MUMBAI: In a job seeker’s market, the trend of work moving to talent — and not the other way round — would accelerate in 2022. The norm of work-from-anywhere would get further reinforced and a clear indication of this is that cities like Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Thiruvananthapuram, Bhubaneswar, Nagpur, Indore, Jaipur and Vadodara, to name a few, are getting captured in the top 10 of Randstad’s salary trend report.
Shared exclusively with TOI, the report shows Ahmedabad has emerged strongly as one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. Among tier-2 cities, Chandigarh tops the chart in salaries paid at the junior (average CTC Rs 5.7 lakh per annum) and mid levels (Rs 13.7 lakh) — ahead of the national averages of Rs 4.4 lakh and Rs 11 lakh, respectively. Thiruvananthapuram comes a close second, with a variance of 3.5% and 1.9%, respectively.
At the senior level, Chandigarh (Rs 26.5 lakh) stands third, behind Bhubaneswar (Rs 31.2 lakh) and Kochi (Rs 28.8 lakh). Overall, Bengaluru continues to be the top tier-1 city in salary pay-scales in junior (Rs 6.7 lakh) and mid-level jobs (Rs 18.1 lakh), while in senior levels Mumbai (Rs 35.7 lakh) has retained its ranking as the top payer. NCR (Rs 32.7 lakh) ranks third in salaries at the senior job level, but moves between the fifth and sixth positions at the junior and mid levels while Chennai (Rs 5.6 lakh) ranks third at the junior levels with a variance of around 16% from that of Bengaluru.
Randstad India MD & CEO Viswanath P S said that while the report reveals a significant jump across the board in average salaries of junior, mid- and senior-level professionals, the firm has also captured the emergence of tier-2 cities last year.
“We firmly believe that they (tier-2) are the future talent hubs and job-creation centres. Our conviction has been borne out by the fact that tier-2 cities have made great strides in salary levels due to a lot of investments in building excellent physical and social infrastructure. This is also a great indication of an exciting trend that is emerging — organisations have discovered the advantages of having a borderless, multi-faceted workforce that can deliver ‘anytime, anywhere’ work. So, we could say that work is seeking out talent in this new model, right up to tier-2 cities,” said Viswanath.
Expanding from a traditional textile hub to cover chemicals, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, and now IT, Ahmedabad is only marginally behind the national average salary at mid-to-senior levels. At senior levels, Ahmedabad (Rs 31.9 lakh) pays better than Hyderabad (Rs 29.8 lakh), Chennai (Rs 28.6 lakh) and Kolkata (Rs 28.6 lakh). Mid-level and senior account executives in BFSI are paid the most in Ahmedabad (Rs 8 lakh and 15.3 lakh, respectively) after Kolkata (Rs 12.7 lakh & Rs 27.3 lakh), Mumbai (Rs 9.3 lakh & Rs 19.3 lakh) and NCR (Rs 8.7 lakh & Rs 17 lakh).
At the senior level, Bhubaneswar leads the table with an average CTC (Rs 31.2 lakh) that is on par with the median level of tier-1 cities. A key factor fuelling this trend is mining and steel manufacturing companies operating in the city as also the IT/ITeS sector that is gaining prominence with companies setting up offices.
While Kochi (Rs 5 lakh) ranks third in salaries in the junior level, fourth in the mid level (Rs 12.1 lakh), and second in the senior level (Rs 28.8 lakh), Vadodara too shows an interesting trend in progressively increasing salaries as the job level increases. Randstad said with the increasing push being given for its real estate, healthcare and educational infrastructure, Vadodara should move up further in future.
In Jaipur, Nagpur, Lucknow, Indore and Coimbatore, the variances are higher in the junior and senior levels. This could be due to the predominance of non-IT industries in these cities, such as manufacturing, engineering and textiles, says the report.
Across the board, there has been a significant jump in average salaries of the three job role hierarchies. On a national scale, the mid-level salaries are more than three times that of the junior levels (Rs 17.3 lakh and Rs 5.5 lakh, respectively), while the senior level salaries are close to twice that of the mid levels (Rs 32.5 lakh and Rs 17.3 lakh, respectively). This trend spans all locations, which shows that a high premium is placed on seniority of job levels.
In salaries paid, professional services rank first in the mid-level (Rs 20.5 lakh) and second in both the junior and senior levels (Rs 6.2 and Rs 37.8 lakh). There is also a high demand for and premium placed on ITeS, professional services (emerged as a vital industry post-Covid) and advertising, marketing and PR industries. Average CTCs for senior professionals in these ‘top 3’ industries (Rs 39.4, Rs 37.8 and Rs 35.8 lakh) exceed the top average CTC for the same job level in tier-1 cities (Rs 35.7 lakh).
Among IT professionals with an experience of 6-10 years, Hadoop specialists (Rs 24.8 lakh), testing practitioners, other than manual and automation testing (Rs 22.9 lakh), and specialty doctors (Rs 22.5 lakh) feature as the ‘top 3’ hot-skilled professionals.
“While IT niche skills still occupy prime positions, specialty doctors occupy the third position among the ‘hot jobs’. Healthcare is poised to occupy a top-paying industry slot in the coming years, along with professional services, IT, and internet & e-commerce — and niche skilled professionals in these industries can look forward to a fulfilling future,” said Viswanath.
Function-wise, senior accounting professionals earn most in Bengaluru followed by NCR and Ahmedabad. In HR, payroll skills at senior levels are valued most in Mumbai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad, while in legal, regulatory affairs professionals are most paid in Ahmedabad in mid and senior (after Mumbai) levels.
A senior data analyst in BFSI is paid the most in Kolkata (Rs 20.4 lakh) while a senior investment banker in BFSI gets paid highest in Bengaluru (Rs 42.3 lakh). Kolkata is also the highest payer for architects (Rs 49.9 lakh) and civil engineers (Rs 39.5 lakh) at senior positions in the construction and infrastructure industry. Hyderabad is the highest payer for fashion/graphic/accessory designers at junior (Rs 5.9 lakh) and mid-levels (Rs 19.3 lakh) in FMCG & retail. Graphic designers in manufacturing are paid the highest in Kolkata across levels.