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Hiring remains flat in May, tech hiring at all-time high

Hiring activity in the edtech sector increased by more than 7% sequentially in May after posting a continuous decline over the past few months.

The hiring activity in May remained flat compared with April, allaying apprehensions that the job market may have got severely impacted by the brutal second wave of Covid-19.

Continuing with its robust hiring trend, jobs in the information technology (IT) sector remained high in demand, while the education technology segment made a good comeback after a hiatus of a few months.

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Given the wave of hyper-digitisation that has swept the country, the IT-software sector recorded a robust over 14% growth in hiring in May versus a month ago, according to

Interestingly, tech hiring is at an all-time high, beating the growth momentum of pre-pandemic years, registering an increase of a sharp 39% in May versus the same month in 2019.

Hiring activity in the edtech sector increased by more than 7% sequentially in May after posting a continuous decline over the past few months. The hiring in the sector is led by marquee start-ups like Byju’s, Vedantu, Toppr and Unacademy, among others, the job portal firm said.

However, due to shutdown of hotels, restaurants and non-essential offices, a sequential drop was witnessed in hiring in sectors such as hospitality, which declined by 41% and retail, which was down 20%. However, what came as a surprise is that some sectors which had remained immune to the pandemic impact suffered a decline in hiring in May. Banking and finance saw hiring decline by 15%, FMCG by 13% and BPO/ITES by 10%.

Pawan Goyal, chief business officer, said, “It is encouraging to see a much lesser impact of the second wave of the pandemic on the job economy versus last year. Hiring numbers remaining flat in May signals resilience and recovery.”

Kamal Karanth, co-founder of specialist staffing firm Xpheno, said the active jobs trend for the first two weeks of May was concerning as just a little under 60,000 white-collar jobs were added or refreshed in that period. However, the second half of May did bring in a bit of fresh cheer to job postings to alter the trajectory. “For a month that was headed towards another drop, ending on a stagnant figure was a recovery in itself,” he said.

According to Xpheno’s findings, the closing figures for May matched that of April 2021 with a marginal 2.5% increase. The count of jobs that were active, refreshed and seen accepting applicants in May 2021 was 2.05 lakh, against 2 lakh in April 2021. However, job postings were 23% higher compared with the May 2020 figures of 1.67 lakh, which was a month when India was going through a nationwide lockdown and therefore, not strictly comparable.

Karanth highlighted that coming at a time when the second wave was at its peak, May 2021 could potentially become the turnaround month if the momentum continues.

Talent solutions provider CareerNet finds that the outlook on hiring going forward is positive with 8 out of 10 employers actively hiring. According to the findings of a survey, 61% of large enterprises anticipate filling more than 500 positions, 45% of mid-sized companies expect to fill between 100 and 500 positions, and 61% of small businesses forecast to fill less than 50 positions in 2021.

Banking, e-commerce, insurance & financial services, and IT/ITeS sectors are expected to be key employers. Among cities, Hyderabad tops the list of employment, with 100% of respondents saying that they are actively hiring, 80% of employers in Bengaluru are considering hiring, whereas 5% have not started hiring yet. The survey saw participation from 80 leaders in the human resources and talent acquisition space and over 1,600 employees from various organisations.

Anshuman Das, CEO and co-founder, CareerNet, said, “The hiring momentum has accelerated and companies are actively hiring. For colleges and universities, virtual hiring is going to be the norm. There is a positive outlook towards gig/contractual/freelance hiring.”

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