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Hiring Trends in Key Industries




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The overall hiring market started on a positive note with increasing job postings in the initial months of 2020 at a year-on-year comparison. The incline in hiring was steady until the pandemic impacted the job market. The impact of COVID was visible right from March20. April20 and May20 witnessed a sharp decline of 60% in hiring Y-O-Y, the lowest ever seen on the platform. Steadily, the job market started to revive from June20 onwards., the leading job site in India, took a look back at the white-collar jobs data on its platform and mapped industry-wise hiring trends of 2020. The trends give a glimpse into how some of the major industries reacted to the pandemic and their road to recovery as organizations adapted to the dynamic conditions throughout the year. While industries such as Medical/Healthcare, IT, BPO/ITES were less impacted; a few struggled to cope such as Retail, Hospitality and Travel. Jobseekers should remain optimistic for the coming year; 26% recruiters foresee hiring bouncing back to pre-COVID levels within the next 3-6 months while 34% said that it would take their organizations 6 months to 1 year according to’s Hiring Outlook Survey, taken by 1327 recruiters & consultants across the country.

Sectors that led hiring in 2020:

  1. Medical/Healthcare/Hospital: As a sector that was at the forefront of fighting the pandemic, Medical & Healthcare saw an immediate sequential recovery of 90% in hiring in May’20. Compared to the pre-COVID period, it is only down by 13% in the post-COVID world. The demand for medical roles has increased; the Y-O-Y requirement for professionals including ENT Specialist, Microbiologist, Staff Nurse and Medical Superintendent/Director is up by 48% 41%, 30%, and 18% respectively. Top Medical/ Healthcare companies in search of professionals on are Fortis, Apollo Hospitals, Religare, Bayer Group, Mankind Pharma, Wockhardt Hospitals, and many more.
  2. BPO/ITES: While Y-O-Y growth in hiring was positive at the start of the year, the decline of the BPO/ITES sector was in line with the pandemic. Signs of recovery were seen from June’20 onwards once lockdown restrictions were lifted in many parts of the country. When comparing the pre and post COVID period, hiring in the sector is down by only 19%. With more WFH support for employees, the sector has adapted and hiring for roles such as Telecalling/Telemarketing Executives with skills such as voice process, lead gen and sales has increased by 21% Vs last year. Companies are actively hiring for professionals on; 86% offers rolled out by recruiters in this domain are being honored as per the Naukri Hiring Outlook Survey. Infosys, GNK, Whitehat Education, Genpact, HSBC, Karvy, and Jindal Intellicom Limited are some companies recruiting currently on Naukri.
  3. IT: The IT sector has been amongst the least impacted sectors when it comes to hiring in 2020. As digitization across companies became the need of the hour with businesses being forced to go virtual, the sector saw quick recovery in sequential hiring starting June’20 after a decline in April’20 and May’20. Compared to pre-COVID levels, hiring in IT is down by 23% in the post-COVID period; but the sector shows promise as 76% recruiters surveyed under Naukri Hiring Outlook said they won’t action salary cuts. Key roles that are in demand in the sector include Tech Support Engineer, Database Architect/ Designer, ERP Consultant, and Software Developer. The demand for these roles for the current year are up by 98%, 34%, 20%, and 6% respectively as compared to 2019. Apart from marquee companies that hire in the sector, startups such as Cars24, Lenskart, Dunzo, Razorpay, Delhivery and Pine Labs are actively hiring on Naukri.
  4. Education/Teaching: The pandemic pushed the Education sector to adopt a digital module of teaching, helping in its sequential recovery of 71% in June’20. Although it is 36% down in the post- COVID period compared to pre-COVID levels, skills such as content writing (+20%) and instructional design (+112%) are in demand in the sector by recruiters. Top EdTech platforms such as BYJUs, Toppr and Simplilearn are offering roles on Naukri. Top education groups such Podar Education Network, Rustomjee Kerawala Foundation, Amity University and even coaching centers such as FIITJEE are actively hiring.

Mr. Pawan Goyal, Chief Business Officer,, “The pandemic in the year 2020 was one such event that no business had predicted. Job economy is directly proportional to the growth of various industries and the impact was clearly visible. Factors including an overhaul of the work culture, dependence on digitization as well as pandemic-led precautions and restrictions contributed to the uptick and downtick in hiring amongst key sectors. While the IT, BPO/ITES and Medical/ Healthcare sectors led the hiring in 2020, some sectors such as Hospitality/Travel, Retail and Auto are seeing sequential revival after a sharp hit because of the pandemic. Since this year was more about transitions & navigations, we are looking forward to 2021 for sustainable growth in the job market.”

Sectors that are on the path to recovery:

  1. Hospitality and Travel: Hospitality and Travel sectors were on a Y-O-Y decline in recruitment from 2019 onwards, which became steeper in April’20 when lockdown measures were imposed and movement was restricted. Hiring declined by 91% in April’20 Y-O-Y for the sectors. However, August’20 gave the sector its taste of recovery sequentially with unlocking across the nation. Compared to April’20 Y-O-Y numbers, the sector has recovered by a robust 69pp in November’20. To restart growth, businesses adapted; many online food delivery services started, hotels offered long stay options with added safety measures. In response to that, the demand for professionals in roles like Facility Manager, Housekeeping and Electrical Maintenance went up by 400%, 279% and 21% respectively in 2020 as compared to 2019. In addition, with a lot of pent-up demand and news of the vaccine just around the corner, this sector can certainly become the sunshine sector in 2021.
  2. Retail: The offline retail sector experienced a Y-O-Y decline in hiring from January’20 onwards that peaked in May’20 Y-O-Y. However, the sector started seeing slow sequential recovery from June’20 onwards and improved further during the festive season in October’20. As lockdown restrictions were slowly lifted in phases, many offline outlets re-opened, and companies ramped up their online presence to allow customers more touchpoints to purchase products. Due to this, hiring in the sector recovered by 31pp in November’20 vs April’20. Companies within the retail sector that are hiring on Naukri currently are Marks and Spencers, Future Retail, Puma, Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Vijay Sales and many more.
  3. Auto/ Auto Ancillary: The Auto sector has been down on Y-O-Y growth in hiring since February’19, and this trend peaked in April’20 versus April’19. Interestingly, the sector has been seeing encouraging month on month recovery starting May’20 onwards. This could be attributed to the purchase of both new and second-hand cars that has gone up in the past few months with more people trying to practice social distancing norms by using their personal vehicles to travel. The sales have reflected in recovery in hiring, with the sector up by 46pp in November’20 compared to April’20 numbers. Furthermore, recruiters in the sector are hiring for operations and supply chain roles as per the Naukri Hiring Outlook survey. Top companies hiring on Naukri within the domain are Royal Enfield, Cars24, Tata Motors, TVS, Piaggio, Suzuki, Hero Cycles and Goodyear to name a few.

Overall Hiring Snapshot of 2020:

The overall hiring market started on a positive note with increasing job postings in the initial months of 2020 at a year-on-year comparison. The incline in hiring was steady until the pandemic impacted the job market. The impact of COVID was visible right from March’20. April’20 and May’20 witnessed a sharp decline of 60% in hiring Y-O-Y, the lowest ever seen on the platform. Steadily, the job market started to revive from June’20 onwards. Though the market is still down by 28% Y-O-Y as per the Naukri JobSpeak index for Nov’20, jobseekers, recruiters and experts are eying on sequential recovery to spot the silver lining.

Methodology: analysed data points on actions from over one lakh recruiters on the platform to identify hiring trends by industry. For the analysis, the pre-COVID numbers are based on new jobs posted in January'20 & February’20 and post-COVID numbers are based on new jobs posted in October’20 & November’20.