Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will generate approximately two million jobs in the next five years says Raj Mukherjee, executive vice president and general manager of Indeed, a US-headquartered job portal.

According to Indeed’s data, factors such as challenging job roles, opportunities for innovation and learning, recognition, and growth attract job seekers to SMBs. In SMBs, about 39 per cent of job seekers prefer IT. Other sectors include hospitality and food—24 per cent, manufacturing—20 per cent, and blue-collar—18 per cent.

Preference by job seekers in SMBs

SectorPercentage (%)
Hospitality and food24

“With SMBs moving online, it will allow them to use better tools and hire faster. We have observed people preferring these jobs because of flexibility, location, and career trajectory. This trend will continue and will benefit the broad economy,” said Mukherjee.

Economic pressure

Despite concerns about inflation, Mukherjee said that 60 per cent of job seekers are not adversely affected by it, and 89 per cent of employers believe inflation will not affect the way companies hire and pay employees.

The slowdown in the Indian economy is seasonal and can be attributed to post-pandemic normalization, explained Mukherjee.  He said, “Overall, while job postings in several countries have cooled slightly in 2022, we haven’t seen substantial signs of a pullback in hiring intentions in India. These trends are all seasonal—there is going to be a bit of a slowdown, but it will pick up as broader trends change.”

Data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CIME) website shows that the unemployment rate in urban areas during August 2022 was 9.57 per cent, the highest since September 2021.

“For now, we don’t see a steep decline like the number of jobs being halved. However, if the slowdown continues for another three-six months, then it is a constant decline. Additionally, if the global economy does go into a deep recession, it’ll surely have an impact on everyone,” said Mukherjee to BusinessLine.

Industries trend

The power dynamic has shifted more in favour of job seekers. People are preferring flexibility in job types, hours, and work. According to the general manager, in order for businesses to survive, they must adapt to the constantly changing demands of job seekers.

The Indeed Hiring Tracker—Indeed’s quarterly report on the jobs landscape for the period of the April-June quarter showed that hiring was the least in sectors such as FMCG – 69 per cent; manufacturing, engineering and infrastructure – 66 per cent, and logistics—45 per cent. As for the first-time job applicants, 34 per cent preferred jobs in IT/ITeS; telecommunications -29 per cent manufacturing, engineering, and infrastructure-23 per cent; and BFSI - 21 per cent.

Sectors with the least hiring

SectorPercentage (%)
Manufacturing, engineering and infrastructure66

First-time applicants’ preference

SectorPercentage (%)
Manufacturing, engineering and infrastructure23