Amid muted job market growth, Festive season hiring continues

Notwithstanding a marginal dip in overall recruitment sentiment this year, hiring activity is expected to witness a rise this festive season led by sectors like e-commerce, hospitality and retail, experts say.

While India celebrates festivals throughout the year, the last few months are relatively busier, starting with Dussehra, followed by Diwali and then Christmas and New Year. Consumer spending during these months increases significantly across various products and services and businesses need additional manpower.

At a time when macro numbers across parameters of exports and domestic consumption are down, there is significant uptrend in demand from various sectors during the festive season, which in turn leads to increased hiring activity.

According to Indian Staffing Federation, flexi hiring is expected to witness 10-15 per cent rise over last year's volumes this festive season, especially in job roles such as delivery personnel and support functions, supply chain and logistics operations, additional indirect jobs created at seller locations for packaging and warehouse management.

While a few sectors have subdued sentiments, others like e-commerce, food tech, fintech, BFSI, retail, and consumer companies are maintaining steady momentum in hiring, Rituparna Chakraborty- President, Indian Staffing Federation, Co-founder Teamlease.

Nishith Upadhyaya, Head of Advisory Services, SHRM India said, during the festive season e-retail sales in the country may touch USD 3.5 billion representing a year-on-year growth of close to 60-65 per cent.

"It is but natural that with such a periodic frenzy of economic activity, corporates will need some additional staff, particularly to fulfil last mile delivery. However, the earlier mentioned slowdown and increasing use of technology will mean that this demand for additional staff will possibly only be for temporary, not permanent staff," Upadhyaya said.

According to Marco Valsecchi, Country Manager and Managing Director of Adecco Group India, there is a marginal dip in the overall hiring sentiment this year signalling muted job growth across some sectors.

"At this time of the year, seasonality of the festive season is driving the demand for flexi workforce," Valsecchi said adding that ecommerce, retail, and wholesale distribution business particularly have ramped up hiring across both supply chain and last-mile delivery for the upcoming festive season.

Besides, IT/ITeS sector has also seen an increase in demand with an increasing focus on technology adoption across industries, Valsecchi said.

Last month, Amazon.in said it has created more than 90,000 seasonal employment opportunities across its fulfilment centres, sortation centres, delivery stations, partner fulfilment network and customer service sites.

Similarly, Walmart-owned Flipkart has added over 50,000 direct jobs across its supply chain, logistics arm and customer support.

Like in offline retail, e-commerce companies see a significant jump in sales during Dusshera and Diwali. The September-November period typically generates a majority of annual sales of these companies, which prepare months in advance for the sale events.

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