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India sees a 3% monthly rise in hiring: foundit Insights Tracker

India sees a 3% monthly rise in hiring: foundit Insights Tracker

  • India's white-collar gig sector skyrockets 184% YoY: IT, Content, Consulting spearhead growth

  • Delhi/NCR dominates gig job market with 23%, Mumbai and Bengaluru tie at 17%

  • Education, Telecom/ISP, and Energy sectors witness notable hiring growth

 

foundit (formerly Monster APAC & ME), India’s leading talent platform, published the foundit Insights Tracker (fit), presenting the latest findings on hiring trends for March 2024. According to the tracker, the overall hiring index increased by 3% from February to March 2024, indicating a slight uptick in hiring activity. However, compared to the previous year, hiring declined by 4%, suggesting a slower pace of recruitment.

 

White-collar gig jobs, in particular, have experienced remarkable growth, with a staggering 184% increase compared to the previous year. This surge underscores professionals’ growing preference for flexible, project-based work arrangements. Additionally, gig workers, representing a vital workforce segment, have expanded by 21% over the same period, highlighting companies’ increasing reliance on freelancers and independent contractors to meet business needs.

 

Delving into specific industries, the IT sector is at the forefront of this gig boom. The share of IT software in the gig economy has nearly doubled, jumping from 22% in March 2023 to a dominant 46% in March 2024. This indicates a strong demand for skilled freelance coders, IT consultants, and other tech professionals. Advertising and marketing also witnessed significant growth, with the share of gig jobs increasing from 5% to 18% over the past year.

 

Offering a hiring overview for March 2024, Sekhar Garisa, CEO, foundit (previously Monster APAC & ME), a Quess company, said, “One of the biggest learnings of the pandemic for employers as well as the employees has been the adoption of WFH and flexible models of working. Through our tracker, we have noticed that the metro cities of Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai are paving the way for gig jobs as of now. It is imperative to understand that the gig economy offers businesses a cost-effective solution, while also providing freedom to work from anywhere to employees. We expect the gig economy to grow even more in the next few months, so it's prudent for job seekers to equip themselves with relevant skills that will make them standout in a competitive market.”    

 

Education, Telecom/ISP, and Energy Sectors Lead Job Growth while Automotive and Shipping Industries Face Headwinds.

The Information Technology (IT) sector, a cornerstone of India’s economy, saw a marginal decline from 7% growth in February to 2% in March. This shift could indicate adjustments in demand or market conditions within the industry. In contrast, the BPO/ITES industry witnessed a notable turnaround, rebounding from a 4% decline in February to a positive 2% growth in March.


Meanwhile, the Banking/Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector reported stagnant growth, maintaining a 0% growth rate in March, suggesting a period of consolidation or stability within the industry. The Manufacturing sector, comprising Engineering, Cement, Construction, Iron/Steel, and Production and Manufacturing, demonstrated mixed trends.


While Engineering, Cement, Construction, and Iron/Steel maintained a steady growth rate of 0% in March, Production and Manufacturing experienced a slight decline from 6% to 5%, reflecting fluctuations in industrial output or demand.


In contrast, the Education sector showed signs of improvement. The industry witnessed a revival in hiring activity, transitioning from no growth in February to a positive 2% in March. The Telecom/ISP industry emerged as a significant growth driver, surging from 2% in February to an impressive 6% in March, possibly due to increased connectivity demands or advancements in telecommunications infrastructure. Additionally, the Oil/Gas/Petroleum and Power sectors exhibited robust growth, expanding from 7% to 8% in March, signaling resilience and potential opportunities within the energy sector. Healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology also displayed signs of recovery, with growth climbing from -3% to a positive 3%.


Further, the Government, Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), and Defence sectors experienced a slight uptick in hiring activity, with growth from 0% to 1%. However, the Automotive industry faced challenges in March, with hiring in the Automotive, Ancillary, and Tyre sectors reaching a standstill, dropping from 3% to 0%. The Shipping and Marine industry witnessed a concerning decline, with hiring growth plummeting to -12%.

 

Moreover, the Advertising, Market Research and PR sectors further declined from -2% to -3%, while Travel & Tourism hiring dropped from 4% to 2%, reflecting potential seasonal uncertainties. Several other sectors, including Chemicals/Plastics (-10%), FMCG, Food & Packaged Food (-6%), Garments/Textiles (-8%), and Real Estate (-3%) experienced significant slowdowns in March.

 

IT Powerhouses Thrive: Bangalore and Hyderabad Drive 5% Surge in Hiring Activity

Bangalore, a key tech hub, continued its upward trajectory, with hiring activity surging from 3% in February to a robust 5% in March. Similarly, Hyderabad, another prominent IT centre, exhibited positive momentum. After stagnant growth at 0% in February, hiring in the city picked up significantly, registering a notable 5% growth in March.


India’s financial capital, Mumbai, maintained a flat hiring growth, with the rate holding steady at 1% for March. Delhi-NCR mirrored this stability with a consistent 2% growth rate. Pune, renowned for manufacturing and automobiles, also demonstrated stability, with hiring activity hovering around 2% in March.


Kolkata, with a strong services sector, showcased signs of improvement. After a 2% decline in February, hiring activity bounced back to a positive 3% growth in March. Chennai also experienced an upward trend, with hiring growth in the city increasing from 1% to 3% in March.


Ahmedabad, a bustling commercial and industrial centre, witnessed a decline in hiring activity. The city’s growth rate, which stood at 2% in February, dropped to -1% in March. Conversely, Chandigarh declined further with -3% in March. After a strong showing of 4% growth in February, Coimbatore saw a slight dip to 3% in March. Jaipur displayed a minor uptick, with hiring growth from 0% in February to 1% in March. Baroda’s growth rate, which was flat at 0% in February, dropped to -2% in March. Meanwhile, Kochi displayed signs of revival, with hiring growth climbing from -3% in February to a promising 2% in March.


Technical Positions Hold Steady, Customer-Facing Roles Face Downturn

Software, Hardware, and Telecom positions continued steadily, with a flat 2% growth in March, mirroring February’s numbers. However, customer-facing roles like Customer Service, Sales & Business Development, and Hospitality & Travel saw a clear decline.


Customer Service positions dipped from -2% to -3% growth in March, while Sales & Business Development hiring dropped from 0% to -3%. Hospitality & Travel, which had been experiencing robust growth (8% in February), took a sharp hit, with hiring activity plummeting to -5% in March. It's important to note that this sharp decline may be just a temporary dip, likely due to the need to re-strategise hiring efforts for newer roles in response to changing market conditions. The Engineering & Production sector also faced a setback, with hiring growth declining from 2% to -3% in March.


This could be indicative of a slowdown in project execution or production activity. Interestingly, Senior Management roles showed further growth, with a 6% increase in March. This consistent growth suggests a continued demand for experienced leaders across various industries. The Healthcare sector emerged as a bright spot. Hiring for Healthcare roles grew from a modest 1% in February to a promising 5% in March. Similarly, Legal and Arts/Creative roles also saw a slight uptick in hiring activity, with both sectors registering 1% growth in March.


Meanwhile, Finance & Accounts and HR & Admin faced declining hiring activity. Finance & Accounts saw a drop from 1% to -3%, while HR & Admin roles, which experienced a significant 7% growth in February, declined to (-1%) in March.


The Purchase & Logistics function within the broader Purchase/ Logistics/ Supply Chain category slightly improved, with hiring growth moving from -4% to -1% in March. However, the Supply Chain domain seems to be facing headwinds, suggesting potential disruptions or adjustments within the logistics industry.


High Demand for Gig Work: Coder/IT Consultant and Content Creator Roles Lead the Way

In March 2024, Coder/IT consultant positions were the most sought-after roles in gig work, making up 30% of the job market, a significant rise from 12% the previous year.  Content Creator and Trainer roles saw notable growth as well, with their shares jumping from 9% to 17% and from 11% to 15%, respectively. Meanwhile, Data Analysts and UX Designers held a steady 8% market share, highlighting a consistent demand for their skills in the gig economy.

 

Regarding hiring locations, Delhi/NCR emerges as the top destination, commanding a 23% share of jobs in March 2024. Mumbai and Bengaluru follow closely behind, each accounting for a 17% share, highlighting their continued prominence as key job markets. Chennai and Hyderabad hold a 13% share each, underscoring the growing opportunities in these southern cities. Pune, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad also contribute to the job market, with Pune accounting for an 8% share, Kolkata for 6%, and Ahmedabad for 5%, showcasing the geographical diversity of job opportunities across India.

 

Considering salary trends, a significant proportion of gig workers, accounting for 31%, falls within the 6-10 Lacs salary range, indicating a substantial segment of individuals earning a moderate income through gig work. This challenges conventional notions of gig employment being inherently unstable or low paying, suggesting instead a growing landscape of opportunities that offer financial stability to a significant portion of workers.


The tracker further reveals that approximately 21% of gig workers earn 10-15 Lacs, highlighting a balanced income distribution across different skill levels and experiences. In contrast, the 3-6 Lacs salary range comprises about 25% of gig workers, indicating a sizeable segment engaged in entry-level positions. Moving up the income spectrum, only 11% of gig workers fall within the 15-25 Lacs salary range. This may be attributed to the specialised skills or experience required for higher-paying gigs or the limited availability of such opportunities within the gig economy.


The tracker also shows that about 12% of gig workers earn between 0-3 Lacs. While these individuals may engage in entry-level or low-paying gigs, it is essential to recognise that this category often serves as a starting point for many gig workers, providing them with valuable experience and opportunities for growth within the gig economy.

 

About foundit Insights Tracker  

The foundit Insights Tracker (fit) is a comprehensive monthly analysis of online job posting activity conducted by foundit. Based on a real-time review of millions of job listings from a wide range of online career platforms, the index offers a snapshot of online recruitment activities nationwide. Previously known as the Monster Employment Index, it provided a comprehensive perspective on hiring patterns based on industry, role, location, and experience. Now, in its new avatar, it delivers more detailed insights into recruitment trends, focusing on the demand for specific skills, available positions, and the salary ranges in the market. 

 

Timeframe for the report  

The timeframe for the fit data is March 2023 to March 2024.  


About foundit - APAC & Middle East  

foundit, formerly Monster (APAC & ME), is a leading talent platform offering comprehensive employment solutions to recruiters and job seekers across APAC & ME. Since its inception, the company has been assisting over 90 million registered users in finding jobs, upskilling, and connecting with the right opportunities across 18 countries.   Additionally, foundit has been recognised as a Great Place To Work, reflecting its dedication to fostering a supportive and dynamic work culture.

 

Over the last two decades, the company has been a catalyst in the world of recruitment solutions with advanced technology, seeking to efficiently bridge the talent gap across industry verticals, experience levels, and geographies. Today, foundit is committed to enabling and connecting the right talent with the right opportunities by harnessing the power of deep tech to sharpen hyper-personalised job searches and precision hiring.


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