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E-commerce comes to the rescue of jobless entry, mid-level retail talent

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NEW DELHI: The pandemic is hurting entry and mid-level talent in the brick-and-mortar retail businesses the most, with at least one lakh of those employed hunting for jobs.

There has been over two-fold jump in resumes flowing in from store and sales executives at various consumer retail brick-and-mortar companies over last five months, according to job registrations with TeamLease, a recruitment firm. The surge in job registrations that started in March with 26,000 went up to 72,000 in July and the number is only growing in August.

However, the good news is that e-commerce sector is able to absorb the talent at the entry and mid-levels in delivery/logistics and at warehouses.

“E-commerce companies or digital platforms are the obvious choice for talent from brick-and-mortar retail companies. Some of the entry level talent is also willingly turning into delivery boys for e-commerce players,” said Rituparna Chakraborty, cofounder, TeamLease Services.

This trend correlates with data exclusively compiled by Xpheno for ET that showed over a lakh employees in the offline retail sector are without jobs. Of this, over 51,000 with work experience of 0-10 years, who have either lost jobs or are anticipating pink slips, are on a job hunt.

“The surge in job seekers is the highest in middle operational managers in brick & mortar retail, as the sales figures are way below monthly averages (pre-Covid) and they apprehend if their current employers will be able to sustain them,” said Kamal Karanth, cofounder, Xpheno. The data collected is from primary sources like companies, job portals and Linkedin, said Karanth.

E-commerce companies like Flipkart, Amazon and Udaan are on a hiring spree and picking up entry to mid-level talent from brick-and-mortar companies.

“The prospects of digital commerce have increased significantly after the pandemic. Digital retail and supply chain companies have stepped in to fill the gap left by brick-and-mortar retail. Moreover, customers have gotten used to the new ways of shopping,” Aditya Misra, founder, CIEL.

There have been close to 500 movements from brick-and-mortar consumer retail companies to digital retail ever since the pandemic hit the country, according to Misra.

There is some movement at the leadership level too, though not as significant as the entry and mid-level, according to executive search firms like Korn Ferry and Transearch. “Talent interest from consumer/retail sector has increased significantly in last few months towards digital /start-up ecosystem. We have recently onboarded three CXOs from FMCG/Retail sector to a large Internet client,” said Transearch’s Ashish Sanganeria

Even Korn Ferry has placed half a dozen senior executives in various e-commerce platforms since March from offline retail businesses.

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ESIC: Govt may retrospectively relax conditions for unemployment benefits under Employees’ State Insurance

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The labour ministry has proposed to provide 50 per cent average per day earnings of the subscriber during four contributory periods in the past two years for 90 days of unemployment, as against 25 per cent provided earlier.

Synopsis

The labour ministry has moved a proposal to amend the conditions under the Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana from March, when the government imposed a nationwide lockdown, which will be taken up by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) board on Thursday.

New Delhi: The government is likely to retrospectively relax conditions for unemployment benefits under the Employees’ State Insurance, which saw zero contribution from eight million subscribers in April and May.The labour ministry has moved a proposal to amend the conditions under the Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana from March, when the government imposed a nationwide lockdown, which will be taken up by the Employees’ State Insurance

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EPFO records 6.55 lakh net new enrolments in June from 1.72 lakh during May 2020

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NEW DELHI: The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) saw a robust rebound in net new subscribers with addition of 655,000 subscribers in June as industries and services resumed operations after two months of lockdown. Barely 20,000 and 172,000 subscribers were added to the EPFO in April and May respectively, resulting in net additions of about 847,000 in the first quarter of this financial year.

“The month of June has seen speedy recovery with addition of 6.55 lakh net subscribers registering a remarkable 280% month on month growth,” the EPFO said in a statement on Thursday. “The subscriber base growth is on account of increased number of new subscribers, lower exits and higher rejoining by exited members.”

New subscribers increased about 64% to 498,000 in June from 303,000 in May while exits from EPFO subscriber base declined nearly 33% to 296,000 in June from 445,000 in May. The EPFO saw net addition of 1.2 million subscribers in June this year while 2019-20 saw one million new subscribers on average every month.

EPFO

Even the number of members who exited and then rejoined increased 44% in June from May, with more subscribers choosing to retain membership by transferring funds rather than opting for final settlement, said the EPFO. The data comprises all the new members who joined during the month and whose contribution was received.

The EPFO payroll data showed the enrolment of female workers went up to 106,059 in June from 37,085 in April in absolute terms, even though the overall female participation in the workforce remained low.

However, the highest jump in formal employment creation was in the expert service category which predominantly consist of manpower agencies, private security agencies and small contractors.

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Hike to spend up to Rs 40,000 per employee to facilitate work from home throughout 2020

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New Delhi: Mobile messaging platform Hike on Thursday said all its employees will work from home throughout this year and the company will spend up to Rs 40,000 per staffer to help them create a comfortable workspace at their home.

The company, however, has kept its office open for employees who want to access special technologies available within the premise for their work, it said.

Prioritising employee safety and well-being amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said it has adopted “remote-first approach for the rest of 2020.”

Backed by global investors including SoftBank, Tiger Global, Tencent, Foxconn and Bharti Enterprises, Hike has over 160 employees at present.

The company, in a statement, said that “valuing employee wellbeing over everything else, Hike’s move to a remote-first culture would make working remotely their default modus operandi.”

However, for those looking to come to the office, it will remain an option with strict guidelines to ensure social distancing and sanitation.

Hike has that it will spend up to Rs 40,000 per employee to help them create a workspace at home.

“Hike would be delivering an ergonomic office chair and a brand new compact office table to its employees residing in Delhi NCR.

“For employees presently outside of Delhi NCR Hike has announced a reimbursement of up to Rs 10,000 for the purchase of their own chair and table to set up their workstation at home,” the statement said.

Hike would also be supporting its employees for any internet and IT accessories requirement.

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