The increase in hiring activity comes even as the past few quarters saw handset makers pull back on hiring due to muted shipments. However, the pick-up in 5G shipments, coupled with expected positive customer sentiment around the festive season will prompt brands to increase their sales and support workforce for this period, they added.
“This is the first festive season that truly reflects the economic situation in that it does not have the overhang of the pandemic, nor the euphoria of coming out of the pandemic as 2022 did. The consumer sentiment is positive by and large,” said Lohit Bhatia, president, workforce management at Quess Corp.
After dull shipments over the past few months, handset makers are expected to try and make the most of the festive season, especially as 5G roll-out progresses and shipments for 5G smartphones pick up. The festive season accounts for around a fifth of annual sales.
“With 5G picking up pace, and many smartphone owners needing to upgrade their phones to access 5G services, the handset brands are focussing on strengthening their sales and support teams this festive quarter,” said RP Yadav, chairman and managing director at staffing firm Genius Consultants.
Over the past few quarters, the handset segment has seen indirect attrition in that the executives moving out of a company have not been replaced given the muted demand. However, with the festive season approaching, these positions will have to be filled up, and additional executives are being hired to meet the anticipated spike in demand.Samsung is expected to lead the hiring spree this festive season, especially for its 5G range across price points, executives said.Samsung, Vivo, Xiaomi, RealMe, Oppo and Apple did not respond to ET queries till press time.
Most of the hiring for the festive season will be contractual, which is the norm for seasonal hiring, experts said.
Flexible hiring for this purpose usually spans 3-6 month contracts. “This time, the festive season hiring covers September to mid-January, so the contracts can be up to six months,” Yadav added.
For manufacturing though, festive season-led hiring follows a different cycle. “The production demand arising from the anticipated demand for handset sales for the 2024 festive season would have been felt a few months back – in the first quarter of the (calendar) year. So that increase in hiring would have reflected back then,” Bhatia said.