Data from job site Indeed has revealed that Bengaluru recorded the highest postings for contract jobs between January and July 2020, followed by Mumbai and Hyderabad, although all three cities witnessed overall degrowth from last year. Job seekers' interest in ‘contract or temporary jobs’ jumped by 150%, while postings for these jobs increased by 119% between January and July 2020, the data also revealed. This can be attributed to a flow-on effect of pandemic-induced economic shutdowns across industries.
Indian workplaces bore the biggest brunt of the pandemic during this period triggering massive reverse migration that has led to immense labour shortage and high labour cost.
While the demand for contract workers has risen steadily since January 2020, month-on-month comparisons between 2019 and 2020 showed that hiring for contract jobs more than doubled in June and July this year, at 110% and 143% respectively.
Data from Indeed also shows that job seeker interest jumped 2.5 times in seven months. In July 2020, searches for contract jobs on Indeed was 3 times higher than in July 2019, at 207%.
Year-on-year comparisons between 2020 and 2019 suggest that the installation category clocked the highest increase (128%) in demand for contract workers such as maintenance personnel and service engineers. This comes as no surprise, as a vast majority of India’s workforce was plunged into a work-from-home model creating greater capacity for hires who would help enable a smooth transition like setting up Wi-Fi access or assembling ergonomic workstations.
Sashi Kumar, Managing Director, Indeed India, said, “Indeed data has suggested that the Indian labour market is experiencing a shift towards a gig economy with an increasing number of workers seeking contractual or freelancing opportunities. With the pandemic, this has now also become true of employers. Between backfilling roles vacated or achieving organisation flexibility by substituting permanent hires, the number of postings and searches in India during the period January – July 2020 significantly increased for contract or temporary jobs. While there are immediate cost advantages associated with hiring contract labour, we are keen to understand the implications of a prolonged work-from-home situation on this trend. We see that employees are increasingly willing to sacrifice the additional benefits that come with a permanent job in exchange for a greater amount of flexibility that allows them a healthy work-life balance, and the opportunity to simultaneously pursue multiple interests – both important factors in creating a sustainable workforce.”