2019 is down to the last two weeks. The year brought in a series of challenges as well as opportunities for the IT/ITES sector. Starting from new jobs, talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, skilling, employee experience, wellness and HR tech among others, trends in this sector have transformed exponentially, paving the way for the future of work and a whole different paradigm to measure the effectiveness of human resources.
Before 2020 kicks in, let’s take a look at the developments and challenges across the IT/ITES sector in 2019 and get a grasp on what lies ahead.
2019 has been an interesting and busy year for the IT sector. With more than 64, 442 employees hired in the first half of financial year 2019 - 20, and TCS alone making 30, 000 on-campus offers, it was indeed a bright year for recruitments in the industry. 2020 shows similar signs with hiring expected to rise by 10%, according to recruitment professionals following the increase in entry level jobs.
While 2019 witnessed recruitment of nearly 1,80,000 graduates and engineers, 2020 is expected to take the number well over 2,00,000. The top 5 Indian tech majors - Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, HCL Technologies, Wipro and Tech Mahindra are expected to account for over 40% of the estimated hires.
A major trigger for this surge is global corporations setting up technology centers in India, as well as Indian companies expanding their software base.
As tech giants scale their efforts in the direction of reskilling the workforce to prepare them for the future of work, together with managing costs amid several global challenges, what has not seen a downfall is hiring freshers. Despite Cognizant announcing layoff of nearly 13,000 employees, the company did not cut down on entry level hires. The trend has been the same for companies like Infosys and TCS. With career development, skilling frameworks, learnability and employee wellness being the center of focus for tech majors across the globe, hiring graduates fresh out of college sure offers them a clean slate to build capabilities and foster culture.
Where is the industry in adoption of HR Tech?
The impact of digital transformation has transcended to not just the way businesses function and interact with customers, but also the method of interaction, engagement and functioning with and for employees. With 2019 being a sunny side-up for the HR tech space in the country and globally as well, it goes without saying that companies, majorly tech companies, have taken to digitizing their processes and systems with an open approach. This clearly reflects in the sentiments of leaders as well.
Sharing with People Matters where the IT industry stands today with respect to HR tech adoption on a scale of 1 - 5, Satyanarayanan Visvanathan, Senior Vice President - Head of HR (Global) and Head of Corporate Quality, CSS Corp said, “I would place them somewhere between 3 and 4. But let me highlight this: HR functions are going through a paradigm shift or a techno awakening. They certainly don’t want to be sidelined. When it comes to day to day HR operations, the pinch of technology or lack thereof is being felt by every HR practitioner in the IT and ITES sector.”
Confirming the positive sentiment and optimistic future for HR Tech in the IT/ITES industry, Kaushik Ghosh, People Head at Thoughtworks added, “The growing recognition of how tech can enhance employee experience, drive considerable efficiencies and bring futuristic insights to the business will ensure adoption levels continuously improve over time.”
Challenges that stay
As global organizations battle it out when it comes to attracting, engaging and retaining talent, they strive to redesign the bouquet of offerings to make the most competitive, lucrative and attractive offers, accompanied by coming-of-age workplace policies that aim to provide employees with work-life integration, holistic wellness, skilling programs and career development opportunities internally.
Visvanathan shared that “What’s interesting is that our employee engagement initiatives bolstered participation numbers in learning programs. This brisk pace of learning has resulted in pushing the employee engagement levels at CSS Corp."
"In an ultra-dynamic technology terrain, our employees are also evolving by learning at the speed of change. In pace with the client demands and technological shifts, we are striving to ensure our employees’ skills are honed and attuned to today’s market,” he added.
While companies up their game by incorporating the latest technologies through skilling initiatives and introducing more employee-friendly policies, what they cannot afford is to compromise on offering the right compensation, matching their competency and skill set.
“In an environment where various types and sizes of organizations are competing to hire and retain top talent, C&B is a vital consideration that could tilt the scales in one's favor. Organizations need to pay special attention to competitiveness, parity and creativity in this space,” said Ghosh.
With the digital wave continuing to clash against the rock solid foundation of conventional and new-age organizational setups, there is an imperative need to not only future proof HR teams but also to streamline digitization efforts, ensuring companies, leaders and employees are able to extract maximum benefits of tech without hampering the human experience surrounding everything people and work.
As rightly captured by Ghosh, “Today's employees express a greater need for autonomy, flexibility, aspiration-led growth, and they want to be part of diverse, sensitive and inclusive organizations. This has moved companies to put the spotlight on talent management to create a compelling edge in the market.”
What lies ahead is a springboard of opportunities. If organizations can capitalize on them at the right time, they stand a chance to benefit immensely with a head start as the world leaps into and through the digital revolution.