Cautious Flipkart continues to hire amid uncertainty, expects attrition
The Walmart-backed ecommerce platform will continue to hire for roles across engineering, supply chain, Shopsy, and grocery business functions for CY 2023.
In a year rife with layoffs,expects hiring to increase albeit only marginally at an aggregate level. The company continues to hire engineering talent apart from filling roles for specific verticals, including supply chain as part of logistics provider Ekart opening up to third-party businesses, value commerce platform Shopsy, and its grocery division.
“At an aggregate level, there will be natural- and performance-led attrition. Overall, there will be positives and we will be back-filling as well,” Krishna Raghavan, Chief People Officer at Flipkart tells YourStory.
Flipkart Group, including Flipkart and its multiple entities—fashion retaileras well as travel company —employ over 15,000 employees on their rolls, according to recent reports.
Flipkart had earlier announced in March in an internal letter that senior leadership from Grade 10 and above, including managers and vice presidents, would not receive increments. This would impact nearly 30% of its employee base.
However, the company plans on continuing bonus programmes, increments and promotions for other employees. The CPO adds that Flipkart has already mapped its annual hiring expectations and will continue to hire senior talent, including vice presidents and senior vice presidents, in certain business functions.
“Despite the current global economic uncertainties, Indian companies are expected to provide double-digit salary hikes on average in 2023. This is the second consecutive year of reasonable hikes, and it is primarily aimed at reducing attrition rate,” says Sanjay Shetty, Director-Professional Search and Selection at Randstad India.
He further notes that due to global macroeconomic uncertainties, Indian organisations had reduced their budgets towards increments, as employee costs have risen faster than revenue growth over the last three to four years.
The ecommerce jobs landscape
According to data shared by online employment solution platform foundit (formerly Monster APAC and ME), India’s retail industry registered 40% growth in hiring activity annually driven by ecommerce—a trend which is likely to continue.
“There has been constant hiring across all major companies, with a major focus on supply chain lately,” Sekhar Garisa, CEO of foundit, explains.
He further adds, “Although IT roles still hold the maximum share of jobs in ecommerce, there has been an emerging demand for product management and digital marketing roles this year. In terms of experience levels, hiring is on the rise for junior to mid-senior-level professionals.”
Shetty of Randstad India shares a similar outlook for hiring in the sector.
“Among the emerging industries that have a high potential for employment in India in 2023, ecommerce, digital services, and banking and financial technology stand out owing to the consumers’ affinity towards these sectors,” he observes, adding that the growth of new ecommerce companies had added to the numbers.
As per the FICCI-Randstad startup hiring survey, startups in the ecommerce sector are expected to increase hiring by 11-20% in the upcoming months.
Campus placements to continue
Flipkart has also been actively recruiting from Tier I engineering and business schools as part of its campus intake. The company continues to hire talent beyond the top schools through programmes including case-study competitions such as GRiD and WiRED, post-internship offers, and other channels. It also runs programmes such as Girls Wanna Code, Project Runway, and Vidyarthini to hire women in technology and supply chain roles.
“Our remuneration for campus hires is at par with industry standards. We look at rewards through a holistic lens and offer opportunities for wealth creation for our employees,” says Krishna of Flipkart.
He adds, “In line with our business priorities, these hires cover diverse roles across the organisation that require agility, collaboration, innovation and problem-solving.”
Benefits outweigh cash rewards
Even as the ecommerce sector is expected to register the highest salary growth of up to 12.5%, according to data shared by foundit, the hook for employers continues to be rewards and benefits, rather than cash payouts.
“The compensation is driven more by ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) and promotions than the paychecks,” Garisa notes.
ESOPs allow employees to purchase company stocks at a fixed price while employee benefits include non-wage compensation such as health insurance and retirement plans.
"Both serve different purposes: ESOPs provide an opportunity for long-term profit, while employee benefits support overall well-being and future-proofing,” Shetty of Randstad observes.
He adds that employers tend to use both instruments to attract and retain employees. “A comprehensive compensation package that includes both can create a positive work environment and retain top talent.”
In keeping with the trend, Flipkart has decided to continue with ESOP-related benefits for the current year, including refresher grants as part of the appraisal cycle.
“All our bonus programmes continue, all our promotions continue and employees who are getting promoted will get increments. All our stock programmes, including joining grant, annual refresher grant, and other benefits will continue,” says Krishna.
Flipkart has also made other policy overhauls such as unlimited medical insurance and unlimited wellness leaves for employees across the board.
(Cover image and infographics by Nihar Apte.)
Edited by Kanishk Singh