Temporary hiring increases as festival demand kicks in

Temporary hiring is also expected to pick up, amid expectations that post-festival season demand will return with a bang after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As consumers return to shopping in stores, experts and industry players are forecasting a sharp increase in temp hiring in segments such as FMCG, electronics stores, entertainment and hospitality, as well as e-commerce and logistics.

Balasubramanian A, vice president of TeamLease Services, said over 5,000 short-term jobs are expected to be created this festival season. “Many of these would be for store promoters or street vendors in the durable goods and electronics sectors, and some jobs for service technicians and in call centers,” he said.

Growth in store shopping

About 20 to 25 percent growth in recruitment is expected at business operators with short-term contracts of between 45 and 90 days, he said. About half of them can be kept due to continued demand.

The festival season usually runs from August 15th to mid-January, and it is understood that many recruitments in these segments have already begun. The demand for temporary workers will not only be concentrated in metros, but also in Tier II cities.

Increase in e-comm sector

“Hospitality will be another area where many seasonal workers will be hired,” said Lohit Bhatia, president of the Indian Staffing Federation.

E-commerce, logistics and delivery are raising the spirits for the festive highlights, and that’s expected as every year. “E-commerce hires peak during this period with about 20-25 percent additional hires and similar numbers are expected, while retail and consumer hires could be 30 percent higher than the non-seasonal peaks,” noted Bhatia .

Sales (in store, in the field), delivery staff, order pickers and packers in warehouses, account managers in hospitality, cooks and kitchen staff in these industries are some of the high-demand positions, he added.

Battle for talent in the retail segment

However, the battle for talent is worrying retailers ahead of the season. Fluctuation is high at over 40 percent. As in IT, retail workers will leave when a competitor offers a few thousand more, and there’s no loyalty either, said an employee at a leading recruitment firm.

L Subhash Chandra, Managing Director of Bengaluru-based Sangeetha Mobiles agreed, saying, “Turnover at the store level is always high across the category. Nothing really worth mentioning on other levels.”

At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the retail sector employed over 4.5 million people but lost nearly 50 lakh during its peak. The industry has recovered and almost as many have been rehired. “Now retail companies are looking to expand their workforces on both the front and back end to drive the next phase of growth,” said Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO of the Retailers Association of India (RAI).

The retail industry is growing 20 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels. Retail has become an omnichannel game that requires a diverse array of talent to function and thrive, he said. “In addition to front-end employees, retailers are also looking for people to work in their distribution centers,” Rajagopalan said.

Bhatia, who is also President, Workforce Management, Quess Corp, a major staffing solutions provider, said, “After a hiatus of almost three years, we are optimistic to witness a joyful and prosperous holiday season as demand for permanent positions grows.”

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