26 Jan 2018 17:28 IST

Hiring outlook turns positive in 2018

IT, financial services set to dominate the numbers, offering half the 5 lakh jobs up for grabs

The sombre spell cast on the job market in 2017, by the dual impact of demonetisation and GST rollout has been broken, as 2018 promises to start on an upbeat note for job aspirants.

Staffing and executive search firms peg the number of new jobs that will be up for grabs at over 5,00,000 this year in sectors spanning, manufacturing, energy and utilities, technology, e-commerce, financial services, small and micro businesses, FMCG / durables, pharma, healthcare and life sciences.

“With stability returning to the economy post the twin effects of demonetisation and GST in 2017, the hiring outlook for 2018 is optimistic with an increased focus on moving up the value chain from a skills perspective. We expect approximately 3,75,000 high skilled and new-age jobs to be created across the IT, manufacturing, pharma and energy sectors through 2018” said Paul Dupuis, MD and CEO, Randstad India.

2 lakh jobs in manufacturing

As per Randstad estimates, manufacturing will create 200,000 formal jobs, as several Defence, heavy industry and electronics assembly units are expected to go live this year, generating demand for R&D / production engineers and operations professionals. The renewable energy sector alone is expected to generate over 20,000 technical jobs across the manufacturing (solar & wind energy), generation and distribution segments.

The IT sector is expected to add 1,50,000 jobs on the back of niche skill-sets such as, blockchain, cybersecurity, machine learning/AI, data sciences and analytics.

With several drugs slated to lose patent protection in the next three years, Indian pharma companies that are focused on the overseas generics market will see an increase in the number of R&D, quality and compliance professionals with an estimated 5,000 new jobs.

Specialist staffing firm Xpheno pegs the total number of jobs to be created in 2018 at 2,65,000 topped by financial services that will ride the wave of fin-tech and NBFCs to generate over 1,25,000 jobs for tech and sales professionals; E-commerce, backed by a stable funding ecosystem, will generate 60,000 jobs and 60,000 new opportunities will come up. Global captives of multinationals, that will offset the stagnant demand in IT services; and FMCG / durables will generate 20,000 jobs backed by demand from Tier 2 and 3 cities.

Small business revival

Small and micro hyper-local businesses, which took a major beating in 2017 and had to drastically reduce manpower as business was bleak, are back in hiring mode this year. “We had just 15,000 jobs available on our platform last year as demonetisation broke the backbone of these hyper-local businesses, that typically have up to 20 staff. With stability coming back, this year we will have 2 lakh jobs available” said Ashish Agarwal, founder of Worknrby, an online job search platform that connects employers with job seekers.”

Campus recruitments

Pointing out that campus recruitments are a key indicator of the health of the job market, as it means that organisations are willing to invest in talent who will not be billable immediately, Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder, TeamLease Services said: “Campus hiring which was subdued for the last three years is up 10-20 per cent starting October-November 2017 with pre-placement offers increasing by up to 30 per cent at the IIMs A, B and C, and up to 20 per cent in Tier 1 and 2 institutes such as NMIMS, IIM-Trichy and SIBM. The IITs have received 25 per cent more pre-placement offers from core sector employers in manufacturing, petroleum, infrastructure and mining.”

In IT alone, some of the key roles in demand are cybersecurity analyst, network analyst, machine learning engineer, cloud engineer, technical support specialist and vulnerability assessment manager, observed Pradipto Chakrabarty, Regional Director, CompTIA India.

James Agrawal, MD, BTI Executive Search told BusinessLine that the firm sees a 10-15 per cent growth in demand for leadership roles this year, in the infrastructure, FMGG / durables, banking & financial services sectors. Salaries for CXOs will be up 10-15 per cent this year and niche roles like Chief Data Officer, Chief Brand Manager (for Social Media), Chief Digital Officer, Head – CSR, Chief Innovation Officer, Social & Sustainability Head, which are in high demand, will command a premium, he said.