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Cos may hire record number of temps this yr

Cos may hire record number of temps this yr

Mumbai: Companies in India’s discretionary consumption sectors like retail, beauty, fashion and lifestyle, as well as e-commerce and logistics, have stepped up their hiring of temporary workers for an anticipated increase in seasonal purchase even as high inflation and elevated household expenses continue to weigh on consumer sentiment, said top officials from staffing companies ManpowerGroup India, Teamlease, Quess and Ciel HR Services.

A record 600,000-700,000 temp jobs are likely to be created in the upcoming festive months between August-end and December, according to exclusive data shared with ET by staffing company ManpowerGroup India. This is an increase of around 20% from last year’s festive period.

The data is based on staffing demand from companies across sectors such as retail, e-commerce, logistics, warehousing, and banking, financial services and Insurance (BFSI), among others.

“From last year’s success of a great festive season, retailers this year too are buoyant and expecting a big boost in their sales both online and offline,” said Alok Kumar, president, manpower, ManpowerGroup India.

Roles in demand include retail sales, support staff, warehouse pickers & packers, delivery personnel, and executives at consumer loans companies.

The festive season this year starts around the end of August.


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Revival in Discretionary Spend

Starting with Onam and Raksha Bandhan, then followed by Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja, Dussehra, and Diwali, the festive season extends up to Christmas and New Year.

One of the biggest employment segments will be delivery and warehouse personnel, said Balasubramanian A, vice president & head – consumer & ecommerce, Teamlease Staffing.

According to exclusive data from Teamlease, there are currently around 200,000 open positions for delivery and warehouse workers, up 25% from last year. “There are tailwinds for FMCG and retail with rise in rural consumption and easing of inflation driving the need, thus prompting the ecommerce and logistics companies to boost their last mile manpower,” he added.

Much of the hiring impetus is coming from a revival of discretionary spend in consumer and e-commerce sectors, recovery in demand in rural areas and smaller towns driven by positive domestic economic indicators, such as easing of retail inflation compared to the high of last year, manufacturing PMI showing consistent growth, and reducing expectations of an interest rate hike.

Though India’s retail inflation hit a three-month high of 4.8% in June due to surging food prices, it is down sharply from an eight-year high of 7.8% in April last year.

“A lot of companies are under cost pressure but despite that the consumer space is expected to do better than second half of last year and we see an increase in demand for manpower,” said Lohit Bhatia, president of workforce management, Quess Corp.

According to industry estimates, there are currently 3-3.5 million temp workers in India through established staffing players. This number excludes hundreds of thousands of workers who are employed in the unorganised sector.

“We are anticipating a 20-30% increase in demand for warehouse workers this year with a lot of requirements coming in from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities,” said Aditya Narayan Mishra, CEO, Ciel HR Services.

Angshuman Bhattacharya, national leader – consumer and retail at EY, said: “At the macro level, the India story is going stronger with rise in discretionary spending, and that combined with the upcoming festivities, will lead to the need for more manpower.”

Though there is a focus on structural consolidation and the need to drive efficiency and productivity in the entire ecommerce space that is facing a funding winter, the need for temp manpower is expected to increase due to consumer demand revival, he added.

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