The IT sector is witnessing an upward trend in its hiring activity with a continuous demand for skilled personnel within the sector.
A report by Naukri.com confirmed that the IT-Software and Software Services sector grew 5% in June compared to the previous month. This sector achieved an all-time high growth of 52% compared to pre-Covid levels in June 2019.
The trend is expected to be huge in the coming months, with India’s top five IT services firms – TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL Technologies and Tech Mahindra – already planning to add a substantial number of employees in this fiscal, providing much hope for a pandemic-ravaged India.
TCS is reportedly hiring 40,000 people from Indian campuses in the current fiscal as the company said there is no dearth of supply of talent in India. Its headcount increased 4.2% sequentially in the June quarter, the fastest pace in at least three years.
Infosys Chairman Nandan Nilekani said the IT major has continued to strengthen its talent pool by recruiting over 19,000 graduates in India and 1,900 odd outside the country to serve its clients’ burgeoning demand for digital acceleration.
HCL Technologies, which saw its revenue cross the $10 billion milestone in 2020, too plans to hire about 20,000 people, both fresher’s and laterals in the next 3-4 months. There is a big demand pipeline and so, we are continuing to hire both freshers and lateral talent to fulfill the demand,” HCL Technologies President and CEO C Vijayakumar had earlier told PTI.
Wipro is also looking to have a hybrid model for hiring and intends to scale up the capacity of its online test for freshers with specialized skills, the company’s CHRO Saurabh Govil said in an ET interview.
This is not surprising as IT industry body Nasscom stated in a report last month that the sector remained a net hirer of skilled talent, where the top 5 Indian IT companies have planned to loop in additional 96,000 employees during the year 2021-22.
“With the evolution of technology and increasing automation, the nature of traditional IT jobs and roles will evolve overall leading to creation of newer jobs. The industry continues to be a net hirer of skilled talent, adding 1,38,000 people in FY2021,” Nasscom said.
The industry body also highlighted that the industry is currently upskilling more than 250,000 employees in digital skills. More than 40,000 fresh digitally-trained talents have also been hired. On the back of the continuous hiring and upskilling, the sector, according to Nasscom, is looking at a strong business outlook and is expecting to “meet its vision of USD 300-350 billion revenues by 2025.”
High demand for specialized skills
The pandemic has accelerated the demand for specialized skilled talent such as cloud engineers, data scientists, cybersecurity officials, experts in AI/ML, IoT, big data and automation. The industry has seen an almost 30-35% growth in the recruitment of these skills this year.
A huge opportunity exists especially in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) space, as the Indian SaaS ecosystem has the potential to create half a million jobs by 2030, a study by SaaSBOOMi and McKinsey & Company said.
The specialized engineering roles that are much sought include, networking expert; software engineering specialist; back-end developer; development team lead; web development specialist. Among AI roles, demand for AI/ML specialist and machine learning engineer has shot up remarkably.
With Cybersecurity roles, it is security researcher; and cyber security specialist that are in high demand. With data science roles, it is data science specialist; analytics consultant; and data analyst that most companies are looking for.
The pandemic is not only forcing enterprises to accelerate their investments in digital technologies, but lately, there has also been a great emphasis on measuring the human side of a tech candidate. These include evaluating intangible factors such as cultural fit, desire to learn, soft skills, and teamwork.
With many IT transformation projects up for grabs, companies are expanding their workforce and are ready to offer higher salaries.
Remote jobs are here to stay
Remote work is not only defining the hiring process during 2020-21, but a high percentage of the population is likely to continue working from home in the coming years as well. The IT & BPM sector was the quickest to adapt to remote work culture driven by the increased access to technology and the internet that has allowed teams to collaborate remotely during the entire pandemic.
During the global pandemic more than 20,00,000 IT professionals including new hires worked remotely. Small and medium businesses have also incorporated remote work for their workforce, making that number much higher on the nationwide employment scale.
In 2020, the remote work culture showcased India’s skilled workforce in both the formal and informal sectors. As remote work gains prominence in the IT industry, decentralization of talent has also become a reality. Unbounded by geography, IT organizations have turned to smaller towns and cities to scout fresh talent.
Also, the pattern of hiring is not limited to major IT corporations. The demand for IT talent is accentuated by the proliferation of start-ups. Talking about start-ups, the initial public offering (IPO) of the food delivery platform Zomato is creating a lot of buzz. Zomato’s IPO has also put the spotlight on other start-ups. Policybazaar, Nykaa and Delhivery are also reportedly firming up IPO plans and subsequently their hiring ambitions. And that’s a space to watch out for in the coming months!