Indian Startups Cut Back on Hiring: What Does This Mean for Jobseekers?

What Does This Mean for Jobseekers?

Don’t despair if hiring has slowed down in your industry—there are still plenty of things you can do to keep your job search going!

The Indian startup industry has been on a wild ride for the last few years, with layoffs and hiring freezes blanketing the tech sector. A CIEL HR Services report shows a 44% decrease in new employment during October to December 2022 compared to January to March. This comes on the back of reduced capital availability, dubbed the “funding winter”, which saw ‌total funding fall from US$37.2 billion in 2021 to US$24.7 billion as of November 2022. With more economic uncertainty posed for 2023, this trend might persist for startups. 

These developments have transformed recruitment patterns in the past year. To better understand the implications for jobseekers, let’s take a deeper dive into the current state of the Indian startup environment.

Why are startups cutting back on hiring?

According to the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, very few firms intend to hire in comparison to the same period last year (January – March 2022) and the prior quarter. Of organizations polled, only 48% aimed to hire more employees, 16% expected to cut headcount and 34% had no plans to modify their recruiting policies. Overall, this implies a net employment projection of 32%, which is 17% lower than the same period last year and 22% lower than the preceding quarter. In addition, 33% of CEOs have initiated a hiring freeze, either temporarily or permanently halting the creation of new positions. 

Sandeep Gulati, Managing Director of ManpowerGroup India, attributes this largely to the recession and global slowdown that particularly affected the IT industry during the last quarter. He added that until corporations and educational institutions join forces in addressing the talent gap, employment growth will remain at single-digit figures.

How does a slowdown in hiring impact jobseekers?

Finding a job can be difficult, especially for those who are unemployed or underemployed. This worry has led to feelings of anxiety about the future and whether people will be able to keep their current jobs or if they should look for new opportunities. With over 6 out of 10 employees believing that the layoffs will affect them, many are not as motivated and committed to their current jobs. Nearly 57% of employees are not enthusiastic about their current job, and more than half are preparing for new opportunities by acquiring new skills or improving their existing ones. 

In addition, there’s been an uptick in job-hopping, which can be advantageous for employers, as they have access to a wider pool of talent. However, it may also cause disruption for businesses by having to educate new workers constantly. This situation can also make it harder for companies to retain talented individuals. 

While the situation is challenging, there are ways to adapt and thrive in this changing job market.

What should jobseekers do?

The hiring slowdown has been a tough pill to swallow for jobseekers, resulting in historically low levels of job satisfaction. Yet there is still cause for optimism. Employers anticipate an increase of up to 20% in their hiring this year. Industries such as e-commerce, logistics, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) and real estate are experiencing steady growth and hiring activity, even during an economically sluggish climate with rising prices. Additionally, talent demand is anticipated to rise in the education and healthcare sectors. 

Aspiring jobseekers should focus on sectors with growing demand for talent. To make the best out of a slower job market, start by evaluating your skills and experience and consider. any areas you need to brush up on or new skills to acquire. Now is the perfect time to do some self-improvement and make yourself an even more attractive candidate when the job market picks back up. 

Next, update your resume and LinkedIn profile to fit your desired positions and emphasize your key accomplishments. 

Third, network, network, network! Get in touch with old colleagues and friends, attend industry events or join online groups related to your desired field. The more connections you have, the better your chances of hearing about that hidden gem of a job opening. 

Finally, maintain a positive attitude and outlook. Though a hiring slowdown can be frustrating, remember that it’s a temporary situation. Keep going after your dream job and eventually, and you’ll land it!

The bottom line

The challenging economic climate has caused jobseekers to adopt a creative and resourceful approach, with more networking and honing of existing talents and skills, whilst remaining positive despite setbacks. This is transforming them into highly desirable candidates who can bring added value to future employers. As the economy improves, businesses will have access to a pool of skilled and motivated employees who can achieve their goals. Although it’s not an easy period for those searching for employment opportunities, the long-term outcomes will outweigh any temporary difficulties.

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