In the last fiscal year, there was a decline of 17.5 per cent in the number of frontline jobs created due to macroeconomic challenges and an uncertain economic environment, according to a report by BetterPlace, a frontline workforce management platform.
It also reported that only 6.60 million customer-facing roles, including sales and business development executives, call centre workers, delivery personnel, marketing executives and housekeeping, were created compared to eight million in the previous fiscal year.
Pravin Agarwala, Co-founder and Group CEO, BetterPlace explained that businesses were cautious in their hiring due to macroeconomic challenges, resulting in a decrease in frontline jobs last fiscal year. However, he anticipates an improvement in job numbers this year due to increased demand for manpower during the ongoing festive season. Companies are seeking to employ a mix of on-roll, third-party roll, and gig workers to meet the rise in consumption across all sectors.
The logistics and mobility sector replaced e-commerce as the highest employment industry for frontline workers in FY23, with a total demand increase of more than 111 per cent. Although the demand created by e-commerce fell by 52 per cent, it was still the second-largest employer, contributing to 33 per cent of the total jobs. The fastest-growing industry in terms of demand for frontline jobs was IFM & IT, growing by 139 per cent in FY23.
According to Agarwala, companies are increasingly turning to gig work as a way to control their workforce costs, resulting in a rise in women’s participation in the workforce from 3 per cent in FY22 to 6 per cent in FY23. He attributes this increase to changing attitudes among families towards women working, with 88 per cent of women surveyed feeling fully or somewhat supported by their families in their decision to work.
Agarwala emphasised the need for tech solutions that can handle fast-changing dynamics while improving productivity and retention. In FY23, e-commerce was the fastest-growing industry for women frontline workers, with a 36 per cent rise in demand.
The data also showed that the average monthly salaries for frontline workers decreased by 4.5 per cent to Rs 21,700 in FY23. IFM and IT recorded the highest monthly average salaries at Rs 25,700, followed by BFSI and logistics & mobility, offering salaries of Rs 22,000 and Rs 21,800 per month, respectively.