Festive season may give brief fillip to dismal job market

Festive period - Onam in Kerala, Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali in most parts of the country- is the biggest shopping period, accounting for 45 per cent of annual sales for consumer-centric industries.
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

NEW DELHI:  Mahesh, 22, a school dropout who was unemployed until a week ago, is now busy delivering parcels to customers in New Delhi, having been recruited as a temporary worker by an e-tailer. A dismal job market notwithstanding, demand for such temporary staff is likely to shoot up in the upcoming festive season as firms are looking to push sales aggressively to make up for losses in the first half of the year.

Experts say flexi-staffing would see a 10-15 per cent jump as increased volatility in the market is propelling employers to opt for it.

“The flexi sales workforce is likely to be upwards of 10 per cent this festive season and there would be higher demand for people in customer service, delivery personnel and sales roles,” said Aditya N Mishra, CEO of CIEL HR Services.

According to Rituparna Chakraborty, president, Indian Staffing Federation, flexi staffing, which holds a substantial portion of e-commerce and retail employees’ base, typically receives the highest boost during the festive season.

The festive period — starting with Onam in Kerala, and with Durga Puja and Dussehra across most of the country, and lasting until Diwali — is the biggest shopping period, accounting for 45 per cent of annual sales for consumer-centric industries.

In 2018, 1.2 lakh temporary warehousing employees were required to manage operations at Walmart-backed Flipkart and Amazon India. This year, too, experts say these firms will strive to make this festive season their biggest in terms of sales, discounts and deals, and finance options.

“Tier -II and tier-III cities contribute immensely to e-commerce companies during the festive season, considering the large customer base. The job market in these cities is ergo expected to see a growth of 15 per cent this year,” Chakraborty added. Interestingly, female staff in e-commerce companies has doubled to more than 40,000 in one year and will continue to grow.

“Prominent roles have been in supervising operations, sorting centres, packaging, and managerial roles in delivery stations, delivery associates in charge of hubs, and delivery executives,” she added. Demand for temporary workers is also comparatively higher this year within BFSI, consumer durables, hospitality, pharma and logistics sectors.

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