Up to 6 lakh new jobs! Festive season makes hiring jump 20%

The first Covid-free Christmas season in two years is estimated to create 5 to 6 lakhs of seasonal jobs in the country from August to December, up about 20 per cent from last year, with offline retail and e-commerce leading the way, experts say.

“Retailers expect a big increase in their sales both online and offline. We are expecting an increase in employment of around 20-25 percent compared to last year’s holidays. The estimated number of new jobs would be around 5 to 6 lakhs during these festive months,” said Alok Kumar, senior director of staffing firm Manpower. Aditya Mishra, Managing Director and CEO of CIEL HR Services, estimates the number will increase to between 4 and 6,000 this year, compared to an estimated 3,500 temporary positions created between August and December.

Manpower’s Kumar says retail (FMCD, lifestyle products), e-commerce, BFSI, logistics and warehousing are the sectors where recruitment is particularly high. “There are few new sectors such as beauty products, health and wellness products where the demands have increased drastically compared to the last few years.”

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All major e-commerce players like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Meesho and Snapdeal are ringing in the festive shopping season today with their annual big sales. Flipkart told Business Today it will create 50,000 additional direct seasonal jobs in its supply chain this year, while online fashion retailer Myntra announced it would add 16,000 seasonal jobs.

“In the past two years of the pandemic, e-commerce has held up well, but retail has not thrived. This time it’s about retail. So the consumer goods sector is seeing a lot of demand because people want to buy things for their homes. Food and tourism areas have also opened up,” said Suchita Dutta, Executive Director of the Indian Staffing Federation. She sees a 15-20 percent increase in hiring in those sectors, but a 30 percent increase in hiring in the hospitality and tourism sectors because there hasn’t been much hiring in the last two years. The in-demand roles in e-commerce are delivery and warehouse staff. In offline retail, in-shop demonstrators and customer support are in demand, while operations and process executives in the BFSI and beauty and health consultants in the personal care sector are also being sought by companies this time. Customer care roles in call centers are also in demand.

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The hiring started as early as the second quarter, specifically in July itself, the experts say. Offline fashion retailer Marks & Spencer Reliance Retail, for example, which doesn’t work with temp colleagues, stopped hiring itself with 10 percent more staff in the second quarter. The number is typically 5 percent in an average year. “Our workforce is in place because we have very rigorous training on products, customer offerings, and store-level processes. We had suspended all hiring following the outbreak of the pandemic. Business needs to get back to normal this year because customers can’t wait to hit the stores. We have invested in about 200 employees at store level,” Mukta Nakra, Head of HR & Sustainability, told Business Today on the sidelines of the Retailers Association of India’s Manning Modern Retail (MMR) 2022 event a few days ago.

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The July index from job portal Monster showed that the retail sector posted an impressive 10 percent jump from last year’s level, suggesting festive attitudes are certainly picking up. Consumer brands like electronics brands and apparel companies are all launching new products and hiring temporary workers, experts say.

In fact, Mishra notes a lesser trend that many companies are introducing a retention bonus for temp workers given the high demand and turnover with staff changing jobs even for an increase of Rs 500. “Companies say, ‘I’ll pay you 5,000 rupees as a retention bonus’, especially in companies that need 4-5 days of training to sell a technical product like a fintech product. The training is intensive, even for complex high-tech products.”

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Also read: How Flipkart, Myntra, M&S and other retailers have prepared for first Covid-free holiday season in three years

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