Indian professionals have remained cautiously optimistic during the COVID-19 pandemic, professional networking website LinkedIn’s year-end data indicates. According to a recent study from LinkedIn, overall confidence scores of Indian professionals remained steady between +50 to +57 from April and November. Further, the report’s findings showed that two in five Indian professionals expect new jobs to increase next year, and one in two (53 percent) Indians expect their companies to do better in the next 6 months. Further, the LinkedIn report says that customer service specialist was the most in-demand job this year, and lays out 10 ‘Future of Work’ predictions for 2021.
The LinkedIn report says that the optimism with the Indian professionals also comes at a time when India’s economy is slowly opening up, and the hiring rate continues to recover steadily back to pre-COVID levels with a 46 percent year-on-year growth as of October 2020. While the report says that Indian professionals are confident of the year ahead, it also says that 78 percent of the unemployed professionals feel stressed as of November 2020 and only one in three expects their income to increase, heading in to the new year. The LinkedIn report also said that 61 percent Indian professionals will take less time off this holiday season and about 87 percent say that they will spend equal or more time working on their primary jobs this year-end.
Three in five (57 percent) professionals say that they will increase their time spent in online learning going forward, as per LinkedIn’s year-end findings.
The report also focused on work trends in 2020. According to LinkedIn’s report, customer service specialist turned out to be the most demanded job this year, followed by data analyst and digital marketing specialist respectively. Financial analyst came as the fourth hottest job this year, followed by graphic designer. IT administrator came sixth, IT support came seventh, project manager eight, sales representative ninth, and software developer came as the tenth most-wanted job in 2020.
LinkedIn also gave us the Top 10 ‘Future of Work’ Predictions for 2021. The report said that old work paradigms will return next year. One in four Indian professionals were offered flexible work hours and well-being support during the early stages of lockdown. This, according to LinkedIn, will change in 2021 as companies recognise new employee needs – many of which would depend on sectors and geographies.
Further, it said that technology will scale collaboration and communities will be built through software in 2021. LinkedIn also predicted that people will reimagine their career and lives next year, as 62 percent of unemployed Indians are open to the idea of exploring a new career path.
Online learning will continue to see a massive growth, according to LinkedIn’s prediction and learning curation of content and personalisation will be a critical focus. It also predicted that virtual recruiting will also carry on as 4 in 5 talent professionals in India agree that virtual hiring will carry on in the post-COVID era. Here are the other four predictions from LinkedIn that will define next year’s workforce trends, based on the company’s own survey:
The CHRO will define and lead the new world of work. Many CHROs will lead the way towards diversity, skill-first hiring, internal mobility, and remote work offerings. LinkedIn data suggests that more than 4 in 5 (85%) HR and recruiting professionals in India believe that reskilling of the workforce is very impactful in reshaping the future of recruiting. Internal mobility also continues to gain prominence across the APAC region. Compared to their 5 year average, most Asia-Pacific nations recorded an increase in internal mobility rates in 2020, with India seeing the highest growth of 5% to reach 13% through 2020. Fueling these trends, the CHRO will play a key role in the future of recruiting.
After a strong emergence in 2020, virtual selling is now gaining prominence and face-to-face engagements will take a backseat. Pointing towards this growing importance of virtual selling, LinkedIn data show that between Jan to Mar and Apr to Jun 2020, the time spent learning about ‘Social Selling’ on LinkedIn Learning increased q-o-q by 61%. Data also shows that globally, more than 80% of the Forbes Cloud 100 uses Sales Navigator. This online shift is expected to sustain in 2021, and in the years ahead, virtual selling will lead sales with more scrutiny on the why, how, and ROI of face-to-face meetings.
Leaders who welcome everyone to bring their authentic selves and support them to work will reap benefits like richer culture, higher engagement, more creativity, and better business results. As 2021 approaches, top leaders own an enormous opportunity of bringing diversity, inclusion, and belonging to the table. With flexible job options and remote working models becoming the norm, India’s female workforce participation increased from 30% in April to 37% by the end of July. This improved gender parity was most prevalent across the Corporate Services, Education, Health Care, and Media & Communications industries.
Leaders with compassion understand that successful strategies start with human beings at the center. Enabling a culture of solidarity, transparency, and shared mission will help leaders motivate their employees and unlock higher productivity and stronger employee relations. As per LinkedIn’s year-end data, 3 in 5 employed professionals, and 4 in 5 unemployed Indian professionals are feeling stressed, and about 9 in 10 (87%) Indian professionals are choosing to spend equal or more time working at their primary job instead of taking time off this year-end. Companies must practice healthy doses of compassion to keep their employees at the centre of all strategies, and to do that, HR disciplines like talent acquisition, employee engagement, and learning & development will collaborate on delivering a holistic employee experience