With the economy starting to recover from the impact of the brutal second wave and the festive season ahead, hiring across sectors is seeing a spurt, including that for blue-collar jobs. Not all of these jobs are permanent though.
According to Betterplace, a tech platform that manages lifecycles of informal and semi-formal workforces, hiring for blue-collar jobs has seen a spike of 27% over August-October 2020. The demand is emanating primarily from the e-commerce and logistics sectors but even retail and healthcare are looking for people. Typically, hiring for these jobs takes place between August and October, which coincides with the onset of festivals.
Temporary employment has seen a 20% increase ahead of the festive season to address the pick-up in consumer activity, according to Indian Staffing Federation. Suchita Dutta, ED, ISF, said with lockdowns being relaxed across most states, retailers are increasing their on-ground presence and also seeking logistics support to provide home delivery services.
As with white-collar jobs, the growth in e-commerce and logistics sectors is primarily fuelling the hiring momentum in the blue-collar segment. Manish Pansari, chief business officer, Betterplace, said demand for delivery executives is coming largely from e-commerce, food delivery segments and all the other tech-enabled delivery platforms. “Be it deliveries for grocery, food, commerce or milk there is demand for executives. Also, food outlets and restaurant chains are looking at hiring delivery folks now as their businesses open,” he said. The hiring in this segment has increased a sharp 36% year-on-year.
As the hiring has picked up, so has the need for reskilling and upskilling the workforce to appropriately respond to changing market needs and have teams that are better aligned with the business objectives. Sanjay Tiwari, co-founder and CEO of 21CC, a recruiting and training firm in the logistics sector, said complexity has also increased. “Many of the contract logistics operations use advanced warehouse management systems to track and deliver goods, and employees need to be able to use these. From the factory floor to the store front and finally to the last-mile delivery boy, the rules of working stand changed for everyone. The need for efficient training is in two short words- immediate and critical,” he explained.
Drivers too are in big demand, according to Pansari, who points out, they are needed for moto-taxis, EVs and three-wheelers. The demand has seen a rise of a sharp 12% y-o-y.
Data show that demand for retail associates — people who assist customers on shop floors and feet-on-street kind of roles like field salesman for banking and insurance sectors – is making a slow comeback. The healthcare segment is also seeing a pick-up in hiring of general duty assistants, caretakers and phlebotomists.