Bigger green shoots in white-collar job market

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Bigger green shoots in the white-collar job market

Mumbai | New Delhi: White-collar hiring is sharply up, both in established companies and startups, company data, and a survey show.

Capgemini, Whirlpool, Tata Steel, Vedanta, Philips, Nestle, Deloitte, Livspace, PepsiCo, and Myntra were among the companies that told ET that in past one month or so, the hiring level has either touched or is close to touching the pre-covid levels. The jobs being offered are across all levels, from top to entry-level.

And the news maybe even better for startups, which have been particularly hit by the lockdown. The July-October period saw a sharp rise in hiring by internet companies, especially the bigger ones, unicorns, and soonicorns, according to a survey of 80 startups by XPheno. These include Paytm, Byju’s, Delhivery, Udaan, PhonePe, Unacademy, BigBasket, Zomato Media, Vedantu, among others.

In fact, startups are emerging as major employers, with annual headcount growth of more than 20%.

Highest Hiring Growth in Digital Content

In comparison, internet businesses saw annual hiring growth of 14% in 2019. Total jobs offered were at around 40,000 in the October 2019-October 2020 period.

The July-October hiring figures maybe even better than what the survey shows since it excluded businesses—such as Flipkart, Amazon, and Freshworks—that have overseas HQs or were acquired by foreign companies.

On the brick and mortar side, Capgemini hired 9,500 people in the first half of 2020 and plans to recruit 13,500 more in the second half. “We will reach our target defined earlier this year,” said Anil Kumar Singh, VP, and head of talent acquisition-India, Capgemini.

Nestle said it is now hiring for all vacant roles across factories, branches, and head office. “We are confident we will soon return to pre-pandemic volumes,” said Amit Narain, director, human resources, Nestlé India. Whirlpool and Tata Steel also said they are aiming to get to pre-Covid level hirings soon.

Among other major companies with optimistic hiring, outlooks are Vedanta, PepsiCo, Deloitte, and Philips.

The recruitment drive of startups shows their ability to withstand shocks. “Despite the lockdown scenario, Indian unicorns and soonicorns have generated employment and contributed to the jobs recovery,” said Kamal Karanth, co-founder, Xpheno.

Sectors that are driving the hiring include digital content and e-learning, fintech, consumer services, logistics, health tech, and on-demand services. Top functions include sales, business development, operations, IT, product management, marketing, finance, and engineering.

The digital content and e-learning sector has added to the highest headcount growth (78%), primarily on the back of hiring by edtech unicorns and soonicorns such as Byju’s, Unacademy and Vedantu.

PhonePe’s chief people officer Manmeet Sandhu said: “We will expand our offline merchant network, currently at 13 million, to 25 million by end 2021 across rural and semi-urban areas. This will involve the creation of 10,000 jobs.” She said 700 more vacancies will be filled this year.

Suhail Vadgaokar, HR director at Urban Company, said: “We’ve added 200+ people to our headcount and are looking to hire another 200-250 employees over the course of next one year.”


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