LinkedIn announced findings of their second Workforce Confidence Index, a fortnightly pulse on the confidence of the Indian workforce. Findings for the week of April 13-19 introduce industry-specific insights along with professionals’ current sentiments about the jobs market, their financial status, career progression, and their expectations going forward.
LinkedIn’s second Workforce Confidence Index shows a slight dip in the overall confidence towards future opportunities with a composite score of +51 (a rolling average of weeks April 1-7 and April 13-19), as professionals foresee testing times ahead. This is two points less than last fortnight’s score of +53. A tough jobs market, pay cuts, and an ailing economy are suspected to have caused unrest amongst Indian professionals as findings show that 1 in 3 Indians have reported a decrease in their personal incomes, whereas 48% of active job seekers and 43% of full-time professionals anticipate fewer job openings in the next 2 weeks.
Online learning continues to see a steady rise in demand as 67% professionals (in comparison to 64% professionals from last fortnight) will increase their time spent in online learning, while 37% of Indian companies (in comparison to 31% from last fortnight) will offer online resources to professionals in India.
Below are key findings that show how professionals in India across industries perceive future opportunities amid the pandemic:
Professionals in IT, media, and manufacturing feel their companies will fare worse in the next 6 months
Survey findings show that professionals in healthcare, education and corporate services industries (such as management consulting, accounting, and human resources) are the most confident about the future of their companies. This fortnight’s report states that 52% of corporate service professionals, 50% of healthcare professionals, and 33% of education professionals are confident about their companies faring better in the next 6 months. These industries are also confident about their companies’ long-term outlook, as more than 4 out of 5 healthcare professionals, 4 out of 5 corporate service professionals, and more than half of all education professionals in India think their companies will do better in the next 2 years.
In contrast to this optimism, IT, manufacturing, and media professionals display low confidence towards job stability and career progression, as companies in these industries buckle under the pressure of COVID-19. Findings show that 1 in 4 manufacturing professionals, more than 1 in 5 IT professionals, and more than 2 in 5 media professionals feel their companies will fare worse in the next 6 months, exhibiting a bleak outlook towards the short-term future. However, the same industries are confident about strong long-term growth as 77% of manufacturing professionals, 67% of media professionals, and 65% of IT professionals feel their companies will fare better in the next 2 years.
62% of self-employed professionals report a decrease in income
This fortnight’s findings state that 32% of the Indian workforce reported a decrease in earned income, while 45% reported a decrease in personal spending. This strain on personal finances is particularly prevalent among business leaders as 39% of senior executives in comparison to 27% of individual contributors cite a decrease in earned income. However, self-employed professionals emerge as the worst hit with 62% reporting a decrease in income as businesses adopt cost-cutting measures to avoid long-term financial insecurity.
As various sectors announce a hiring freeze, job-seekers have reset their expectations as more Indian professionals anticipate fewer job openings going forward. Findings support this by stating that 48% of active job seekers think there will be a decrease in available job opportunities, up 9% from last fortnight’s findings. Findings also show that 36% of active job seekers expect a decrease in recruiter response in the next two weeks, up 8% from last fortnight’s findings.
Indian companies struggle to meet wellness needs of employees during COVID-19
While more companies (37%) in India are offering online resources when compared to last fortnight (31%), fewer SMB professionals feel their companies are providing them with selected benefits in response to COVID-19. Findings show that only 17% of SMB professionals are offered support for physical health, while 14% are offered support for emotional well-being – a decrease of 7% and 3% respectively from last fortnight’s findings. This gap indicates the immediate need for companies to strengthen their wellness initiatives for the benefit of their employees.
The Workforce Confidence Index also explains that the perception of people towards challenges depends on how confident they are. Findings show that people with a high confidence index consider ‘working remotely’ and ‘changing communication methods’ as key challenges, whereas those who are less confident cite job uncertainty, job market, finances, and social & health impact as bigger professional challenges. Monitoring these challenges during different stages of the pandemic can articulate how ‘confidence’ influences an individual’s outlook towards future opportunities.