Demand for IT professionals continues to soar as companies digitise their operations. Companies are now willing to pay top dollar for those skilled in new–age spaces such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud computing. They are also scouting for people with more than one skill.
“Overall we have seen salaries increase by 30-40% on average for those with new age skills,” said Sudhakar Balakrishnan, group CEO, FirstMeridian Business Services.
As data on Naukri.com reveals, the wave of digital transformation resulted in the demand for IT-Software professionals jumping 53% in the year to March.
Vijay Sivaram, CEO, Quess IT Staffing told FE that with stay-at-home restrictions and social distancing catalysing collaboration and commerce online, over 80% of companies are convinced digital transformation is a strategic necessity. “With this rise in demand for technology, the new must-have skill sets have changed,” Sivaram said.
Quess data shows a big spike in demand for new–age skills between October and March; in the IT security segment, demand was up 166%, for full stack 110% and for android developers by 80%. In the data analytics segment demand shot up by 44.7%.
Accenture India confirmed it would be in the market for in-demand skills in areas such as digital, cloud, security, data and AI as well as platform and other core skills although it refused to divulge numbers. The company added it is hiring experts across verticals including financial services, consumer goods and services, life sciences and functional experts in the areas of finance & accounting, marketing, procurement and supply chain management.
Sivaram from Quess said that while in the pre-Covid era these skills were considered to be niche and were primarily in demand amongst product companies and captives, now even services businesses are hiring digitally-proficient talent to build and adopt digital systems. The demand for skilled professionals grew 22.5%, led by BFSI, technology services and consulting and auto & engineering.
Balakrishnan explained the gaps in infrastructure are showing and need to be plugged. “It is no longer a list item on the roadmap. It has to be firmly in place in today’s scenario,” Balakrishnan said, adding that the second wave has highlighted the urgency of doing this.
Ravish Agrawal, co-founder and CEO, Able Jobs, observed that while engineers are being hired to build the infrastructure, sales and support roles are also important given there are several first-time users of the platform who need assistance during and post the transaction.
Agrawal observed that while bigger companies continue to hire permanent employees start-ups have majorly switched to temporary positions since the environment is uncertain. “Startups are hiring on contract, freelance or giving out internships rather than hiring for full-time positions. We have seen an increase in requests for people for 3-6 months with an assurance they would be made full-time employees based on the performance,” he said.
IT giants, of course, continue to add to their workforces. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has said it will hire 40,000 people in FY22 while Infosys has expressed its intention to recruit 26,000 or even more. Analysts estimate the top five IT companies — TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL Technologies and Tech Mahindra — could snap up more than one lakh people this year.