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Signs of optimism in job market: White-collar mandates up for June quarter

Bengaluru: An uptick in white-collar permanent job mandates for the April-June quarter of the new financial year has brought some optimism into a largely lacklustre hiring market, recruitment and talent advisory firms including Randstad, Adecco, Manpower India and ABC Consultants told ET.

Manufacturing, infrastructure, pharma and healthcare, global capability centres (GCCs), engineering and banking and financial services are among the sectors taking the lead on the hiring front amid large-scale public-private investments, strong digital transformation initiatives, increased consumer demand, and advancements in healthcare technology, the firms said.


Digital roles are in high demand, from those in digital marketing to those in emerging technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning), big data, and analytics, they said.

“The hiring scenario for the coming months, based on the demand observed in the first quarter of the financial year is optimistic,” said Karthikeyan Kesavan, director – permanent recruitment at Adecco India. “Adecco has experienced a strong start, indicating positive momentum… In April-June 2024, the mandates for white-collar perm hiring have increased by more than 50% year over year (YOY),” he said.



GCCs, with a focus on technology and shared services recruitment, are driving the highest demand at Adecco, followed closely by sectors such as BFSI, engineering, pharma, and retail.

“For GCCs, the emphasis on expanding technological capabilities and optimising shared services operations has driven recruitment efforts, while in the BFSI sector, there is a continual need for talent to support financial services operations and innovation,” Kesavan said. “In engineering, the demand is fuelled by ongoing infrastructure projects and technological advancements.”

At Randstad India, mandates for white-collar permanent hiring in the April-June 2024 quarter are displaying an optimistic trend with a 12%-15% growth as compared to the same period last year and around 5%-7% growth as compared to the last quarter.

“This indicates a buoyant labour market amidst prevailing geopolitical and macroeconomic situations,” said Sanjay Shetty, director, professional talent solutions, at Randstad India.

Sectors leading the hiring uptick include ecommerce, pharma, manufacturing, BFS, telecom, and technology startups, he said. “Overall, we see an optimistic hiring outlook for the next 3-6 months with projections indicating a growth of around 8%-10% in recruitment across various sectors and job roles,” Shetty said.

While IT is showing signs of a pickup – though still subdued – and expected to see a stronger recovery in the second half of the year, hiring in startups continues to be sluggish, recruitment agencies said.

“Large employers are more confident about hiring, but startups are still wary,” said Alok Kumar, senior director at ManpowerGroup India. For them, healthcare and life sciences, infrastructure, real estate and BFSI have shown a good uptick; laggards include consumer goods, energy and utilities among others.

“Some companies are holding back their hiring decisions because of the elections; otherwise, the situation in this quarter would be even better,” Kumar said. “Things will improve further in the coming months.”

Shiv Agrawal, managing director of ABC Consultants, said, “The outlook is neutral to good.”

ABC Consultants has seen an approximately 10% jump in leadership hiring over the last quarter, he said. “Auto, power, infra, real estate, aerospace and defence are most active; tech is showing the beginnings of a turnaround,” Agrawal said.


( Originally published on Apr 03, 2024 )

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