A 22-year-old graduate from Lucknow University, Fareha Anam, is thrilled to be working with Microsoft on an HR operations project, although it is only for two months. “I get to work with a reputed brand, for a salary of ₹26,000 a month and I am learning a lot on the job, everyday. This experience will set the bar for a better job in future,” she told BusinessLine .

Flexi-jobs or temporary, contractual jobs provided by staffing firms, which were not considered by first jobbers even a few years ago, is fast gaining ground, as it gives youth the opportunity to work with marquee brands that offer attractive salaries along with many perks.

Surge in flexi-staffers Rohit Ghaghoria, 26, who has just clinched a 1-year flexi-job in Barclays’ travel department, opted to be a flexi-staffer because the job offered him much more than all his three previous permanent jobs at Indian travel firms.

“Barclays is a well known multinational; I get paid ₹25,000 a month, which is 35 per cent more than what I earned in my last job; I work for fixed hours, get a pick-up and drop facility; free food and two days off a week; unlike my earlier jobs where I worked six days a week. If I prove myself here, I might be absorbed as a permanent employee or my contract may be extended,” he said.

The country is witnessing a surge in flexi-staffing, which is expected to register a 15 per cent growth this fiscal ending March 2015 compared to 12 per cent the previous year. Flexi-staffers are usually freshers with zero to 3-4 years of experience. “Youngsters are eager to take up flexi-jobs because it gives them access to big brands, and the difference in salary between a permanent and a flexi-job for the same job profile has narrowed down to just 7 per cent today.

Honing skills Youngsters look at flexi-jobs as an apprenticeship, where they can hone their skills for a better job in future,” Rituparna Chakraborty, President of Indian Staffing Federation (ISF), told BusinessLine .

As of March 31st 2014, there are 17 lakh organized, flexi-staffers in the country of which 5 lakh are on the payrolls of ISF’s 41 member companies. While the average salary of flexi-staffers is ₹15,000 today; it has been steadily increasing by 8-11 per cent last year and is expected to increase by 12-15 per cent this year, said Chakraborty.

Demand for flexi-staffing will be led by Bengaluru in the South, followed by North and West India. Healthcare & Pharma, Retail, Ecommerce, Telecom, IT, Infrastructure, Financial Services, Manufacturing and Engineering are the sectors that will drive demand for flexi-staffers.

“Niche skills that are in great demand but in short supply such as, Big Data, Hadoop, SaaS programming, Supply Chain, Logistics, Retail Merchandising, Digital Marketing, Financial Planning, Datacentre management, SaaS programming, Health & Fitness will command a 30 per cent hike in salaries,” said Chakraborty.

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