Hiring by the e-commerce ecosystem is expected to grow by 20-25% over the next three months as companies gear up for high festive season demand after two years of muted sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The roles in demand are those high on delivery and tech-related skills to manage customer acquisition, engagement and retention for platform users. Entry-level roles for customer service and management are driving maximum demand. In addition, digital marketing will be another segment that will see high demand for professionals, according to Indian Staffing Federation.
E-commerce companies say that the overall consumer sentiment is positive and are anticipating good sales this year, which will boost hiring. Anika Parashar, founder and CEO of The Woman’s Company told FE that while the factors like the festive season and speed of vaccine deployment are boosting consumer sentiments, another reason behind the improved hiring outlook is strong growth in business activity, which has pressed the need to hire more.
“With the festival season just around the corner, we are witnessing an increase in sales. We will need more hands-on deck and are looking at a 20% increase in hiring,” Parashar said. The company is looking to add resources to its digital teams and on-ground sales teams.
It is not just the e-commerce players but also the support system in terms of logistics companies who are also building capacity to cater to the anticipated increase in demand. Shailesh Kumar, founder of CABT Logistics said that as the festival season inches closer, companies in the logistics sector have hired gig workers, increased capacity, and are expanding their operations at new locations in preparation for the upcoming festival season.
“We at CABT have launched a delivery partner programme, to hire over 15,000 gig workers during the season to boost the company’s delivery capabilities, also we are adding many rapid delivery points across key metros, including Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru and are also hiring for over 100 positions across verticals such as sales, servicing and operations,” Kumar said.
Roadcast, a vehicle fleet management and delivery tracking company is focusing on hiring across roles that will eventually help them build their online footprint that will ensure a wider reach with minimum spending on fixed costs. Rahul Mehra, co-founder of Roadcast said, “Last year there was a 20% increase in hiring but this year we are looking at a 35% increase across specific roles such as customer servicing, development and project management.”
According to Mehra, with consumers becoming more inclined toward ordering online, the demand is sure to increase this festive season. “A lot of brands are now offering gift cards, and vouchers that customers can redeem online, further increasing the requirement in the delivery space,” he added.
Even though high inflation may dent some demand momentum, the hiring fraternity said that companies are optimistic that the sales will be better than in the last two years, and are therefore hiring on a war footing. Suchita Dutta, executive director of the Indian Staffing Federation said, “While inflation may impact but the festive season will not witness as much tapered response as was seen in the past two years. The hiring plans remain aggressive in the current quarter as after training and talent absorption, the workforce will need to be ready in time to meet the growth in demand.”
Also, with the current rising inflation, fuel prices and a general increase in the overall spending in cities, the remunerations are expected to be higher this time around, which are already inching up.
For instance, Kumar of CABT said that its partners currently earn from Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000 per month, depending on factors such as the number of deliveries completed, working hours and the distance they travel. “This is a big leap from the Rs 10,000 – Rs 25,000 per month that the workers earned last year. Due to higher incentives, blue-collar workers’ incomes have increased by at least 25-30% on average compared with last year,” he said.