The joblessness rate in the country climbed to 9.90 per cent in the week ending December 13 from 8.43 per cent in the preceding week. This is a record high in a 23-week timeframe, according to the data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). This means the second week of December saw the highest joblessness rates in the country after the week that ended on June 14. Although the economy has shown some recovery, the year 2020 has been the worst for jobseekers. Undoubtedly, the pandemic has left an unprecedented impact on the economy and businesses are struggling to reach the pre-Covid level. According to data shared by professional networking platform LinkedIn, nearly 40 per cent of Indian professionals are hopeful that new opportunities will emerge in 2021. The year-data showed that over 50 per cent of professionals are optimistic that their companies will do better in the coming two quarters as they faced the heat of delays and a cut in allowances and also working remotely with the risk of laying off looming large.
'Employee Engagement' is important
The pandemic not only added to the unemployment rate but also halted the hiring process and no organisation has been left untouched by the impact of Covid-19 and it continues to disrupt many sectors. However, with the economy slowly getting back on track, the hiring process is also showing some recovery. But the adoption of remote working models is likely to continue at least till the half of 2021. The pandemic led to the rise in digital infrastructure and this is something which the country had never experienced before. Many businesses leverage the opportunities presented by the crisis. Human resource leaders and talent managers are also playing a crucial role in rethinking and realigning the team’s activities. The pandemic led to the creation of an innovative approach that is adaptable in the present market scenario and help businesses sail through the tough times. It made businesses realise the true meaning of "employee engagement".
AI has revolutionized hiring
Speaking about how Indians have been playing a significant role in confronting challenges such as managing operations, Yogita Tulsiani, director and founder of iXceed Solutions, said that everyone wants to be ahead of other market players and focus on adapting the latest technology to gain a competitive edge. But maintaining organisational culture, acquiring and retaining talent, engaging a remote workforce to become a leader in the market is something where companies face a challenge. She said that the Covid scenario has made it possible to tackle the situation with more innovative and productive ways with limited resources. The use of technology and AI has revolutionized the hiring process.
“New automation technology has enabled more consistent services at a lower cost. Some of the challenges faced are capability building and prompt decision making. From commuting restrictions to staying at home in isolation, the pandemic has left a profound impact on the way businesses function and it is set to stay here for long,” she said.
Building new skills important
To cope up with the changing scenario, she said that employees are required to build new skills to align with business practices. Due to unprecedented uncertainty, cross-functional work has become the need for smooth working.
Yogita said that employees will have to adapt to the new business needs in the present scenario. Besides, in times of crisis, employers will draw attention to what they are doing to support both -- employees and customers.
Notably, with constantly evolving ways of working, businesses are accelerating transformation through new-age technology. The LinkedIn survey said that while businesses globally are investing heavily in adopting technology tools that help talent managers to rethink and realign employee activities at work, the small businesses face a variety of challenges. There have been arguments that the rise in the unemployment rate is a worrying sign as it shows poor demand in the market.