Healthcare, delivery may save the day for temp staffing companies

Healthcare, delivery may save the day for temp staffing companies

Bengaluru: Temp staffing firms, such as Quess Corp and Teamlease, have taken a hit as clients lay off employees amid the economic crisis induced by the Covid-19 pandemic, although healthcare and sectors that require last-mile delivery staff have cushioned the impact somewhat, industry executives said.

Fairfax group-controlled business service provider Quess Corp will likely see a drop in headcount in the first quarter as clients trim their workforce. The company, which has about 3,80,000 people and is among the largest private sector employers in India, counts Amazon, Oracle, Axis Bank, Manipal Hospitals, Bata and Samsung among its clients.

“The drop is, however, not going to be significant because some of the sectors that we operate in are resilient,” Quess chairman Ajit Isaac told ET. The increased demand for last-mile delivery services is expected to offset the slump in other areas.

“Last-mile delivery is getting disproportionate importance, be it in the Know Your Customer, delivery of parcels or mobile customer services at doorstep. These sectors have not seen much fall and have given us some cushion,” he said, adding the company’s subsidiary Dependo Logistics was seeing increased demand for last-mile delivery staff. Quess Corp is also witnessing demand for facilities management staff.

ETD-6-18052020
ETD-6-18052020

“In facility management, there is a new segment of work called steri-fumigation which is very much in demand today as companies step up their fight against Covid-19,” Isaac said. Staffing major Teamlease said many businesses have reached a situation where they have no revenue. Despite the slowdown, many have paid salaries for two months, said Rituparna Chakraborty, executive vice-president of TeamLease, which has nearly 2,10,000 people, employed across startups and big enterprises in various sectors.

“In general, staffing agencies are springboard in good times and shock-absorbers in bad times. People associate with staffing companies because we bring in that resilience,” said Chakraborty.

“I have been very direct that there is a responsibility that we carry towards our employees as well as our employers and our job is to balance the two. It is our job to figure out the most compliant and flexible way of balancing this,” she added. Industry executives said jobs that have been impacted today will be revived once the economy bounces back.

“While organisations are now not able to foresee a long-term future, they would again come back to staffing agencies eventually. One of the advantages of associating with staffing agencies is that some talent can be re-deployed for certain other job roles even in such a difficult time,” said Chakraborty.

A senior executive at a staffing agency said: “Unfortunately, we do not have as many jobs today in the market as the number of people available due to the job cuts.” Companies are not confident about creating fresh roles and they see no business visibility for as long as two years. “Many clients are saying ‘come back to us after 6-12 months’ for new job roles,” said Kamal Karanth, cofounder of Xpheno, a staffing agency.




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