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Tier-2 cities shine as hiring hubs, remote work and upskilling drive talent inflow: foundit

  • Hiring activity saw a 3% monthly dip (August 2023 vs July 2023), as well as a 5% yearly decline (August 2023 vs. August 2022).

  • Shipping as well as Travel and Tourism witnessed a spike in hiring demand, attributed to government push and changing consumer sentiment, respectively.

  • Telecom/ISP (5%) industry leads with the highest month-on-month growth fueled by the surge in AI/ML roles.

  • IT and FMCG industries record maximum salary surge.

Tier-2 cities shine as hiring hubs, remote work and upskilling drive talent inflow: foundit Insights Tracker

foundit (formerly Monster APAC & ME), India's leading talent platform, published the foundit Insights Tracker (fit), presenting the latest findings on hiring trends for August 2023.


Hiring dipped 3% month-over-month, according to the latest tracker. In addition, e-recruitment activities in India fell by 5% in August 2023 compared to August 2022. The index further dropped from 275 in August 2022 to 260 in August 2023. The fall in hiring indices can be increasingly attributed to the challenges posed by inflation and the slow growth of other major economies such as the USA. However, as per IMF data, India's economy is currently the fifth largest in the world and based on current estimates, will reach third place by 2029.


Offering a hiring overview for August 2023, Sekhar Garisa, CEO, foundit (previously Monster APAC & ME), a Quess company, said, "While hiring has slowed down overall in several sectors in the country, our nation's economy maintains its resilience amidst global uncertainties. A large contributing factor to this stability is the government's emphasis on nurturing sectors such as Shipping, Finance, and Travel. Simultaneously, states are actively bolstering their digital infrastructure to empower tier 2 and tier 3 cities. In conjunction with an increase in festive recruitment, the collective effort is expected to improve the job scenario. Notably, India Inc. is increasingly pursuing fresh talent, with the tracker registering a significant 7% year-on-year surge in fresher hiring. The newcomers of today are adaptable to the evolving technological landscape, strengthening our workforce's forward momentum."


Industries such as Shipping, Travel, & Tourism soar while the Media industry faces challenges


On a year-on-year (Y-o-Y) basis, the Shipping (+58%) industry showed the maximum incline in job postings, followed by Travel & Tourism (+44%) and Advertising, Market Research, and Public Relations (+22%). The notable growth in the Indian shipping industry can be attributed to robust export expansion, particularly in engineering goods, petroleum products, gems and jewellery, and chemicals. This growth is further fueled by significant improvements in dwell time and turnaround time, positioning the Indian shipping sector favourably in comparison to its global counterparts.


The Retail sector also witnessed a rise in e-recruitment activity by 21% this August with the onset of the festive season. It is also heartening to observe a notable 17% increase in job listings within the NGO/Social Services sector. This surge can be attributed to the growing philanthropic initiatives among India Inc's leadership, the augmented CSR investments made by corporations, and the integration of technology into social innovation practices.


The Home Appliances industry continues to struggle, with a 26% drop in job posting activity online, followed by Media & Entertainment (-18%) and IT - Hardware, Software (-17%). While Y-o-Y data in the IT industry shows a downward trend, month-over-month data offers a more encouraging story with signs of steady improvement. Within the entertainment sector, the drop can be attributed to the intensifying free streaming competition on the OTT market as well as fewer people visiting movie theatres compared to the year before.


Metro Hiring Slows Down, Tier-2 Markets Remain Talent Hotspots


Among tier-2 cities, Kolkata (+7%), Ahmedabad (+5%), Baroda (+4%), Jaipur (+4%), and Kochi (+3%) exhibited a positive incline in job activity in August 2023. As the employment environment in India evolves, Tier-2 cities are becoming important hubs for luring top talent due to the rising popularity of remote work practices, improved upskilling opportunities and the rise of different industrial sectors in these areas.


However, a majority of metro cities noted a marginal decline in hiring activity. While Bangalore saw a 16% dip, Hyderabad noted a 14% drop in job postings, followed by Mumbai at 9% and Chennai at 8%.


Indians Favour Travel Experiences, with a 13% Rise in Hospitality Roles


With a 13% increase in online hiring activity, hospitality and travel roles topped the list of job functions. Travelling for Indians is no longer restricted to festivals or holidays, with people preferring to travel all year round and increasingly diverting their cash to experiences over assets. This is in line with industry projections as India's travel and tourism sector's contribution to the economy is projected at INR 16.5 trillion by the end of the year. Additionally, Engineering/Production positions (+11%) experienced a spike in demand, possibly due to the expansion of import substitution and export potential, as well as high global demand for Indian goods.


There was a downward trend in hiring for Customer Service positions (-24%), followed by Senior Management positions (-13%) and Arts/Creative positions (-13%). Hiring for Software, Hardware, Telecom as well as Supply Chain roles also saw subdued demand over the month.


Surge in IT (Hardware and Software) Salaries Defies Experience Level Norms, Reflecting Strong Industry Growth


Despite the decrease in job opportunities in the IT (Hardware and Software) field over the last year, salaries have risen significantly across all experience levels, with a notable 59% incline among associates (4-6 years of experience) and a 36% uptick among mid-senior level roles (7 – 10 years of experience) with companies increasingly focusing on retaining and upskilling current talent. The telecom sector also fared well, with a 19% salary hike among associates and senior management (11 – 15 years of experience).


There was also a remarkable surge in salary among entry-level professionals in IT, Engineering, Advertising & FMCG industries.


About foundit Insights Tracker


The foundit Insights Tracker (fit) is a comprehensive monthly analysis of online job posting activity conducted by foundit.in. Based on a real-time review of millions of job listings from a wide range of online career platforms, the index offers a snapshot of online recruitment activities nationwide. Previously known as the Monster Employment Index, it provided a comprehensive perspective on hiring patterns based on industry, role, location, and experience. Now, in its new avatar, it delivers more detailed insights on recruitment trends, focusing on the demand for specific skills, available positions, and the salary ranges in the market.


Period for the report


The period considered for the fit data is August 2023 vs August 2022.


About foundit - APAC & Middle East


foundit, formerly Monster (APAC & ME), is a leading talent platform offering comprehensive employment solutions to recruiters and job seekers across APAC & ME. Since its inception, the company has been assisting over 75 million registered users in finding jobs, upskilling, and connecting with the right opportunities across 18 countries.


Over the last two decades, the company has been a catalyst in the world of recruitment solutions with advanced technology, seeking to efficiently bridge the talent gap across industry verticals, experience levels, and geographies. Today, foundit is committed to enabling and connecting the right talent with the right opportunities by harnessing the power of deep tech to sharpen hyper-personalised job searches and precision hiring.


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