Nicolas Dumoulin

Technology and Healthcare to Lead India’s Employment Recovery in 2021 | Nicolas Dumoulin | Managing Director | Michael Page India

Nicolas DumoulinIndia is on a steady recovery path in 2021 with 53% of companies increasing headcount in 2021. In the latest Talent Trends 2021 Report released by Michael Page India, insights and survey figures indicate optimistic recruitment trends across industries in 2021. The new normal signals a hybrid work culture, as firms and industries across sectors work towards a healthy recovery with a renewed positive outlook.

The COVID-19 pandemic adversely impacted economies across Asia Pacific, including India. India entered 2020 with robust hiring activities, however, the pandemic led to a dip in hiring activities by 18% in 2020. With that said, optimism is already starting to show, with about 53% of companies in India looking to increase their headcounts in 2021.

Technology and healthcare sectors witnessed significant activity even during the lockdown phase given the sudden increase in demand for relevant talent across functions. Hiring activities among internet-based businesses such as e-commerce and educational technology (ed-tech), remained relatively robust across India and is expected to maintain the momentum in 2021 as well.

According to the Talent Trends 2021 report, 60% of the employers intend to increase salaries while 55% of the companies plan to give out bonus payments with 43% of them looking to give out more than one month’s worth of bonus.

The healthcare sector is expected to see the largest percentage rise in salary at an average increase of 8%, followed by FMCG (7.6%) and E-commerce/Internet Services (7.5%). The technology boom in India has only further accelerated especially in the SaaS, health-tech, ed-tech and gaming industries with rising demand for professionals in the Artificial Learning and Machine Learning space.

Many companies have capitalised on the availability of Indian techies looking to return to India as a result of the pandemic. 74% of technology companies in India expect a 14% increase in headcount. Companies are open to considering talent remotely available and
offer flexibility to the right candidate for remote working arrangements or hybrid work model.

There has been an increased demand for hiring at the leadership level in private equity, venture capital, as well as other asset classes on buy-side like credit/distressed, hedge funds, public markets and impact funds, and this trend is expected to continue in 2021. Most of the NBFCs and Fintech companies will focus on skill sets such as analytics-driven risk, digital marketing, strategy-driven portfolio management collections, alliances and partnerships.

Start-ups examined their core businesses and retrained their focus on profitability. 68% of e-commerce companies in India expect a 12% increase in headcount in 2021. Growth in e-commerce has also led to growth of more tech-enabled platforms in logistics and
warehousing. Industrial warehousing has fuelled demand in real estate as well. 44% of property and construction companies in India expect headcount to increase by 10% in 2021.

As companies in India move towards recovery, we anticipate the following observations in the employment landscape. Irrespective of market conditions, candidates with the right combination of experience and soft skills will continue to demand high salaries. Professional contractors and temporary staff will be in high demand as they offer the required flexibility in times of uncertainty. Finally, the human side of the recruitment process such cultural fit, growth potential and evaluating soft skills will become increasingly important in relation to growth opportunities.