Govind Khare completed his postgraduation in journalism and mass communication from a private university in Bhopal two months ago. A guest speaker visiting the campus for an event happened to interact with him, and eventually forwarded his resume to a business news organisation in Mumbai. Khare, who didn't want to be identified by his real name, says he was fortunate. In a small batch of 15 students, he is the only one with a job so far. The university, which provides 'placements assistance', has been of little use.
Freshers, especially from tier II and III colleges, are facing a difficult year after a strong placements season last year. Hiring for campuses continues to consolidate, with a dip of 7% in June, according to Naukri JobSpeak—a monthly index representing the state of the Indian job market and hiring activity by employment search website, Naukri.com.
Fresher hiring contracted for the third straight month, according to the report, along with a dip in hiring for mid-level positions. Demand for senior professionals soared.
On an aggregate, the Naukri JobSpeak index stood at 2,795 in June this year, a decline of 3% from the previous year and a fall of 2% from the previous month.
According to employment website Indeed, around 71% of employers surveyed said the job market is tough for new graduates. Only about 4% see it as highly favourable for freshers.
Only 23% of new graduates are optimistic about receiving job offers, the survey highlighted, with 35% of new graduates not so sanguine about their job prospects and worried about the near future.
While job portal Foundit also showed a 6% year-on-year fall for fresher jobs in its latest report for June, it also showed a steeper decline across all other experience levels.
Overall, the Foundit Insights Tracker recorded a 3% decline in e-hiring in June this year due to seasonality and market conditions.
IT Software Drives The Lull
Sashi Kumar, head of sales at Indeed India, said a large part of the lull can be attributed to lower fresher hiring by the IT services industry after it recruited in record numbers the previous year.
Hiring by India's top software services companies in the previous placement season was significantly stronger than in the past few years, driven by demand for digital services spurred by the pandemic.
IT industry hiring continued to remain an area of concern across experience levels, with a 31% decline in new jobs created as compared with June last year, according to the Naukri JobSpeak index.
Fresher hiring in IT saw the steepest decline and was 32% lower in June than an year earlier, it said. It fell by 29% year-on-year in June for retail, 24% for FMCG, 22% for e-commerce, and 10% for auto, according to data provided by the company.
However, sectors such as medical devices, hospitality, construction, oil and gas, insurance, and banking saw a rise in hiring from an year earlier.
Khare's salary is lower than what he had expected. It's hard as he tries to settle down in Mumbai during the monsoon season. What's harder, according to him, is trying to "give your best to your job when you know you are being underpaid, even if it's because of market conditions".
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