70% Employers Resume Hiring For Blue-Collar Jobs

Survey finds 60 per cent companies face manpower crunch, though most gig workers moved to their homes last year

70% Employers Resume Hiring For Blue-Collar Jobs
70% Employers Resume Hiring For Blue-Collar Jobs
PTI - 14 April 2021

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 percent of employers polled in a survey said they have resumed recruitment.

Of the 70 percent employers polled in the second edition of OLX People Survey, nearly 16 percent said they are hiring 100 percent of capacity, while 54 percent are hiring up to 50 percent of capacity.

The survey said that about 60 percent 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.

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 survey respondents.

One in every two (50 percent) respondents said they are optimistic of the economic recovery within the year, while 36 percent are uncertain and expect the economy to show slow growth, pessimists are in single digits.

Further, nearly 60 percent of employers said their business is doing fine, 24 percent expect their businesses to recover by the end of 2021 and 13 percent 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.

It is found that job security trumps the pay package for accepting a job, confirmed by 72 percent of employers.

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

Nearly 37 percent 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 percent of all respondents do not see its impact while 50 percent 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 percent) followed by functional skills (35 percent) 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 collar workers is a steady and longer term shift, he said.