2023. The fall in hiring indices can be increasingly attributed to the challenges posed by inflation and the slow growth of other major economies such as the USA. However, as per IMF data, India’s economy is currently the fifth largest in the world and based on current estimates, will reach third place by 2029.

Offering a hiring overview for August 2023, Sekhar Garisa, CEO, foundit (previously Monster APAC & ME), a Quess company, said, “While hiring has slowed down overall in several sectors in the countryour nation’s economy maintains its resilience amidst global uncertainties. A large contributing factor to this stability is the government’s emphasis on nurturing sectors such as Shipping, Finance, and Travel. Simultaneously, states are actively bolstering their digital infrastructure to empower tier 2 and tier 3 cities. In conjunction with an increase in festive recruitment, the collective effort is expected to improve the job scenario. Notably, India Inc. is increasingly pursuing fresh talent, with the tracker registering a significant 7% year-on-year surge in fresher hiring. The newcomers of today are adaptable to the evolving technological landscape, strengthening our workforce’s forward momentum.”

Industries such as Shipping, Travel, & Tourism soar while the Media industry faces challenges

On a year-on-year (Y-o-Y) basis, the Shipping (+58%) industry showed the maximum incline in job postings, followed by Travel & Tourism (+44%) and Advertising, Market Research, and Public Relations (+22%). The notable growth in the Indian shipping industry can be attributed to robust export expansion, particularly in engineering goods, petroleum products, gems and jewellery, and chemicals. This growth is further fueled by significant improvements in dwell time and turnaround time, positioning the Indian shipping sector favourably in comparison to its global counterparts.

The Retail sector also witnessed a rise in e-recruitment activity by 21% this August with the onset of the festive season. It is also heartening to observe a notable 17% increase in job listings within the NGO/Social Services sector. This surge can be attributed to the growing philanthropic initiatives among India Inc’s leadership, the augmented CSR investments made by corporations, and the integration of technology into social innovation practices.

The Home Appliances industry continues to struggle, with a 26% drop in job posting activity online, followed by Media & Entertainment (-18%) and IT – Hardware, Software (-17%). While Y-o-Y data in the IT industry shows a downward trend, month-over-month data offers a more encouraging story with signs of steady improvement. Within the entertainment sector, the drop can be attributed to the intensifying free streaming competition on the OTT market as well as fewer people visiting movie theatres compared to the year before.

Metro Hiring Slows Down, Tier-2 Markets Remain Talent Hotspots

Among tier-2 cities, Kolkata (+7%), Ahmedabad (+5%), Baroda (+4%), Jaipur (+4%), and Kochi (+3%) exhibited a positive incline in job activity in August 2023. As the employment environment in India evolves, Tier-2 cities are becoming important hubs for luring top talent due to the rising popularity of remote work practices, improved upskilling opportunities and the rise of different industrial sectors in these areas.

However, a majority of metro cities noted a marginal decline in hiring activity. While Bangalore saw a 16% dip, Hyderabad noted a 14% drop in job postings, followed by Mumbai at 9% and Chennai at 8%.

Indians Favour Travel Experiences, with a 13% Rise in Hospitality Roles

With a 13% increase in online hiring activity, hospitality and travel roles topped the list of job functions. Travelling for Indians is no longer restricted to festivals or holidays, with people preferring to travel all year round and increasingly diverting their cash to experiences over assets. This is in line with industry projections as India’s travel and tourism sector’s contribution to the economy is projected at INR 16.5 trillion by the end of the year. Additionally, Engineering/Production positions (+11%) experienced a spike in demand, possibly due to the expansion of import substitution and export potential, as well as high global demand for Indian goods.

There was a downward trend in hiring for Customer Service positions (-24%), followed by Senior Management positions (-13%) and Arts/Creative positions (-13%). Hiring for Software, Hardware, Telecom as well as Supply Chain roles also saw subdued demand over the month.

Surge in IT (Hardware and Software) Salaries Defies Experience Level Norms, Reflecting Strong Industry Growth

Despite the decrease in job opportunities in the IT (Hardware and Software) field over the last year, salaries have risen significantly across all experience levels, with a notable 59% incline among associates (4-6 years of experience) and a 36% uptick among mid-senior level roles (7 – 10 years of experience) with companies increasingly focusing on retaining and upskilling current talent. The telecom sector also fared well, with a 19% salary hike among associates and senior management (11 – 15 years of experience).

There was also a remarkable surge in salary among entry-level professionals in IT, Engineering, Advertising & FMCG industries.

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