70% employers resume hiring for blue collar jobs

Mumbai, April 14

With the vaccination drive in full swing in the country and high optimism on the economic recovery, the hiring of blue collar workers is resurging as 70 per cent of employers polled in a survey said they have resumed recruitment.

Of the 70 per cent employers polled in the second edition of OLX People Survey, nearly 16 per cent said they are hiring 100 per cent of capacity, while 54 per cent are hiring up to 50 per cent of capacity. About 60 per cent of employers stated that they have faced no challenges in availability of talent, despite the fact that a large number of gig workers had preferred to return to their native place at the height of the pandemic, the survey said.

OLX People conducted an online survey with nearly 150 respondents – business and HR heads in companies across industry sectors such as IT, ecommerce, BFSI, food-tech, logistics, manufacturing and FMCG, others.

Meanwhile, the survey noted that the optimism in the recovery of the economy is high among respondents. One in every two (50 per cent) respondents said they are optimistic of the economic recovery within the year, while 36 per cent are uncertain and expect the economy to show slow growth, pessimists are in single digits.

Further, nearly 60 per cent of employers said their business is doing fine, 24 per cent expect their businesses to recover by the end of 2021 and 13 per cent feel that recovery is in sight over the next few months.

This overall positive sentiment reflects in the resurgence of hiring of blue collar workers, the survey noted.

The first edition of the Employer Sentiment Survey was conducted in June 2020 by OLX People and the sentiment for hiring blue collars workers during that time was positive only for the upcoming festive season.

E-commerce and logistics were two sectors that were positive in their hiring and among the fastest to resume operations since the lockdown, the survey stated. While these sectors continue to be ahead in their hiring plans, other sectors such as FMCG, BFSI, manufacturing and IT have also caught up in their demand for blue collar workers as evinced in the second survey.

The pandemic and its resultant negative social impact on blue collar workers is driving positive changes among employers, according to the survey. It found that job security trumps the pay package for accepting a job, confirmed 72 per cent of employers.

Employers are responding positively to the need of the hour as 52 per cent of them offer PF and gratuity benefits, 44 per cent offer health insurance and 33 per cent invest in upskilling the workforce.

Nearly 37 per cent of employers are considering extending health insurance and other social security benefits to blue-collar workers in the new normal, it added.

Despite automation, blue collar jobs will continue to see demand as 92 per cent of all respondents do not see its impact on while 50 per cent of these respondents said that the demand for these roles will continue to be very strong. Meanwhile, employers said they would prioritise communication skills (47 per cent) followed by functional skills (35 per cent) when hiring for these roles.

“While green shoots were visible in blue collar hiring in the second half of 2020, with demand surges during the festive season, the current sentiment in hiring is most welcome,” OLX People CEO Tarun Sinha said. With employers optimistic about the general recovery of the economy, buoyed by the mass scale vaccination drive and a large number of businesses getting back to work, the positive hiring sentiment for blue workers is a steady and longer term shift, he said. PTI

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