The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic failed to cast a shadow on the hiring momentum in March as the count of active jobs, refreshed and accepting applicants reached the 2.9-lakh mark, against 2.6 lakh in February 2021.
The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic failed to cast a shadow on the hiring momentum in March as the count of active jobs, refreshed and accepting applicants reached the 2.9-lakh mark, against 2.6 lakh in February 2021. The good news is the job openings in March 2021 were 18% higher compared with the closing figures of March 2020. According to Xpheno, a Bengaluru-based specialist staffing firm that tracks the data, with a slight moderation of pace in the second half of the month, the overall figure was set on a trajectory for a record-setting of 3 lakh openings.
However, there is caution in the air, and the hiring momentum could moderate in the near to long term. Kamal Karanth, co-founder, Xpheno said, “Based on the learnings of the past year, enterprises now have a trained model on hand to moderate their hiring plans for near-term and long-term corrections. The marginal slowdown of active jobs observed in the second half of March 2021, was an indication of moderation in play”. With possible travel limitations and inter-state movement restrictions, industries like airlines and hospitality are back to making business continuity plans. While manufacturing is expected to hold it out a little longer, the large-form retail, entertainment and recreation verticals are seen bracing for another rough patch ahead.
Additionally, the second phase of enterprise-level unlocking with employees returning to work from the office will now be pushed by a couple of months till the second wave visibility sets in, Karanth said. However, hiring confidence has not turned weak as yet. To be sure, full-time openings continue to be on the rise and contributed to over 92% of active job opportunities in March 2021. Full-time opportunities were 13% higher than the February 2021 count, while internship opportunities shrunk by 20%, part-time and contract openings grew by 14% and 33% respectively.
The growth in part-time and contract openings is a reversal from February when these opportunities had shrunk as companies started to see more visibility and growth in demand resulting in a lesser number of part-time and contractual hires. In terms of the levels, the focus remained on mid-level and above roles. After registering a 5% drop in February, the mid-junior openings registered a 19% growth in March. Mid-senior openings grew by 20% over February 2021 figures. The 86,000 and 40,000 counts of mid-junior and mid-senior level openings are the highest counts for FY 2020-21, data shows. Senior-level openings also hit their highest count for the financial year at 5,000 active openings. Meanwhile, openings for entry-level positions continue to trend upwards and registered a modest 3% growth over February to close at 1.08 lakh openings.
“Despite the modest movement upward, the enterprise trend of investing on the bottom of the pyramid seems to have continued this month as well. On the other hand, a shift in focus towards the mid-pyramid layers was evident,” Karanth said. In terms of the industries, the technology sector continued to be the top contributor at 79% of the job count in March after the same percentage in February 2021 and 78% in January 2021. Active jobs contribution from both Internet Enabled services and BFSI sectors remained stable at 13% and 18% respectively in March.