New trends on Jobs Street

Chitra Narayanan | Updated on September 23, 2020

Construction shows spike in demand; there has also been a rise in contractual assignments

It has been over six months into the pandemic and after many ups and downs — well, mainly downs in terms of job losses — some hiring trends are beginning to emerge in the vastly changed jobs landscape. But there is some mismatch between what job seekers want and what employers are willing to offer if you look at the data put out by jobs sites like Indeed.

Seeking remote work

There has been a 500 per cent increase from job seekers’ side on remote work in the post Covid era, according to listings tracked by

“Unfortunately the increase from the employers’ side has not been that much,” says Sashi Kumar, Managing Director, Indeed India.

Anecdotally, after speaking to various companies, it looks like start-ups seem to be the ones that are more open to offering remote roles. Take Wellthy Therapeutics, a digital health start-up that has had, in the last few months, over 30 openings and opened them up to candidates from anywhere.

Installation space perks up

On the employers’ side, there has been a 200 per cent surge in contractual jobs, finds Indeed.

Dive deeper into this data and the biggest contractual jobs seem to be coming up in the installation space. In 2019, the share of service engineers, technicians, was very small but it has leapfrogged in 2020. This could be because with people cooped up at home, demand for household appliances, television sets, broadband, has gone up. All these require installation.

And since companies are unsure whether the demand surge is likely to be permanent or of short duration, contractual roles may have increased, conjectures Shashi Kumar.

Other contractual jobs are also coming up in technology and software companies. The top three cities for contractual jobs are Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad, as per Indeed data.

While most sectors have seen a dip in new jobs in 2020 (data up to mid-September) as compared to a year ago, two sectors that have done better than 2019 are Pharma and Construction, says Sashi Kumar.

Building a recovery

The Pharma demand is understandable, while Construction, which has seen a 16.5 per cent increase in job postings, is a bit surprising.

However, according to Anuj Puri, chairman and founder of Anarock Property Consultants, the job trends seem to be in line with construction activity in the country, which has definitely picked up. He says after a long period of lull, developers of residential property have all begun work again — RERA, in fact, dictates completion of projects.

Since many of these developers had let go of people, they are forced to re-hire and hence the surge in construction jobs. All the metro cities are seeing renewed construction work.

In addition, the government is also spending on infrastructure projects, especially metro work.

The big dips

The biggest dip in terms of new job creation, says Sashi Kumar, is in the hospitality and tourism segment. There has been a 58 per cent dip in job postings in 2020 (up to mid-September) compared to the same period last year.

Another area that has taken a beating is Cleaning and Sanitation jobs, which has seen 37 per cent lower job postings. This may sound a bit strange, wouldn’t these services be required even more now?

But Sashi Kumar feels this could be because most households are preferring to do these jobs themselves while public spaces and offices have not been used that much. Food preparation and services has seen a 50 per cent dip, while child care has also witnessed a decline.

On the other hand, there has been a surge in demand for interns, online tutors. As always when one door closes, another opens somewhere else.

Published on September 23, 2020

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