As we begin a new year, COVID-19 continues to pose challenges for employers in India and around the world. The pandemic has forced businesses to reevaluate how to work, manage, hire, and train employees effectively. Now, two years in, many of the changes that were prompted by the events of 2020 and 2021 are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Businesses have adapted and learned to navigate this “new normal,” and many are operating with a greater sense of certainty and stability today than in months past. And while we can’t predict the future with absolute confidence, we can make some solid predictions on the workforce, hiring, and HR trends we expect to see in 2022.
Flexible work is sticking around.
At this point in the pandemic, remote work has become the norm for many employees. With the right tools and technologies, organizations have the ability to stay highly connected. From messaging apps and video calls, to virtual whiteboards and project management software, remote workplaces are continuing to communicate and collaborate, even from afar.
Many businesses with physical workspaces have implemented hybrid models, where employees are in the office on certain days or have the option to come and go as they please.
“Depending on what happens after this wave of COVID, we could definitely see some companies encouraging a return to the office once cases begin to fall,” said Navin Gautham, director and country manager for Acara Solutions India. “But, because employees have become so accustomed to a flexible model, it’s unlikely that most employers will fully revert to pre-pandemic office procedures where five days in the office was the expectation.”
The increase in remote work has also prompted many businesses to start considering out-of-market job candidates who are extremely qualified but too far to commute. This has allowed them to tap into a much larger pool of candidates, making the market for some jobs more competitive than in years past.
Virtual hiring is here to stay, too.
Along those same lines, the virtual hiring practices that many companies adopted in the earlier days of the pandemic are here to stay. It’s no longer uncommon for candidates to get a job offer without meeting any of their prospective teammates in-person.
While virtual hiring can be a convenient option, it can have its pitfalls, according to Gautham.
“Some job candidates are more comfortable interviewing via video or phone and find it less stressful. Others prefer in-person meetings, especially when speaking with someone they might be meeting for the first time,” explained Gautham. “On the employer side, managers often want to be able to interact face-to-face with their potential colleagues.”
In general, however, moving more of this process online has helped companies to expedite their hiring – something that’s been top of mind as hiring needs in India continue to rise and bounce back from the pandemic.
New job opportunities are popping up in all industries – but tech is really booming.
Despite the challenges of the last couple years, India’s job market was booming at the end of 2021 and even surpassing pre-pandemic levels of growth. The Economic Times reported that annual hiring activity in India increased by 43 percent in October 2021, compared to October 2020.
Hiring activity has picked up across a wide range of industries, but tech jobs in particular are driving much of the surge. The IT sector experienced the most significant year-over-year job growth with an 85 percent increase, followed by the telecom/ISP industry at 84 percent and the retail industry at 51 percent.
Additionally, the hospitality/travel sector experienced a 48-percent increase in jobs, while jobs in education/teaching rose by 41 percent. The banking/financial sector increased hiring activity by 39 percent.
“The Great Resignation” continues.
Despite this growth, India certainly isn’t immune to “The Great Resignation” – a term that was first coined and observed in the West but has become somewhat of a worldwide workforce trend.
“Now is an ideal time for employers to look inward and think about the value they bring to their workforce,” said Gautham. “Many jobseekers have options and aren’t saying yes to the first offer that comes their way. Over the last couple years, they’ve reflected on what they want from an employer, and in today’s candidate-driven market, can afford to pick and choose. Employers are doing themselves – and their employees – a great disservice if they ignore this new reality.”
Whether you’re in need of quality candidates or pursuing your next career move, Acara Solutions India is here to help. Contact us to learn more about our contract staffing, permanent staffing, executive search, recruitment process outsourcing services, and opportunities today.
This blog was written by Acara India’s Director and Country Manager, Navin Gautham.