Despite mass tech layoffs and funding winter, 80% of early-stage Indian startups would continue to hire in 2023

Hiring at early-stage Indian startups would continue in 2023, showing no effect of funding winter or tough market conditions. 92% of them stated that they will hire primarily based on new project orders, increased funding from investors, and expansion strategies.

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Indian startups are hiring despite the flurry of tech layoffs and market uncertainty that has forced most tech giants to seize their hiring process.

According to the latest survey by Randstad India and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), almost 80% of Indian startups in the early stages are planning to expand their workforce by 2023.

The findings are based on the survey done with more than 300 Indian startups.

Hiring in Indian Startups 2023

The FICCI-Randstad Startup Hiring Trends Survey found that only 15.78% of participating startups – the majority in the early stages – have no plans to add headcount to their workforce.

Healthcare (13%), IT/ITes (10%) and agri/agritech (8%) are the sectors with the highest hiring intent. Fintech (7%) is also a promising sector with new job requirements. Hyderabad and Pune are two regions that have shown strong interest in hiring for senior-level positions.

These startups reported that 92% of them stated that they would hire primarily based on new project orders, increased funding from investors, and expansion strategies.

While most startups have expressed their intent to increase their workforce, more than a third of them anticipate an increase in hiring by more than 30%.

One of the primary reasons behind the job requirements and constant hiring in Indian startups is the high attrition rate. More than half of startups surveyed blamed the higher pay package offered by large corporations and concerns about job security in a start-up for a high attrition rate.

According to the study, hiring will be mainly at the mid and junior levels.

Unlike a few years ago, when employees were more focused on CTC and take-home salary, ESOPs (Employee Stock Option Pools) have emerged as one of the most lucrative tools to attract talent. It is also being proven to be an effective tool for retaining employees by a majority of startups surveyed. More than 40% of surveyed startups already use ESOPs to retain employees.

“The survey in association FICCI revealed that most early-stage startups show strong hiring intentions. This is a testament the strength of India’s diverse talent pool,” says Viswanath PS (managing director & CEO), Randstad India.

The survey findings also indicate that one in two startups is looking for permanent employees. Unlike large corporates, most startups focus on campus placements at private MBA and engineering schools, which allows them to hire good talent with affordable pay packages.

During the last few months, the industry has been abuzz with layoffs news at regular intervals. On the one hand, all large tech giants have either fired thousands of employees or continue to postpone joining dates. On the other hand, startups are aggressively filtering their talent poll in a bid to have a longer runway amid the funding winter.

During such a challenging time, the report from Randstad India paints a very optimistic and promising picture for all freshers and job seekers. Now, given the small sample size, it would be interesting to see how close these findings remain to reality.



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