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With economic activity showing an impressive recovery from the grip of the pandemic, hiring demand rose 6% year-on-year in March, according to the Monster Employment Index (MEI). 

Even as a marginal dip of 2.4% was witnessed in month-on-month hiring activity, owing to the appraisal season, the MEI remained positive from an annual perspective as recruitment activity continued across a broad range of sectors.

In March, online recruitment activity exceeded the year-ago level in 11 out of the 13 cities monitored by the index. All metros registered a double-digit growth on an annual basis. Mumbai (up 21%) led all the monitored cities for the first time on a yearly basis followed by Coimbatore (up 20%), Chennai and Hyderabad (up 16% each). E-recruitment activity in Bengaluru (up 15%) charted a positive trend but weakened from previous months. While Pune recorded 12% growth, Kolkata and Delhi-NCR registered a growth of 13% each.

Among sectors, hiring demand in March 2022 was driven by the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector which showed remarkable improvement (up 37%) followed by telecom/ISP (up 17%) and production and manufacturing (up 16%). Additionally, jobs rebounded for hospitality & travel (up 11%) personnel after a long time and experienced significantly improved demand levels annually.

However, engineering, cement, construction, and iron/ steel (down 20%) continued to witness a year-on-year decline in the series since April 2020, registering the sharpest deceleration among sectors. The pace of growth moderated further for media & entertainment (down 16%), and FMCG, food & packaged food (down 13%) industry slid in March 2022 annually, according to MEI data.

In terms of functions, IT hardware & software, HR & admin along with finance & accounts job roles marked a double-digit growth in all metros. More and more organizations have hired top management level employees (up 34%) followed by mid-senior level (up 22%), intermediate level (up 20%) and senior-level (up 13%). Entry-level jobs witnessed a growth of 8% on the back of campus hiring steeping in the March quarter.

In BFSI, roles in financial statement, wealth management, investment banking and cyber-security have seen increased job openings. In terms of tech jobs, the emergence of the metaverse and its potential applications has created a lot of career opportunities in new skill areas like design architects, software designers, system validation engineers, 3D artists, and others.

“Two years into the pandemic, it is heartening to see that the Indian economy has overcome setbacks and challenges with hiring momentum exceeding pre-Covid levels by 6% this year compared to 2020. Sectors such as banking and telecom have undoubtedly contributed to the overall revitalization of employment generation in the country. It is also encouraging to see a substantial rise in business activity across tier-2 cities given that smaller cities have historically feathered the adverse effects of the pandemic crisis with a surplus talent pool to boot. As India Inc. continues to adopt the hybrid and back-to-office work models, we hope to see a continued recovery and a step forward to normalcy in the coming months," said Sekhar Garisa, CEO, Monster.com, a Quess company.

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