Global human resources consulting firm Randstad has said the Indian jobs market will see "robust growth" in 2019, due improved ranking in ease of doing business, a steady growth in gross domestic product (GDP), and hiring revival in the information technology (IT) sector.

According to Randstad, IT, infrastructure and constructions, manufacturing, retail, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) will be the key drivers for growth next year.

The HR firm said big-ticket projects by players such as Swedish furniture giant Ikea, which has firmed up its plans to expand in India, will push consumer-facing businesses to invest more and more in manpower. The government’s initiative in the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) credit space—in-principle approval for loans of up to Rs 1 crore within 59 minutes from the Small Industries Development Bank of India and five public sector banks—will create more jobs in the sector.

The budgetary announcements in farm insurance and Ayushman Bharat, the national scheme that aims to provide healthcare coverage to 500 million people, will drive hiring in the insurance sector. Retail and FMCG companies' focus on tier II, tier III cities, and rural areas to drive growth will create more jobs in this space, the world's largest recruitment firm said.

The staffing firm, however, sees some jitters in the telecom sector in medium-term hiring plans due to the recent mergers and acquisitions.

Randstad, which currently has a market share of about 4.5% in India’s staffing industry, is all set to make the most of this expected growth in India. To grab a larger market share (both temporary and contractual workers), Randstad plans to bring Gigwalk, a workforce management platform that connects people to part-time work opportunities, to India early next year, confirmed Paul Dupuis, managing director and chief executive, Randstad India.

Gigwalk is one of the 17 innovative HR technology platforms that the $30 billion company has invested in to aid its operations. Terming India as a “spotlight market”, Dupuis said that Randstad will aim to move away from transactional assignments and traditional recruitment, which he terms as merely “putting people into the seats”.

“India is becoming a spotlight market for us. We are in an exploratory mode right now. In India, where there is skill gap. Where do we come in? Can we reskill and put workers into other industries,” said Dupuis.

According to an analysis by the Indian government, there will be an additional demand for 109 million skilled workers by 2022 across 24 key sectors in India.

On Randstad’s plans to invest on existing players in the skill development space, Paul confirmed that the company had initial discussions with some partners, particularly in the technology field. “We need to look what makes sense for our candidates, clients and us. You can expect to hear more in the coming months,” he said.

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