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Hiring intent in India Inc will rise in 2024 but IT jobs to remain scarce: Report

In 2024, India anticipates a 19% overall increase in hiring, led by a strong 25% in manufacturing. The report suggests a 3% rise in IT hiring and a shift to a 60% hybrid work model. Workforce demographics may see a positive change with a 36% female representation. Notably, direct walk-ins for hiring are diminishing, with employers favoring online platforms and professional networks.

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India's hiring landscape is poised for growth in 2024, with overall intent increasing 19 percent compared to the previous year, according to a report by recruitment platform Taggd.

The manufacturing sector leads the way with a robust hiring intent of 25 percent, underscoring a positive outlook for industrial expansion.

Manufacturing companies plan to hire 15-30 percent more graduates from the 2024 batch than they did from the 2023 batch, indicating a positive trend in the manufacturing sector, the report, titled ‘India Decoding Jobs 2024’ noted. It was launched at a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) event.

The Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sector also stands out with a substantial 25 percent hiring intent, indicating a strong focus on talent acquisition in the financial domain.

Similarly, the automotive industry is set to witness a 20 percent surge in hiring intent, reflective of the sector's anticipation of increased demand. The Internet business and Global In-house Centre sectors share a promising outlook, with a significant hiring intent of 20 percent, highlighting the continued importance of technology and global operations.

Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry displays a 16 percent rise in hiring intent, emphasising sustained growth in the healthcare sector.

Hiring in IT to remain subdued

The information technology (IT) sector showed a more conservative hiring intent increase of 3 percent, potentially reflecting a nuanced approach amid evolving industry dynamics.

While volume growth in most IT companies has been impacted, salaries for IT employees have increased by approximately 15 percent, offering some support. On the other hand, non-IT hiring is experiencing growth, particularly in smaller towns.

Top IT services firms are projected to hire between 50,000 and 100,000 employees during fiscal year 2024, representing a significant decline from the net hiring of over 250,000 in the previous year.

“If we look at the hiring numbers, they will reach a normalised rate within the next six to nine months. Though the demand may not touch the post-pandemic ramp numbers this year, the demand for tech talent will continue from non-IT sectors, where digital initiatives are bringing up new opportunities,” Sharma said.

Remote work to decline, diverse hiring anticipated

In 2023, the employment landscape witnessed a predominant trend towards hybrid work models, constituting 56 percent of hiring intent, while 37 percent opted for traditional office-based setups, and 7 percent embraced remote work.

A nuanced shift is anticipated in 2024, as the hybrid model strengthens its position at 60 percent, indicating a further embrace of flexible work arrangements.

Work from office-only scenarios is expected to register a decline to 33 percent, reflecting a strategic balance, while the remote work component remains steady at 7 percent. The report said this points towards an evolving approach to work modes, emphasising the adaptability and resilience of organisations in shaping the future of work.

In 2024, the projected diversity percentages for the workforce signify a positive evolution, with an expected increase in female representation to 36 percent, while the male percentage is anticipated to decrease to 64 percent. The current workforce distribution stands at 33 percent females and 67 percent males.

No more direct walk-ins

In 2024, companies won’t be going for ‘walk-in’ hiring. This method refers to a process where job seekers can directly visit a company or organisation without a prior appointment or scheduled interview. Instead of applying online or through a formal application process, individuals can physically walk into a company's office and express their interest in a job opportunity.

Hiring sources preferred by employers include professional networking and social media (67 percent), internal referrals (50 percent), company websites (33 percent), consultants (22 percent), campus hiring (22 percent) and job portals (17 percent).