April-2020 Forward to a Friend

Rituparna Chakraborty
Board Member
Indian Staffing Federation

(Co founder & EVP, Teamlease Services Ltd.)
    Future of staffing and its impact in 2020 (including the time of Covid19)

Recall just a month back I spoke about the future being unpredictable during the ISF Conclave in Mumbai. This Covid googly has made us think hard on those lines.

Lenin once said “there are some decades in which nothing happens and there are some weeks in which a decade happens”. These last few weeks of lockdown seem to have absorbed a decade of activities. The world has come to a standstill but the situation has not, thanks to the technology-enabled, interconnected world that we have been able to create.

We can see the economic activity across the globe has halted, literally so, and this would certainly have an impact on the growth. Although countries around have begun announcing measures to curb this impact. Our Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, and RBI Governor, Shaktikant Das, have announced immediate fiscal actions to lessen the burden on common people including a rate cut and stimulus package of 1.7 lakh crore.

I won’t touch on the current short-term problems that industries are facing because it shall pass. I see a potential longer term impact of the current situation with changes in consumer behavior like never before, which could eventually lead to new business models getting into vogue. Like we are seeing a lot of customers moving to virtual interactions, digital transactions and even online hirings. This could be another massive leap in the adoption of technology.

Companies would be again compelled to think about their cost structures - which has direct impact on flexi staffing. Who would have thought technology-enabled food delivery apps would one day come under essential services. The growth of that industry is directly linked with staffing. Staffing companies would start to look at new avenues, potentially extending services to housing societies, healthcare facilities and elderly in lockdown mode. A large number of temp workforce could get classified under the essential services and given a set of privileges. In addition the uncertainty can actually lead to many organizations to consider a larger number of shorter duration fixed-term contracts across various job roles and not just restrict it to those at the bottom of the pillar.

Humans have always found a way over many uncertainties and catastrophes in the past and came out stronger. I am sure this time will be behind us soon and see it as an opportune moment for companies to create new models for business & employment. Some say there would be V type recovery and some say Swoosh type. The only thing which seems clear - the emotional contagion might last longer than the virus itself and could leave a deep impact on our overall outlook.

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