E-commerce giants Flipkart and Amazon are leading the pack this year with record hiring of seasonal employees, including delivery agents and workers at warehouses. This is in anticipation of the surge in demand ahead of the festival season.

Flipkart said it will create direct seasonal employment for over 1.15 lakh people this year up from 70,000 in 2020 and 50,000 in 2019. Similarly, Amazon will create over 1.10 lakh seasonal job opportunities this year, over 50 per cent more than last year’s 70,000. Other e-commerce players, including Myntra, also plan to ramp up seasonal hiring this year.

“We feel the festival season is an opportunity to create value for all stakeholders, including sellers, customers, kirana s and ecosystem partners,” a spokesperson for Flipkart said adding, “to enable this, we have expanded our supply chain across the country and opened warehouses across States. This has helped generate lakhs of seasonal job opportunities with roles including sorter, picker, packer and delivery executives.”

Amazon’s Akhil Saxena, VP - Customer Fulfilment Operations, APAC, said recently that the additional workforce of over 1.10 lakh will help the company strengthen its fulfilment, delivery and customer service capabilities.

Buyer behaviour

Commenting on the surge in seasonal hiring, Ajoy Thomas, Business Head of retail, e-commerce, logistics, and transportation at TeamLease Services, a HR company, said, “We are likely to see an even bigger increase in sales than predicted by these pre-Covid-19 estimates, as e-commerce sales have seen massive growth and transformation since early 2020. The pandemic has had an immediate impact on buyer behaviour that has accelerated digital transformation for many businesses.”

While the demand has increased by 30 per cent, a further 15 per cent uptick is expected around the peak festival season in October/November. As many as 20 million e-commerce shoppers were added in 2020, and this is expected to double in 2021, taking the overall user base to 190 million users by 2021-end. This has also positively impacted allied industries such as logistics and retail, he said.

Agreeing with Thomas, Alok Kumar; Senior Director, Sales & Global Accounts at Manpower, a recruitment firm, said hiring activity is in full swing, going beyond leading e-commerce companies. “We have got huge demands from logistics companies that support e-tailers. This year, demand has increased 20-25 per cent over last year’s festival season,” he added.