Despite the uncertain macroeconomic environment, IT sector seems to have turned around in 2013.The last quarter has been especially good for Indian IT services companies, with their numbers surpassing analysts’ expectations. With a stream of recovery in west, the over-all hiring scenario in Indian IT industry is expected to see an upswing in year 2014. With many new start-ups coming into existence, lateral hiring for specific skill-sets and domains will gain pace but the real challenge will be for fresh graduates who fail to grab a chance from campus. Fresher’s hiring will continue to be under pressure this year too, like last year, as more and more companies are shifting their recruitment model to “just-in-time hiring” because of abundant labor and unpredictable demand, As mentioned in one of the reports by global brokerage Nomura.
Earlier big IT companies used to hire a large number of fresher directly from campuses and put them on bench till they become billable. These hires were utilized only when a project came. Now, because of increasing cut-throat competition, companies want to hire only when a deal is about to close to cut down on costs. The shift in the industry from the traditional “Time and Material (T&M) billing model” (billing on a per-person, per-hour basis) to “Fixed-price proportions” (revenue independent of employee addition) has also disrupted hiring and to stay competitive, this trend is likely to continue. Now more and more clients are following this particular model and this is putting pressure on big Indian IT services companies.
Another point which could be one of the reasons behind gloomy forecasting for Fresher’s hiring in 2014 is, The Indian IT industry is moving away from “Linear Model” of growth and hence addition in revenues to company need not necessarily adds Employees. Also the current strength of the Tier-1 organizations is close to 160,000 which is sizeable and can be retained and utilized. Though Services industry will face severe challenge in re-skilling their employees – as the new disruptive technologies are all again US based and Indian IT is lagging too much even to capture 5% of the new revenues. In addition to that, the freshly graduate engineers in India – barring few elite institutes do not have problem solving skills leave alone the flair for new technologies. Among other reasons, According to companies, job profiles have undergone a sea change today, calling for varied qualifications. This also puts pressure on fresher hiring as big and small IT companies are no more interested in investing time and money on fresh graduates to make them able to work on particular requirements.
If we go technology –wise, Java technologies will lead the way in job opportunities available in market, followed by .Net. Among new technologies, almost all industry experts and veterans are betting on Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) sector as the Next Big Thing in Indian IT industry. According to India’s Largest IT service provider, TCS CEO and MD Mr. N Chandrasekaran, SMAC is throwing up huge opportunities as firms want to optimize investments in current technology and drive growth by using digital technologies and platforms. The digital forces of social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) will reach mainstream status in 2014 and create many new job requirements, drive new purchasing and establish new competitive realities. Year 2013 has been marked a year of innovation and transformation for the sector. New business models emerged to attract and retain customers and align to changing business dynamics and betting on that the industry body has projected a CAGR of 12-14% for coming fiscal year.
The results of a survey done by Robert half also back the prediction of a brighter hiring forecast for first half of 2014.
Fig-1: Source: Robert Half
Some of the Key Highlights/ Takeaways of the Survey :
- Skills involving network administration, Windows administration and desktop support will be in demand in 2014.
- With data analysis driving corporate spending “anyone who has experience in and around data is in a great spot right now. This includes the standard database developer, data engineers who structure data with Hadoop and data scientists who make sense of that information.
- IT security will be an area where finding qualified staff is challenging.
- The business opportunities that accompany the improving economy drive the need for tech workers, as enterprises seek to use technology to gain a competitive advantage
- IT professionals with Oracle and SAP skills may find a flatter job market next year. The reasons behind it are the expensive, cyclical, and sometimes slow-moving nature of large enterprise software deployments. 2014 may simply be a quieter year for internal enterprise application projects.
- Embedded systems development roles are starting to wane because of the rise of Web and mobile development.
The figure below shows the position of various IT jobs on demand scale in year-2014
On concluding note, this year will bring in some new IT positions which were earlier not in trend or less heard, but at the same time, some technical positions which were in demand in previous years will experience a slow demand. Experienced/lateral hiring is expected to see a healthy rise on back of recovering IT market but will the demand of fresh graduates follow the path projected for it in year 2014? This is something we will get to know as the year progresses. But if it does follow than IT fresh grads will have to be ready for tough time ahead.