By Ranjini Chakraborty
One must be living under an ancient rock to overlook the role of rapid digital transformation. An article covering the upcoming key trends at the workplace stated, ‘Every business must think of itself as a tech business,’ and it couldn’t be any more real. Companies will need to redesign their processes to factor in the increasing role of AI that’s augmenting businesses and a trend that will take over in the coming years. With the recent announcement of 5G in India, IoT, and blockchain will all work in nexus and hence, the tech sector is all set to boom even as the world economy predicts a potential recession.
‘War for Talent’
Whilst the companies keep up with the changing economic climate, what’s become undeniable is the war for recruiting good talent, now more than ever. There has been a significant change in employees’ needs and priorities. Cream talent is re-evaluating their careers based on aspects like flexibility, career growth and employee value proposition. Companies must therefore invest in ‘Active Sourcing’ to create a rich pipeline and not only recruit them but also train them for the upcoming 4th industrial revolution. It needs to invest in their skills and holistic development, not forgetting to create a safe, healthy work environment to retain the talent.
As dynamic as it is, one cannot deny the menace of tech burnout. This blog describes it perfectly, ‘Tech burnout refers to the extreme exhaustion and stress that many employees in the technology sector experience. While burnout has always been an issue in many industries, 68% of tech workers feel more burned out than they did when they worked at an office.’
Technology is the most rapidly evolving industry with a challenging work environment. It is inevitable to be exposed to extreme levels of stress and hence, the onus lies with tech organizations to encourage a positive work environment, educate the employees to tune out whenever needed and check with themselves at regular intervals.
Nobody can deny the mounting uncertainty that surrounds the current economic situation. Amid this, the IT sector offers a gleam of hope. ‘Things are looking quite bright for tech vendors. The 2023 State of IT data indicates most organizations plan to increase tech spending in 2023. IT budgets are expected to grow by 13% YoY in 2023, with a median increase of 5%, at a company level’, states SWZD’s Annual Report on IT Budgets and Tech Trends. Further, recent reports suggest that India’s IT sector is all set to create 3 lakh jobs in 2023!
As per the Digital Employment Outlook Report for H1-2023, 7 out of 10 IT firms prioritise recruiting people with digital capabilities from developing markets and smaller cities. MarTech (marketing technology) and IoT (internet of things) are the two primary ones. There’s still a lot of untapped talent in the emerging areas and with remote work becoming an unquestionable possibility, no-metro cities are becoming the desired hotspot to create a pool of talent!
Moreover, organizations will need to buck up their efforts with Active sourcing than passive sourcing and re-design their policies to offer the newer crop of employees ample training, work security, a healthy, transparent work culture, and pave way for diversity & inclusion and reliable leadership.
Keeping up with Gen Z & Gigs
If you’re on LinkedIn, you’d know the two most emerging topics of discussion are: the rising attrition rate across Industries and moonlighting! I was intrigued to know why this would be discussed so widely and the more I consumed, the more I realized, the pandemic has metamorphosed the work model. A lot of professionals who previously stayed back trudging through their jobs because of limited options and a market closing in rapidly are now freeing themselves to explore what they have wanted to do. Toxic workplaces are a strict no-no, mental health has become non-negotiable and work models have become fluid, as they should, especially as we usher in the era of Gen Z! The professionals who know exactly what they DON’T want i.e., toxicity!
The post-pandemic era has enabled the gig economy to shape the future of work. Freelance is no more an escape route for seasoned professionals who have spent their youth at a firm/company looking to find a balance between personal and professional lives but a choice that young professionals are making to suit their lifestyle.
What’s more intriguing? There’s not only a rise in the freelancing work models but also their demand. The flexible work model not only allows a freelancer to pursue other prospects at the side (no thanks to the pandemic for invigorating the burnout culture) but also offers the agency/brand to engage with a professional for a task-at-hand instead of hiring a full-time resource. A lot of smaller, supportive brands with limited resources have adopted this to enhance the gig economy and hire more & more freelancers for focused projects and enable a mutually advantageous work synergy.
Technology and online businesses are further playing an instrumental part in closing the gap between freelance-agency relations by investing in a skilled professional with niche strengths as they save operational costs on outlets & physical offices post-pandemic.
In fact, as per a report in ASSOCHAM, ‘India’s gig sector is likely to grow to $455 billion at a CAGR of 17% by 2024. It has the potential to grow at least 2 times the pre-pandemic estimates’
The way I see it, it’s a win-win! Not only is it convenient for a gig worker but also easier for the company to not undergo the pressure of fixed monthly roll-out since pulling in money has been challenging as the economy is still finding a firm footing again. This offers the professional to be as nimble & flexible to choose the work they want to do and gives them a chance to excel at their skills.
I think it’s safe to say that there’s a mounting need to pre-empt trends but also invest in your people – one practice that will never fail anything that’s coming our way. We’ll learn a lot along the way and being ‘traditional’ about things, is not going to help anybody. Being nimble, open, and accepting that change is the only constant, will take us all a long way!
(Ranjini Chakraborty, Director HR of Giesecke & Devrient MS India. The view’s are the author’s own.)