Experis IT, a ManpowerGroup company, recently released Experis IT Employment Outlook Survey (EITEOS) that sought to understand the sentiment, trends, and expectations in the IT sector exclusively. The survey for April – September 2017 was conducted by interviewing IT employees all over the country, with a focus on their hiring intentions of employment trends pertaining to the regions, type of organizations, practice areas, skills, and experience levels.
Manmeet Singh, President, Experis IT– ManpowerGroup India, says, "Hiring outlook in the Indian IT domain doesn’t look encouraging for the next few months due to various global macroeconomic factors such as the H1-B executive order and Brexit. IT companies are adopting a wait and watch strategy and taking alternate talent acquisition routes such as hiring temporary IT workers to cover immediate demands. Niche and upcoming tech skills will be in demand in the coming quarters. Some organizations have even started up-skilling and re-skilling internal employees to reduce bench and improve productivity.”
The findings of the survey, extraordinarily relevant in the present times, owing to the advent of automation and protectionist sentiment gaining momentum, are as follows:
Indian IT Employment Outlook
Registering a decline in hiring intentions by 15% compared to the last quarter, Indian IT employers, the survey confirm the impact of the discouraging sentiment and developments that have taken place in the sector recently. The Net Employment Outlook was at 58%, as compared to 73% in the last quarter.
When different regions in the country are compared, South India is expected to have the strongest labour market, with an Employment Outlook of 24% (a drop of 10%), followed by North and West India, both at 16% and finally, East India at 2%. The highest hiring intention was reported for candidates with mid-level experience (3-8 years) – at 53% (down 10% from last quarter), followed by junior level (19%) and finally senior level (2%). Organizations offering IT services (22%) had the highest hiring intentions, followed by those who offer products (16%), start-ups (10%), and captive and e-commerce at 5% each.
Practice Areas & Skills in Demand
With 34%, ‘software development’ leading the skills in demand outlook (a drop of 9%), Infrastructure & Data Solutions (3%), Business Intelligence (2%) and Global Content Solutions (1%) and Others (18%) followed. Nearly 20% of the respondents were of the view that a combination of complex and niche IT skill will be the most in demand. This was followed by .NET (17%), SAP (10%), Big Data (9%) and Oracle (2%).
As compared to last year, hiring intentions have witnessed a setback in all categories. The Net Employment Outlook is down from 73% in Q1 to 58% in Q2-Q3. Indian employers have although sent largely neutral feelers overall, as 19% are expected to increase staffing levels, 1% foreseeing a decrease and 68% anticipating no change in the same.
AG Rao, Group Managing Director of ManpowerGroup India says, “India is at the cusp of a digital transformation. With the advent of automation which is expected to impact a majority of companies, employers in India state a sluggish hiring scenario. India’s IT employers are cautious about their hiring plans in the April-September time frame. Today, the business leaders are creatively engaging the right talent to drive business success. Creativity, emotional intelligence, and cognitive flexibility are skills that will tap human potential. Technology trends are creating a disruption in the business model and the talent also has to keep up with it. Given that every business will be redefined by technology, the time is also ripe to unlock new opportunities. There is a growing need for the companies to focus on capacity development to address the digital opportunities.”
With the survey stating that this edition is the weakest forecast since the survey began in Q3 in 2005, and a unanimous drop across a range of positive indicators, the writing is on the wall. Going ahead, “learn-ability will determine a candidate’s employability”, aptly says the survey. Nonetheless, these challenges will duly ensure that the IT industry remains on their feet, and prevent organizations from becoming complacent. The challenges are aplenty, but they also provide an exciting opportunity for the sector to march ahead and be future-ready.