Hiring is Back

With economic activities improving following the ease in movement restrictions and increased vaccination drive, new hiring has been ongoing in Nepal in the past few months in private and government entities.

  • In the first week of November, the government-owned Rastriya Banijya Bank (RBB) announced 868 vacancies, the most significant vacancy announcement by a commercial bank in recent years.
  • Nepal Telecom opened vacancies for 270 positions in the third week of November, including both administrative and technical roles.
  • The majority of commercial banks in the country are on a hiring spree. Some have completed new hiring, while others have initiated the process.

As economic activities across the country have significantly improved following a drastic drop in Covid-19 cases and improved vaccination drive, Nepali private and government sectors are now on a hiring spree, which stalled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

With the beginning of the new fiscal year from mid-July, fresh hiring process has taken place in the private sector companies and leading government entities. The major sectors of the economy – manufacturing, service, construction and even hospitality – have begun their new recruitment drive, which they were forced to shelve after the first wave of Covid-19 hit the country in early 2020. Banks and financial institutions (BFIs) are at the forefront of this hiring drive, as the pandemic has brought new changes and dynamics in the banking process. BFIs have started announcing new vacancies as they have opened new branches.

Leading the pack is the government-owned Rastriya Banijya Bank (RBB), which in the first week of November announced 868 vacancies, the largest by any commercial bank in recent times. While the bank has opened positions for its branches across the country, it is looking to hire nine senior managers, eight managers and 14 deputy managers (accounting) in its central office in Kathmandu.

Other major commercial banks are on a hiring spree too. According to Roshan Koirala, Chief Human Resource Officer of Nabil Bank, BFIs have started expanding their network with new opening of branches, which they had put on hold due to the pandemic. As expansion gets top priority, BFIs are looking for branch managers, those in charge of operations, and freshers (management trainees and trainees).

When Nepal was hit by the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, and the government enforced nationwide lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus, most private sector organizations resorted to layoffs and salary cuts and other cost-cutting measures. The pandemic created the worst employment crisis in the history of Nepal. 

As the country’s economic engine sputtered, organizations stopped new hirings and held back their expansion plans. In a bid to sustain operations, the majority of employers adopted measures such as working hours deduction, curtailing allowances, converting full-time employment to part-time, and enforcing unpaid leaves.

According to an International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimate, 1.6 to 2.0 million Nepali jobs were disrupted by the pandemic, resulting in reduced working hours, decreased wages, and loss of employment.

According to the World Bank’s latest report, the first wave of the pandemic and associated lockdowns caused significant contractions in economic activity, which led to employment losses in Nepal. More than two out of every five workers reported a job loss or a prolonged work absence. A quarter of these jobs had not been recovered in late 2020.


The primary reason why organizations have resumed hiring is improved business activities recently. The latest survey by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) shows that Nepal’s industries and enterprises appear to be on track to faster recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic, with 87.2 per cent of businesses and industries resuming entire operations.

The minerals and exploration sector and the electricity, gas and water sector have made the fastest recovery, and enterprises in these sectors are now 100 per cent open, states the NRB’s ‘Third Follow-up Survey on the Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on Economy’. According to the survey, 88.9 per cent of the construction sector is fully open, while 87.1 per cent of manufacturing has fully opened compared to pre-Covid levels.The survey also reveals that 78.7 per cent of hotels and restaurants have fully opened, while 21.3 per cent remain partially open.


After the second lockdown, the majority of the BFIs, primarily commercial banks, have resumed their branch expansion, which was held back since early 2020. Of late, banks including Nabil, NMB, Nepal SBI, Prabhu, Century Commercial and Mega have prioritized network expansion. Similarly, Sanima, Global IME, Siddhartha, Bank of Kathmandu, Machhapuchhre, Citizens and Everest Bank have also added branch offices. “Banks had halted their branch expansion after pandemic hit the country,” said Koirala. “After the beginning of the new fiscal year, branch expansion has intensified.”

HR chiefs of the commercial banks term 2021 as strategic hiring year. With the dynamics of banking business changing post-pandemic with massive digitization of the Nepali economy, banks have to explore new areas of business, introduce more unique products and services. “The customer base for coming days will be tech-savvy,” said Koirala. “That is why banks have prioritized digital banking and hiring human resources accordingly.”

Commercial banks have started their business transformation process with a comprehensive digital strategy at the core and have recruited significant numbers of human resources for their digital wings. Banks have opened jobs for application developers, coders, and IT managers. According to Koirala, most of the recruitment that Nabil bank did in recent months was in branch manager, and operation in-charge positions, and freshers, i.e., management trainees.

In the last week of August, Sanima Bank sought personnel for Relationship Manager, Senior Officer, Senior Assistant, Junior Officer, and Trainee Junior Officer.

Another bank, Citizens International Bank, in the first week of September, opened vacancies for the position of Senior Officer for the IT department and senior and junior officer for the credit risk department, legal department, recovery department, and branch operation. The bank had also sought personnel for branch manager and chartered accountant roles.

Everest Bank has called for Management Trainee applications, offering a monthly salary of Rs 64,000. According to the bank, chartered accountants with experience in the banking sector can apply for the post. Mega Bank announced opportunities for 30 Trainee Assistant candidates in the first week of November.

Development banks, too, are on a hiring spree. Kamana Sewa Bikash Bank has sought to hire employees for branch manager, officer, supervisor, and junior officer responsibilities. According to the bank, these posts are for various branch offices inside and outside Kathmandu Valley.

With the start of the new fiscal year, the manufacturing and trading sectors too are in an expansion mode. Business houses are either expanding their existing business or entering a new industry. The government policy of encouraging vehicle assembly plants within the country has resulted in two automobile dealers registering enterprises to set up an assembly plant.

With the current fiscal budget providing incentives to promote billet manufacturing within the country, steel manufacturers are gradually shifting towards setting up billet manufacturing plants.

The Pokhara-based Laxmi Group has announced its plan to set up a billet manufacturing plant. The group manufacturing rods from its Siddhilakshmi Steel Pvt Ltd is planning to invest Rs 2.67 billion for billet production. According to Niranjan Shrestha, director of the group, they have recruited around 200 personnel in recent months.

In trading, automobile dealers are active when it comes to hiring. Along with new branch expansion and new product launches, the automobile dealers recruit new staff in sales, marketing and technical departments. According to automobile dealers, people prefer two-wheelers for commuting to public transport as the pandemic sales of motorcycles show in recent months. “We have begun new hiring as business has gradually increased in the last few months,” said Mohan Thapa, HR Manager at MAW Enterprises.


Government entities, public enterprises and security agencies have started new hiring process. The Public Service Commission that recruits candidates for the civil service has announced 450 positions. The vacancies advertised are for gazetted third class (technical) and eighth and seventh tier health service posts.

A month earlier, the PSC had opened vacancies for the Gazetted First and Second Class (Non-Technical / Technical) and the 11th and Ninth Level posts of Health Services for 227 seats.

Public enterprises such as Nepal Electricity Authority, Rastriya Banijya Bank and Nepal Telecom are hiring.

In the first week of December, Nepal Telecom opened 270 job vacancies. The state-owned telecom company is looking to hire both administrative and technical staff.

Similarly, Nepal Electricity Authority had opened vacancies for 330 people in various posts in the first week of September.

The securities agencies, too, have opened vacancies for various positions in the last few months.

Nepal Army had opened jobs for 4,000 people in various military posts in the first week of September. The Army plans to recruit from both open and reserved groups.

Similarly, Armed Police Force opened jobs for around 1100 personnel in the second week of September. Nepal Police opened vacancies for 220 employees for its health service and engineering services in the second week of September.


As the new recruitment drive gathers pace, HR managers lament that they face a shortage of qualified human resources, especially at the mid-level. The HR managers associated with the manufacturing, automobile, and hospitality sectors struggle to hire competent candidates at the mid-level or managerial level.

“We at the automobile sector are finding it tough to get competent and skilled workforce of late. As HR chief, I have not been getting experienced engineers of late,” said Sudarshan Pathak, Senior Manager- Human Resources at IME Motors Ashok Leyland Nepal.

The same is the story with the hospitality sector. After last year’s massive layoffs in the hospitality sector, many skilled human resources have migrated to foreign countries. “It has been tough to get skilled manpower lately,” said Lomus Karki, Human Resources Director at Vivanta Kathmandu.

The hotels are even reaching out to those staff laid off last year after the first wave of the pandemic hit the country.

Pramod Thakur, Human Resources Manager at a newly opened five-star hotel Hyatt Place, said Middle East countries are aggressively hiringskilled Nepali hospitality professionals. “We are currently hiring fresh candidates and providing on the job training,” said Thakur.

Mohan Thapa
AGM-HR, MAW Enterprises

The pandemic is slowing down with an improved vaccination drive. We have started hiring as the business has gradually increased in the last few months. The MAW Enterprises has added a new portfolio as well. Two-wheelers have become a preferred mode of commuting for the middle class after the pandemic led to their explosive sales in recent months. The increase in motorcycle sales has pushed us to hire new staff for various functions. The MAW has started recruiting new staff in sales, marketing, and loan recovery departments.


Sudarshan Pathak
Senior Manager – Human Resources, IME Motors Ashok Leyland Nepal

At IME Motors, we have started hiring as the business has regained normalcy in the last few months. The IME Motors has recruited staff mainly in sales, customer care and engineering departments. We hired 20 new members in our organization in the past three months.

IME Motors has opened two new branches in recent months and is to roll out new products. Other automobile companies too are expanding their branch networks.
The automobile business was severely hit in 2020 due to the pandemic. We are hoping for growth in business in the second half of 2021 and 2022. We at IME Motors are planning to hire 40/50 staff during this period.

However, the automobile sector struggles to recruit a competent and skilled workforce of late. As HR chief, we have not been getting experienced engineers of late.
As automobile companies are planning to recover the businesses lost in 2020 and early 2021 and due to shortage of skilled workforce, companies are willing to pay 10-20 per cent more in salary for new recruitments.

Pramod Thakur
Human Resources Manager, Hyatt Place

Hyatt Place started its operation on November 15. The hotel is currently operating with 95 staff. Of the total number, we got 50 people from outsourcing. The positions of drivers, security guards, and housekeeping have been outsourced.

It has been tough to get skilled human resources as Middle East countries are aggressively hiring Nepali hospitality workers. To tackle the problem, we hire fresh candidates and provide on the job training.

The overall business is not satisfying. Only the banquets and restaurants are okay because of the wedding season.

We have to hire 60 more staff if we run the hotel entirely. But I don’t think this is going to happen anytime soon.


Neha Joshi
Head of Human Resource, Dish Media Network Limited

As Dish Media Network is now in the internet business, most of the new hiring has been for technical positions in recent months. Most fresh hiring took place after the government lifted the second lockdown. The Dish Media Network has recruited a new technical workforce for internet business, i.e., fibre engineer, senior fibre technician, junior fibre technician, enterprise solution engineer, and broadcast engineer. After technical department, most new hiring has been in the sales department. Our company hired around 200 workers during this period.



Chudamani Parajuli
HR Head, Soaltee Hotel

Unlike other sectors, the tourism sector is yet to recover from the impacts of Covid-19. There has been a slight improvement in the flow of tourists in hotels, especially in five-star hotels. However, the hospitality industry is unable to immediately resume new hiring. As the room occupancy rate is still hovering at 30 per cent, the hotels do not need to hire new staff immediately.

We plan to hire new staff only when the room occupancy constantly remains above 50 per cent. A huge chunk of employees left the hotel on a voluntary retirement scheme during the pandemic. Currently, the hotel has 250 staff. If needed, we will add a few people on a contract basis. During the second wave, we have already hired a few staff on a contract basis.


Roshan Koirala
Chief Human Resource Officer, Nabil Bank

Banks and financial institutionns (BFIs) have started their branch expansion which they had put on hold due to the pandemic. As branch expansion gets the top priority, BFIs are looking for people in the position of branch managers, operation in-charges, and freshers (management trainee and trainee).

With dynamics of banking business-changing post-pandemic with massive digitization of Nepali economy, banks have to explore new areas of business, introduce more unique products and services. As the customer base for coming days will be tech-savvy, banks have prioritized digital banking and hiring human resources accordingly.

Most of the recruitment that Nabil bank did in recent months was in branch manager, operation in-charge, and freshers, i.e., management trainees.


Lomus Karki
Human Resources Director, Vivanta Kathmandu

We are planning to hire new staff, but the number will still be 15 per cent less than the pre-pandemic level.

We assume that the hospitality sector will still take one more year to fully recover from the pandemic. Even though we plan to resume the hiring process, skilled human resources have already migrated to foreign countries or are hired by other companies. It has been seriously tough to get a skilled workforce lately. Getting kitchen staff, especially Thai chefs, has been challenging for the hotel. We are contacting chefs in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and other Middle East countries. We have already hired a chef from India, and another chef might come from Doha to work in our hotel. We are also reaching out to the staff who left the hotel during the pandemic.

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