IT firms back to hiring; recruitment likely to go up by 10 per cent this year

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Though the Indian IT services sector is facing multiple challenges on different fronts, including a challenging business environment with a drop in IT spending and pressure to hire local talent especially in the United States, it is expected that there will be an increased hiring of freshers this year. The increase is likely to be about 8-10 per cent compared to last year.

IT services firms were forced to reduce the number of mid-level managers who were not hands-on in core functions such as coding, testing, business analysis or sales. These roles had become redundant due to greater automation and market pressures of deal-pricing. Also there has been natural attrition which many companies have not backfilled yet. As a result, their cost structure has become a bit more efficient than the last year.

“IT companies are backfilling the critical roles with talent from the external market, more often than not at a higher cost than what they have liked to. This is putting a reverse pressure on their cost structure. At the same time, they are winning new projects at lower margins. The way they deal with these multiple pressures is to keep costs down by adding freshers and making them billing-ready at a fast pace. The other reason behind fresher hiring this season is the fact that many of them were watching their order books closely, focused on optimising their existing resources, and did not hire in large numbers last year,” Aditya Narayan Mishra, director and CEO of CIEL HR Services, told THE WEEK.

Similarly, some experts feel that when compared to the previous year, the campus hiring scenario will be different in 2020 as many new age companies may take the lead in hiring freshers from colleges this year. “The aggregate of the new age companies such as Mygate, PhonePe, BYJU'S have increased and there has been a consistency in IT companies like Infosys, Wipro, Oracle for campus hiring. The economy has shifted to new age companies. IT companies in the areas of fintech, HR tech, analytics etc. will hire freshers this year. These new age companies are witnessing phenomenal growth. They are set to shape the professionals of industry 4.0 to be future-ready,” said Dr. Atish Chattopadhyay, director, IFIM Business School.

Meanwhile, brand expert Harish Bijoor feels that campus hiring in 2020 by IT companies will focus on new sciences and automation precipitators. “The idea is simple. As companies stress in an economy that is progressively becoming cost driven, they will seek out automation precipitator technologies. The demand for talent that can drive this movement and domain will be big. The focus in hiring will therefore be in the realms of data analytics, data science and data visualisation. Artificial Intelligence, ML, robotics, block chain and IoT will absorb campus talent,” remarked Bijoor.

“With the industry maturing, it makes sense for IT aspirants to be optimistic about their future prospects. The high demand for sought-after technology skills is sure to lead to better campus hiring. The hiring trend looks to be an upward curve with companies looking to hire talented candidates especially from courses focusing on upskilling. Researchers say that the global technology industry is expected to reach $ 5.2 trillion in 2020, with an expected growth rate of 3.7 per cent. Considering this, one cannot overlook the enormity of the IT sector with the arrival of a new decade. Emerging technologies like AI, cybersecurity and cloud computing show the most promise with prominent Indian IT firms joining the bandwagon. With digital transformation at the forefront of industries, and initiatives like ‘Digital India’ bringing in investments over the years, the IT sector has been primed to grow by leaps and bounds" said Gaurav Vohra, co-founder and CEO, Jigsaw Academy.