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COVID-19 to delay job interviews; impact hiring: Experts

"Since the outbreak of COVID-19, companies have been cancelling interviews. We expect 60-65 per cent interviews getting dropped or delayed as there is lockdown in many parts of the country and people are encouraged to stay at home to curtail the spread of the virus," TeamLease Services Business Head BFSI and government vertical, Amit Vadera told.

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Last Updated: Mar 22, 2020, 01.53 PM IST
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Michael Page India Managing Director Nicolas Dumoulin said there will be a slowdown in hiring in retail, hospitality, travel among others.
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MUMBAI: The overall hiring sentiment in the country is likely to witness an adverse impact in the short term with 60-65 per cent interviews getting delayed, especially in the services sector, following the slowdown across industries triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, industry experts said.

"Since the outbreak of COVID-19, companies have been cancelling interviews. We expect 60-65 per cent interviews getting dropped or delayed as there is lockdown in many parts of the country and people are encouraged to stay at home to curtail the spread of the virus," TeamLease Services Business Head –BFSI and government vertical, Amit Vadera told PTI.

This will also lead to delay in joining dates if the current situation continues, he said.

Sectors including banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), retail, logistics (delivery) where a lot of frontline-hiring takes place are likely to witness this delay, he pointed out.

More and more companies will now depend on technology as an alternate channel to continue with the same pace of productivity, he opined.

"It will be a big learning for many organisations, who will see this as a medium to improve their productivity," he added.

He said that in the short term, this will also impact the overall hiring scenario as many sectors will witness slowdown following the spread of COVID-19, however, it is too early to quantify it.

Echoing a similar view, staffing firm CIEL HR Services chief executive officer Aditya Narayan Mishra said that COVID-19 has emerged as a global challenge and "this is going to push many critical projects to slow track and impact revenues and profitability. As a result, companies will delay their hiring plans".

The results are hard to predict but are certainly disquieting and it will result in a slowdown in hiring, which is likely to be 10-15 per cent in the next quarter across all sectors especially the services industry, he said.

"We are already witnessing cancellation of personal interviews and putting backfill numbers in abeyance. These are early signs that companies are worried about the revenues and meeting their forecasts. We see a slowdown as a result of this crisis," he noted.

Job search platform Shine.com CEO Zairus Master, however, said there will be some sectors that are likely to witness an uptick in hiring due to COVID-19.

Healthcare, of course, will lead but as people are staying indoors, e-commerce and online delivery portals should also see a gradual increase in demand. This is also an opportune time for people to upskill themselves as they have more time and fewer entertainment options, he said.

He further noted that, though tourism sector will be affected in the short run but "we have seen in the past also, aviation and tourism has bounced back quickly and hiring resumed, he added.

Michael Page India Managing Director Nicolas Dumoulin said there will be a slowdown in hiring in retail, hospitality, travel among others.

The impact on hiring will be minimal, but if this situation continues due to the spread of the virus it might be large.

However, Dumoulin said that technology-driven sectors are hiring and are conducting interviews through alternative channels like online, Skype.

'In fact, this has made interviews faster and convenient. Hiring of mid-level and freshers are going on. The joining of executives hired through campus recruitment may get delayed," he added.

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