Flexi or temporary staff are in great demand this festival season as companies are recruiting them in large numbers in anticipation of increased sales.

The demand is mainly for cashiers, coordinators, sales and customer service personnel and event managers.

Starting Diwali till January-end, temporary hiring by consumer durables, e-commerce, hospitality, and airline companies as also travel portals is expected to exceed the annual average by around 50 per cent.

A lot of demand is expected at the entry level for freshers, according to sources in the recruitment industry.

Improved sentiment is expected to push up consumer spending in the next three months.

To service the rising demand, retail and e-commerce segments have seen 55-60 per cent growth in workforce, said Rituparna Chakraborty, President, Indian Staffing Federation.

The overall wage level, too, has gone up by at least 15 per cent, thereby, propelling demand, said Chakraborty, who is also the co-founder of TeamLease Services, a recruitment company.

Saundarya Rajesh, Founder of HR firm AVTAR Career Creators & FLEXI Careers India, says there is a jump in just-in-time staffing for all retail outlets.

Companies such as Reliance, Adani, Bharti and the Tata group have been recruiting in large numbers – both temporary and permanent – for their retail divisions. The mood is upbeat with the market being more vibrant and revenues at retail outlets are higher compared to the last two years. Traditional retailers are facing the heat from e-commerce players on both talent and sales.

The overall sales turnover for retail outlets has considerably increased. New global players such as IKEA, Tesco and Starbucks are adding flavour to the market.

According to Moorthy K Uppaluri, CEO, Randstad India, the festival season typically sees a surge in sales of consumer products and services between September and December, accounting for 30-45 per cent of their annual sales.

To meet this demand, companies in the retail and consumer durables sectors add to their manpower by 20-30 per cent through the flexi-staffing route.

These sectors account for around 70,000 hires in the organised sector.

In the unorganised space, this number can go up to 100,000.

Also, given that a part of this festival period coincides with the holiday season in Western countries, there is an increased demand from the IT industry as well. The average salary for contractual staff ranges from ₹9,000 to ₹15,000 a month.

However, over the last year, companies are becoming more flexible in terms of remuneration based on a candidate’s competencies. Apart from the salary, employers also provide performance-linked bonus, he said.

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