People of India are concerned with the possibility of large layoffs, loss of employment. As CII Director-General Chandrajit Banerjee said in a discussion, “SMEs face the biggest challenge. Jobs losses will be much more in smaller firms. Larger companies will be able to see the crisis through for a longer period”. He also added that it would be difficult even for larger firms to sustain jobs if the situation does not improve. According to a report by Santosh Mehrotra, a human development economist, and professor at the Centre for Informal Sector and Labor Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University, 136 million jobs are vulnerable to corona outbreak.
As Albert Einstein said, “In the middle of an adversity lies an opportunity.” Even though there are indicators of economic crisis, the lockdown has also created various new trends and job opportunities for us. The article will focus first on the new trends and then on the new employment opportunities, etc.
Work from Home : With the lockdown in the third phase, employees have got a fair amount of idea of work from home. Work from home has both pros and cons. On one side it can reduce some of the operational costs of running an office, it gives convenience, reduces the commute time and cost, etc. On the other hand, it lacks the connection between the team members which physical meetings have, distractions and communication problems, and information security issues as information leaves office premises.
Demand for E-learning : There is a growing surge in the E-learning platform usage from both students and working professionals. This will change the learning and training scenario post lockdown also.
Talent demand for remote jobs : According to a survey done by Times Jobs, about 55% of recruitment managers of India Inc agreed the requirement for remote jobs has gone up amid lockdown scenario.
As people spend more time at home in the lockdown, many professionals review their career and figure out what they want from their careers. This may lead to employees shifting their jobs in different sectors.
Increasing demand for online platform-based businesses : Online platforms for retail, entertainment, education, e-commerce, etc. will see a huge boom. The online streaming platforms have already been challenging traditional mediums like television, etc. Usage of online services for grocery, daily usage items, food delivery, etc. will increase.
Salary cuts and internal hiring : Many firms may not fire employees but may cut their salaries. This has already started to take place. Also, firms may decide not to go for external hiring and elevate their internal employees to new positions to cut their hiring costs.
Hiring managers and HR professionals, in general, may have to ensure their employees of job security as this might be of primary concern for many employees.
Potential Jobs Lost and Created
Apart from the above-mentioned trends, there will be some jobs which may be lost and new jobs being created. Among the sectors adversely hit by lockdown and Covid19 are travel, hospitality, and tourism industry. The international borders of many countries have been closed and show no signs of opening up soon. The tourism sector which is a big contributor to the economy and contributes to 12.75% of employment of the country, will be shut for the foreseeable future. This may lead to a loss of around 38 million jobs in India as per the report by KPMG.
Malls, reality stores will lose business as people will be reluctant to come out of their houses. This situation may not improve for them immediately even after the lockdown opens. The same is true for hotels and restaurants. Even sporting events, musical events, etc. will be affected. People may be skeptical to attend the crowded stadiums for watching these events.
The manufacturing and automobile sector have also been hit due to supply chain problems. The assembly line workers, suppliers, dealers may all face unemployment. Real estate industry jobs are also at risk due to the reluctance of potential buyers.
On the flip side, there is a new set of jobs that are being created and demand for certain existing jobs is also increasing. Especially, those firms working on online platforms without any brick and mortar infrastructure are winners.
Tech companies are benefiting from the world becoming more digital and are employing new people to satisfy the upcoming demand. For example, Amazon is hiring 100,000 employees globally. Roles in the technology sector like developers, cloud computing engineers, etc. are in demand. Apart from this, the growing need for cybersecurity has created jobs in this sector.
As kids are at home as schools are closed, the demand for video games is increasing. Adults are also playing them for entertainment. This will generate jobs in this sector. According to the survey conducted by the TimesJobs, system operators, store associates, and digital marketing are the top 3 jobs that would be in demand. In fact, digital marketing has become a critical skill in these periods.
There is an increase of jobs in sectors like healthcare and wellness sectors. Apart from these, jobs in data analytics and data science will come to center stage. Jobs in R&D, customer service executive, telesales staff, etc. may also see a surge. As people trying to avoid going to crowded areas, the e-commerce demand has increased leading to more home delivery drivers.
- Digital Marketing : Post this lockdown period, digital marketing will be in huge demand. Developing skills in this area through online courses and live projects will be useful to land in a job.
- Data Literacy : Data analytics skills are crucial for understanding the drifting consumer tastes and preferences. Equipping with these skills will help in staying relevant in the market.
- Programming skills : As the blog already discusses that technical jobs are still in demand during these tough times as the world is becoming digital. Programming skills are handy in getting these roles.
- Networking skills : The ability to create and manage professional relationships is a great asset to get a job even in this tough scenario.
So even though jobs in certain sectors may decline but opportunities in the job market in India post lockdown in other sectors are also rising. The employees need to ensure to develop the relevant skills to grab these other jobs. Online courses and live projects will help in bridging that skill gap. Even for workers on daily wages, there are opportunities such as home delivery drivers, etc.
The government has recently announced Rs 20 lakh crores to support the economy. We may also need enhanced credit through banks to businesses. The job scenario may seem difficult right now, but we must remember that this too shall pass and be prepared for the future with the right mindset and skill set.
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