With the recent announcement by the government of a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for new automotive technologies in the auto sector and several companies drawing up plans to foray into this emerging area, the electric vehicle segment is expected to register a boom in hiring. Some estimates suggest there will be 1 lakh jobs on the horizon in the next one year.
With companies like Ola Electric, Mahindra Electric, Tata Motors, TVS, Hero and other automakers having aggressive launch pipelines, hiring for roles in research and development, supply chain, HR, finance, sales and marketing is on the rise.
Aditya Mishra, CEO, CIEL HR Services, told FE that hiring has gone up by 30-40% in the e-mobility space in the last one year. “It is not just the EV makers but also the connected ecosystem — battery and charging segments for the EVs that is generating a lot of demand for manpower,” he said. According to Mishra, this pace of hiring in the EV segment will be sustained for at least the next two years. “Though the base is small for the electric vehicle segment compared with the overall auto sector, it may not be as big in terms of absolute numbers, but definitely something positive, favourable and encouraging to report,” he said.
Kamal Karanth, co-founder, Xpheno, said unlike technology sector where demand is fungible and goes up crazily, hiring in auto sector is little more resilient and not linear. “Auto companies typically hire from a long-term point of view, and since sales have been less over the last two years, the hiring momentum has remained subdued. Even now, though the demand has increased, clear hiring demand is on the EV segment. Much of the hiring on the front-end side or even production is on the EV side. In the EV space alone there will 1 lakh jobs on the horizon in the next one year,” he said.
However, despite the rise in demand for automobiles as customer preference shift towards personal mobility in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the hiring in the overall sector is expected to remain subdued, as there is not much production expansions on the cards.
Hiring in traditional (internal combustion engine) passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle space is limited to blue-collar segment, and that, too, for the roles that were laid off in the last one year. Around 80-90% of such roles have been filled again, Mishra said. “Apart from these, we do not see much hiring in white-collar jobs in the auto sector,” he said.
Karanth expects that the overall auto sector to see a 15-20% increase in front-end demand — customer service, sales, service engineers, showroom sales people etc and hires in supply chain and logistics.
However, with the start of the festive season and new car launches expected over the next couple of months, car dealerships have been seeing good hiring momentum. While FE could not ascertain exact numbers, HR consultants said a few thousand people have been hired by top two auto majors for pan-India dealerships.
According to Prashant Pandey, president (Rotostat services), ManpowerGroup India, auto companies are going through a major revamp in their customer facing and customer engagement model. “This has created demand for new sets of people. While some are looking at training and retraining the existing staff, but there are limitations there. So, companies need to look out for talent to meet this changed demand, and this is happening not just for internal organisation purposes, but also dealership roles,” he said. There has been a 25-30% increase in front-end and dealership staff over the last six months, and this momentum will sustain for the entire festive season at least, he added.
However, the recent announcement on PLI scheme for the auto sector could provide a boost to hiring. “While I do not expect any magical hiring on the production side, the PLI scheme could change that. However, it takes six months to one year for projects to fructify into manpower numbers,” Karanth said.
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