Permanent jobs a myth, says staffing expert

Permanent jobs a myth, says staffing expert

Rituparna Chakraborty, president of Indian Staffing Federation (ISF), has demanded a licensing regime for staffing since new companies are coming up in the space every day.

In an interaction with Deccan Herald, she said, “Only those staffing companies that fulfil certain criteria should be provided licence. And this licence should be renewed after three years.  There are some 60 players operating in an organised way, and maybe over 10,000 unorganised contract staffing companies.”

Eight staffing companies came together to form ISF in 2011 to professionalise the Indian staffing industry. “At present 43 companies are ISF members and these companies employ around five lakh temporary workforce,” said Chakraborty, adding stricter provisions are required for each of the three stakeholders — user company, intermediaries, and employees. “Accountability should be clearly defined,” she said.

Talking about permanent and temporary jobs, Chakraborty says there is nothing called permanent jobs and it’s a myth. With an average of 12 months of temporary jobs, about 67 industries work with staffing companies. “The biggest include telecom, consumer durables, pharma, retail, agriculture and eCommerce, among others,” she said.

Need for legal recognition

The Indian Staffing Industry Research 2014 says formal sector workforce is expanding. The workforce increased from 393.1 million to 397.4 million between 2011 and 2013 with three million erstwhile informal sector workers entering the formal sector employment, aiding in a significant surge in the formal sector workforce.

The formal sector workforce has both permanent and temporary components. The research points out that 4.7 million (two-third) of this incremental formal sector workforce of 7.2 million held temporary positions. 

Of the 4.7 million,  3.9 million (80 per cent) had casual jobs with no formal written contract. Indeed, most of these new entrants to the formal sector do not have any written job contract, and are not covered by any social security benefits.ISF has been demanding legal recognition to the flexi-staffing industry to enable sustained growth of organised players.

Biggest job search tool

In July this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the National Career Counselling Portal, the biggest such tool for job seekers. It is aimed to become a one-stop solution for job seekers and providers. ISF has been chosen as the partner to offer jobs through the portal. 

Talking about the portal, Chakraborty said, “Given the number of people who seek jobs and the number of employment exchanges, there is a huge difference. This portal connects job seekers with providers. All jobs can be posted and people across the country will benefit. It is newly launched and we are also testing the product.”

While employers can select the right candidate across the country, job seekers will also be able to know what kind of openings exist and where it is available. 

The portal aims to bring around 20 million job seekers who are already registered with employment exchanges across India. “It will create a great platform for job seekers, and at present 10 employment exchanges have joined in this portal,” she said.

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