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E-commerce comes to the rescue of jobless entry, mid-level retail talent, Retail News, ET Retail


NEW DELHI: The pandemic is hurting entry and mid-level talent in the brick-and-mortar retail businesses the most, with at least one lakh of those employed hunting for jobs.

There has been over two-fold jump in resumes flowing in from store and sales executives at various consumer retail brick-and-mortar companies over last five months, according to job registrations with TeamLease, a recruitment firm. The surge in job registrations that started in March with 26,000 went up to 72,000 in July and the number is only growing in August.

However, the good news is that e-commerce sector is able to absorb the talent at the entry and mid-levels in delivery/logistics and at warehouses.

“E-commerce companies or digital platforms are the obvious choice for talent from brick-and-mortar retail companies. Some of the entry level talent is also willingly turning into delivery boys for e-commerce players,” said Rituparna Chakraborty, cofounder, TeamLease Services.

This trend correlates with data exclusively compiled by Xpheno for ET that showed over a lakh employees in the offline retail sector are without jobs. Of this, over 51,000 with work experience of 0-10 years, who have either lost jobs or are anticipating pink slips, are on a job hunt.

“The surge in job seekers is the highest in middle operational managers in brick & mortar retail, as the sales figures are way below monthly averages (pre-Covid) and they apprehend if their current employers will be able to sustain them,” said Kamal Karanth, cofounder, Xpheno. The data collected is from primary sources like companies, job portals and Linkedin, said Karanth.

E-commerce companies like Flipkart, Amazon and Udaan are on a hiring spree and picking up entry to mid-level talent from brick-and-mortar companies.

“The prospects of digital commerce have increased significantly after the pandemic. Digital retail and supply chain companies have stepped in to fill the gap left by brick-and-mortar retail. Moreover, customers have gotten used to the new ways of shopping,” Aditya Misra, founder, CIEL.
There have been close to 500 movements from brick-and-mortar consumer retail companies to digital retail ever since the pandemic hit the country, according to Misra.

There is some movement at the leadership level too, though not as significant as the entry and mid-level, according to executive search firms like Korn Ferry and Transearch. “Talent interest from consumer/retail sector has increased significantly in last few months towards digital /start-up ecosystem. We have recently onboarded three CXOs from FMCG/Retail sector to a large Internet client,” said Transearch’s Ashish Sanganeria

Even Korn Ferry has placed half a dozen senior executives in various e-commerce platforms since March from offline retail businesses.

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