While 2021 has been the year of revival for several industries amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, it was also a year of many firsts. Adoption of technology across sectors redoubled while more and more companies transformed their organizational strategies and goals to accommodate the new normal. The need for skilling and upskilling reached a new high, with an increasing number of recruiters on the hunt for skilled professionals, in the wake of the Great Shuffle and the employment crisis in India.
2021 Job Trends:
According to Monster.com (a Quess company), industries such as Banking/ Financial Services, Insurance (BFSI), Production and Manufacturing, and Telecom/ ISP paved the way to recovery in the past year.
BFSI, Manufacturing, Telecom, Automotive, IT industries saw positive growth in 2021
A year-on-year comparison indicates that industries such as Banking/Financial Services, Insurance (31%), Production and Manufacturing (31%), Telecom/ISP (27%), Automotive/Ancillaries/Tyres (25%), and IT-Hardware Software (23%) witnessed the highest percentage point growth (Dec 2021 vs Dec 2020). The growth in BFSI could be accounted for by the Big Data Revolution and integration of digital banking, leading to higher demand for jobs in the sector, while the IT sector has sailed through with technology transformation and growing demand for professionals adept in new-age digital skills. Growth in Manufacturing, Telecom, and Automotive industries could be attributed to policy initiatives by the government such as the PLI schemes in Manufacturing, Auto, as well as Telecom reforms.
While the above industries showed an optimistic outlook for recovery, several sectors such as Media & Entertainment (-15%), Engineering, Cement, Construction, Iron/Steel (-8%), Government/ PSU/ Defence (-7%), Education (-5%), and Advertising, Market Research, Public Relations (-2%) witnessed an annual decline in percentage point growth in 2021, indicating a slower recovery pattern. Given the hammering impact of the second wave and consecutive lockdowns, the Indian Entertainment industry continues to struggle for revival, along with several others sectors. While these industries have witnessed slight monthly upticks in hiring intent, they have not yet caught up on a year-on-year basis.
2021: The Year of Revival for Indian Travel and Tourism
The Travel & Tourism industry in India, despite the initial hurdles of the pandemic and multiple lockdowns, began to recover slowly over the last year with a 5% point growth in 2021. With seasonal festive hiring in November, and decline of consecutive lockdowns, the industry finally saw revival at a steady pace. Several trends dominated the industry last year such as “staycations”, “workations”, and “revenge travel” acting as stimulus for talent demand.
Metro cities top the charts with highest yearly increase in hiring intent
Bangalore (42%) leads the way, among metro cities, with the highest percentage point growth in hiring demand on account of the increased demand for professionals in the BFSI and IT industry. Chennai (30%), Pune (29%), Hyderabad (24%), and Mumbai (20%) follow as the top cities for hiring among 13 cities monitored by Monster.com. It is interesting to note that Chennai witnessed an uptick for professionals in Advertising, Market Research, PR, as well as BFSI and Telecom industries. The spike in hiring in metros over the last year could be credited to positive hybrid workforce sentiments, which is bound to be further implemented given the rising Omicron cases in India.
On the other hand, locations such as Baroda (-15%), Kolkata (-14%), Jaipur (-8%), and Ahmedabad (-5%) indicated negative growth numbers with a decline in hiring intent through the year 2021. This could be accounted to the increased adoption of hybrid workforce cultures, demanding employees to be present in Tier-1 cities or central office locations. However, Kochi (2%) saw a slight incline in hiring activity showcasing an optimistic outlook for the current year.
Senior Management, HR & Admin among top functions in demand
In 2021, functions such as Senior Management (36%), Software, Hardware, Telecom (30%), HR & Admin (22%), Finance & Accounts (19%), and Hospitality & Travel (12%) saw the highest incline in hiring intent. Senior Management positions observed an upsurge in demand due to restructuring of company hierarchies and changes in top leadership, while HR & Admin roles saw an uptick to bridge the demand gap created over the first wave of the pandemic characterized by massive layouts for HR roles. Given the growth in Indian IT, roles in Software, Hardware and Telecom have witnessed an upswing, while HR & Admin functions saw growth with return to office trends. It is also notable that with the revival of the travel and tourism industry in India, roles in Hospitality and Travel have bounced back with positive growth numbers.
However, with the fall in traction for physical roles, Customer Service (-18%) witnessed a percentage point decline in 2021 as compared to the previous year. Functions such as Healthcare (-10%), which witnessed only a partial recovery from the pandemic impact, followed by Sales & Business Development (-9%), Marketing & Communications (-2%) and Engineering/Production (-2%) witnessed a fall in hiring intent year-on-year.
Leadership roles with over 15 years of experience dominated the job space in 2021
Year-on-year experience-level trends indicate that Leadership/Top Management (>15 years) professionals witnessed maximum percentage point growth in 2021 at 55% as there was an increased need for revival of businesses, new policies, and implementation of the same across organizations. Leaders were an essential asset to chart courses and help companies adapt, evolve, and transform, and many of these openings are expected to result from the need to replace professionals who have transferred, exited, or retired from the labour force. Top management professionals were most in demand for IT, Telecom, and Sales & Business Development. Mid-Senior level (7-10 years) and Intermediate (4-6 years) professionals saw an uptick of 31% and 27% respectively. While Senior level (11-15 years) professions indicated an 18% growth, demand for Entry-level/Freshers (0-3 years) showed 12% percentage growth in the past year.
Top Industries for Freshers
The demand for freshers across industries has seen a consistent improvement in 2021, although it is negligible when compared to other levels. It is interesting to note that the top three industries with the highest share of freshers are IT (7% share), BFSI (2% share) and Advertising, Market Research, PR (2% share).
Salary trends: Highest average salary noted for professionals in Investment Banking
Salary trends indicate that professions such as Investment Banker (10-16 lakh per annum), Healthcare (9-10 lakh per annum), Java Developer (8-14 lakh per annum), Data Scientist (5-10 lakh per annum), and AI professionals (5-10 lakh per annum) saw highest average salaries in 2021. The sectors most in demand with the high salary structure are IT and Analytics with the average salary range between 7-15 lakh per annum.
Employment Outlook for 2022:
- AI and Machine learning job demand estimated to grow: With rapid tech adoption across industries and entirely tech-enabled sectors such as IT and BFSI, the role of AI and Machine learning will only continue to grow in 2022, with a significant increase in the demand for related roles. Industry reports further suggest that AI/Machine Learning investments in India will continue to grow at a CAGR of 33.49% till 2023
- Chat-bots to empower customer support services: To enhance customer engagement, more and more organisations are adopting chat-bots which are forecast to empower approximately 45% of organizations’ customer support services by 2022. Roles in Learning & Development, Travel, Consumer Analysis, and Lead Nurturing would witness a spike in demand, in this regard.
- Growth of FinTech in 2022: The Indian FinTech market expanding rapidly, and is estimated to become the third largest market in the world by 2025. The future holds increased digitization and digital adoption opportunities across the industry, with a positive outlook for talent demand in the sector.
- Continued spike in IT talent demand: Indian IT has continued to hire through the course of the pandemic, and will exhibit similar trends in 2022. It is encouraging to note that the IT industry is forecasted to grow 7% in the current year, and likely to see a gross employee addition of around 450,000 in the second half of FY22.
- Big Data Analytics roles to witness huge demand: Basis reports, 96% of companies are definitely planning or likely to plan to hire new staff with relevant skills to fill future big data analytics related roles in 2022. This is most likely going to be the most in-demand role in 2022. Data Science, Cloud Computing and Machine Learning roles captured most of the e-recruitment market.
- Skilled manpower to be the future of the workforce: The demand for skilled manpower or professionals adept in digital skills is likely to witness a surge in industries such as BFSI and new sectors such as crypto. The top skills organizations are on the lookout for are data science, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and machine learning.
- Sales Professionals in demand: The demand for sales professionals is estimated to increase especially in industries such as FinTech, Retail, E-commerce, and Social Commerce.
- Location-agnostic future: The future of working is certainly hybrid. Location-agnostic working goes hand-in-hand with this, especially for tech companies with large workforces. With a number of employees preferring remote working and staying in their hometowns, more and more organisations are considering setting up smaller offices in Tier-2 cities or utilizing co-working spaces to provide employees with better resources and access to technology. This would, in turn, lead to an increased demand to hire across Tier-2 cities in the coming months.
- Optimistic outlook for fresher hiring: Hiring for freshers has picked up over the last three months of the year, and is estimated to increase considerably in 2022. The continuing emergence of startups will further contribute to the demand for entry-level professionals across industries.
Sekhar Garisa, CEO, Monster.com, a Quess company, said, “The year 2021 was definitely a year of recovery. As we step into the new year, we are optimistic about paving the way for better employment opportunities in 2022. The future of work is location-agnostic and hybrid, with increased skilling initiatives being undertaken by both employers and employees. Further, leading tech-enabled industries such as IT, FinTech, BFSI, and crypto will continue to flourish with talent demand spikes. It is also interesting to note that employee flexibility would be critical towards retaining talent in the future, and the Great Shuffle is a reinforcement of how the huge demand in the jobs market is opening the door for employees to select a career of their choice.”
Period for the report
The data is for the time period of December 2021 vs. December 2020. The salary trends data is as of December 2021.