Fresher hiring intent in first half of 2024 sees uptick
Technology startups, ecommerce, engineering and infrastructure, and manufacturing industries show increased intent to hire freshers in H1 2024 compared to H1 2023, while the IT industry reports a decline in hiring sentiment, according to a report by TeamLease.
More than 68% of employers surveyed across India plan to hire freshers in their organisations during the first six months (January to June) of 2024, signalling an uptick in sentiment for hiring first-time job seekers in the country.
Fresher hiring intent during the first half of 2024 (H1 2024), which reflects the proportion of employers inclined to recruit fresh graduates, increased from 62% in the same period of 2023, according to TeamLease EdTech Career Outlook Report (HY1, January – June 2024).
The report is based on employer surveys conducted from July to September 2023, covering 526 companies across 18 industries and 14 geographical areas in India.
“The fresher hiring sentiment in India is experiencing a notable upswing. Employers are actively seeking young talent, acknowledging their potential to drive innovation and contribute significantly to the evolving professional landscape,” Shantanu Rooj, Founder and CEO ofEdTech, told YourStory.
“There are industry segments that are hiring, maybe less than the lateral side, but they are certainly focusing on recruitment at the bottom of the pyramid. This is because they realise it’s more cost-efficient if they can create a talent supply chain and train individuals well, both in terms of hard and soft skills,” he added.
Tech startups look to hire, but IT industry intent dips
The top three industries expressing increased intent to hire freshers during H1 2024, compared to H1 2023 are: ecommerce and technology startups, rising to 55% from 52%; engineering and infrastructure, climbing to 53% from 44%; and manufacturing, jumping to 48% from 37%.
However, the hiring sentiment for freshers in the information technology (IT) industry dipped to 42% in H1 2024 from 67% in H1 2023.
“There is still a bit of uncertainty in the IT industry regarding their willingness to hire fresh talent. Though in the last couple of months, we as a company have started seeing some green shoots, but we are not sure whether it is the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ll have to wait for a couple of more quarters to observe if the cycle of hiring growth has started to return,” TeamLease's edtech chief noted.
Opportunities are emerging in other sectors, as every company is essentially becoming an IT company, Rooj said. While traditional IT services may not be hiring, global capability centres, ecommerce players, and tech startups are recruiting in India, he added.
Today’s job landscape is being fuelled by digital transformation, which is disrupting the world of work and creating numerous new roles.
The most sought-after roles for freshers, spanning various cities and industries, include positions such as ecommerce executive, legal associate, graphic designer, microbiologist, financial analyst, clinical data analyst, cloud support engineer, digital marketing executive, software developer, medical coder, network engineer, and content creator.
“Today, fresh talents are increasingly willing to take risks, recognising that a career extends beyond traditional paths like engineering and medicine; rather, it can be forged in any field where one excels,” explained Rooj. For instance, proficiency in video creation can pave the way for a viable career in that area, he added.
The career outlook report highlights the in-demand domain skills for freshers, encompassing areas such as data science, blockchain, natural language processing, metaverse, and full stack development; employers covet soft skills including digital literacy, a growth mindset, adaptability and flexibility, and emotional intelligence, says the report.
Interestingly, employers these days place greater value on soft skills compared to hard skills when it comes to skills assessment.
“Hard skills are easily trainable. Soft skills are not taught but they are caught. So they need to be imbibed,” elaborated Rooj.
Speaking about the overall hiring landscape of India, Rooj said, “Overall India’s growth story is very strong. There are smaller, weaker cycles that happen because of global turmoil. Some businesses which are dependent on particular geographies go through some sort of downturn cycle as those realities change globally.”
He estimates the second half of 2024 to see higher hiring numbers than the ongoing period.
Edited by Swetha Kannan