The staffing industry added 2.27 lakh contractual employees in 2021-22, driven by demand in industries like fast-moving consumer goods, e-commerce and manufacturing, according to a report.
In 2020-21, the contractual workforce or flexi staff demand grew at a modest 3.6 per cent, according to the Indian Staffing Federation (ISF) annual report.
It said FMCG, e-commerce, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, logistics, banking and energy segments drove the demand for general flexi staffing or contractual workers.
ISF is the apex body representing the manpower outsourcing industry in India.
Digital adoption across sectors drove the demand for new employees. This indicates that in FY23, fintech, IT- Infra, IT/ITeS are promising impact sectors that are expected to continue with the staffing demand, it added.
The report said that in FY22, ISF member-companies collectively added 2.27 lakh workforce, taking the total flexi workforce to 12.6 lakh.
Women’s participation in the flexi workforce continued at 27 per cent in FY22, the same as in the previous financial year, the report said.
The majority of job opportunities for flexi staff moved from outdoor sales to essential delivery services, it showed. Most of the flexi workers were in the 25-30 years age-bracket, comprising 40 per cent of the workforce.
Interestingly, the report found that there is a growth in the participation of the 31-45 years age bracket in the flexi working population, which saw over 10 per cent growth compared with other formats of employment.
“FY2022 has been exceptional for the flexi staffing industry. The sharp comeback of workforce demand, growing to 21.9 per cent (2.27 lakh), is a clear indication that both employers and employees are working to put the impact of the pandemic in the past and are looking forward to building the future,” ISF president Lohit Bhatia said.
Even as the inflationary fears and geopolitical tensions loom large, the early indicators for FY23 and the industry’s preparations for the festive season show that hiring is expected to remain elevated over the next three quarters, he added.
According to ISF Executive Director Suchita Dutta, compared with other forms of employment, there has been a 10 per cent growth in demand for flexi work.
“The participation of 27 per cent women in the workforce remained stable over the last two financial years, continuing to contribute to the workforce in spite of the three Covid waves.
“Year after year, flexi working continues to positively impact the lives of Indian citizens and their families, and provides livelihood and stability in the post pandemic era. It is also great to witness that around 15 per cent flexi workforce gets absorbed as permanent workforce,” she added.