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Hiring & Exit Trends Making a Healthy Return to Pre-COVID levels: A data driven perspective

November 25, 2020
Hiring & Exit Trends Making a Healthy Return to Pre-COVID levels: A data driven perspective

It’s unbelievable that 2020 is soon coming to an end, however the challenges this year threw at us as individuals, organizations and society are yet to be fully understood and responded to. In our efforts to understand this pandemic better many of us at individual and organizational level have used this time to go within.

To decipher some of the underlying trends we analyzed behavior of 1 Million users on PeopleStrong human capital management

Insight 1: Equal Preference for Mobile & Laptop for HR-related transactions

With the pandemic in action and work from home becoming the norm, we would have imagined people would be accessing HR Technology mostly from their mobile device. What we found in the data is a bit amusing.

Across industries Mobile and Web remain at 50-50% usage, indicating there is no clear winner here when it comes to working from home or remote locations. People seem to prefer to have access to both and would do tasks in the “flow of work” on either device.

When we look at this in the industry context, then things become clearer. IT industry seems to be using their laptop for doing HR transactions more than they would use mobile. While Retail industry is more likely to use mobile for the same. The inherent nature of work and industry has an impact on these choices, though we maintain that access to HR transactions on both devices is critical. >

Insight 2: Leave Trends Seem to return to normal after a major drop in AMJ

Average leave taken per employee – As expected fewer employees applied for leave during AMJ period as compared with JFM. The leave trends however seem to be returning to normal in JAS.

Most industries opted to use “Accrued Paid Leave” during this period. This indicates across industries employers have used this period to optimize the PL balances and ease the burden of leave encashment in a financially challenging business environment. This looks like a win-win where employees get paid offs while organizations prevent a spike in their outflow due to leave encashments later at a higher rate.

One of the worst hit industry, Retail however seems to have used “Leave Without Pay” the most during this period clearly indicating the stress this sector is under.

Software and IT has embraced “Work From Home” completely, as one would expect, and shows the highest adoption of this leave type during this period.

Other industries like Manufacturing and BFSI have maximized on the use of “On Duty” leave type indicating that these industries have chosen to not fundamentally alter the leave policies in place.

In these early days industries are still cautious and are not really making any fundamental changes to the underlying policy structures.

Insight 3: Hiring as well as Exit Trends Returning to Pre-COVID level 

With a tough economic situation, one would have expected to see a higher number of layoffs in certain industries, however surprisingly that’s not what we found. In fact, the overall trend here seems to be indicating of hiring trends returning to JFM levels.  We say this as we see exit trends returning to JFM levels in JAS.

Break this up by industry and you see that BFSI, Pharma and Software industries are experiencing lower exit % in JAS than JFM. While E-Commerce, Retail and Manufacturing are seeing higher or similar levels of exit % in JAS when compared with JFM.

The drop in exit % across sectors in AMJ clearly indicates both employees and organizations took the wait and watch step here. We interpret the higher exit % in JAS in 2 ways – one could be organizational distress forcing employees out which we believe is visible in sectors like Retail, second is employees reconsidering career options and choices deciding to move out.

The overall hiring sentiment in certain industries is returning to JAS levels and that could be prompting these exit trends in those industries.

Insight 4: What is happening to Confirmation, Transfer and Promotion?

The pandemic hit at a critical timeframe when most companies were preparing to wrap up a financial year and had already budgeted and planned for next financial year. All of that had to be revisited.

Confirmation, Transfer and Promotion are typically seasonal transactions. They are likely to coincide with the annual appraisal cycles and hence we expected to see some sharp rise in these transactions in AMJ. However, absence of this spike in AMJ indicates that many organizations simply did not do these unless necessary.

BFSI, Manufacturing, Pharma and Retail are the 4 major industries where these decisions seem to have been put on hold in the current business environment.

Software and IT once again stands out in this data where it indicates a slight uptick in AMJ for these transactions

Travel and hospitality had a higher percentage of these activities in JFM as compared to other industry peers but has since dropped to nil or negligible levels, which is understandable.

Prakash Rao, Chief Experience Officer, PeopleStrong commented, “India Inc. has handled this crisis with aplomb. Though there are visible signs of stress in industries like Retail and e-commerce, most other industries seem to be emerging on the other side of this crisis.
The data indicates that most industries have chosen to take a wait and watch approach. While some have created specific leave types to handle the pandemic induced medical situations, most companies have resorted to optimizing existing policies and infrastructure.”

This analysis further confirms our optimism about the robustness of India Inc’s ability to handle such situations and emerge stronger.

About PeopleStrong

PeopleStrong is Asia’s leading Work and HR Technology company, headquartered in India. With over 1 million users from 350+ enterprises across industries, PeopleStrong impacts people productivity and experience agenda of enterprises and accelerates their journey towards the #NewCodeofWork. PeopleStrong’s product suite includes next-gen applications in the space of HR Technology (Talent Acquisition, Human Capital Management, Talent Management), Productivity, Analytics and Platform. Known for its penchant to innovate, PeopleStrong has many firsts to its name, the recent one being the application of Machine Learning in Recruitment (through Match Making) and Employee Experience (through Asia’s first HR Chatbot Jinie). PeopleStrong is the first company in the space to be successfully assessed on SSAE18 and recently won the prestigious CIO’s Choice Award for Talent Management on Cloud.


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