The IT industry has remained buoyant even as the pandemic impacted hiring and the availability of job opportunities across industries which have been fuelled by the need for technology adoption and accelerated rates of digitisation across businesses.
There has also been an exponential rise in the number of tech-forward start-up ventures, which has further driven this need for IT professionals in the country. The overall growth trajectory has, thus, led to a significant challenge for HR professionals who are now tasked with meeting this rapid demand and recruiting—as per the latest estimates— close to two million tech professionals. This is deemed the toughest task ever for the HR industry because of the myriad challenges that HR professionals face while recruiting skilled IT professionals in India.
Artificial Intelligence (AI): Today, legacy tools and technologies are increasingly becoming obsolete and being replaced by AI and machine learning (ML). This means that several jobs at the mid-level of IT companies are on their way to becoming redundant, leaving HR professionals to find a way to balance human creativity and AI-driven technologies. Moreover, this could mean conducting massive re-skilling drives for existing employees to not lay off workers in large numbers and hiring uniquely skilled IT professionals who have the potential to adapt and upgrade their skill sets in the future.
Recruiting Top Talent: Recruiting top talent has always been a challenge for HR teams in IT companies because when everyone is vying for the best candidates, levelling up the recruiting game is challenging. And despite increased hiring, 41% of IT hiring managers believe that finding tech talent is becoming more difficult every year. This is further compounded by the fact that the pandemic has led to a candidate's market, where questions of flexibility, alignment with company values and good work culture are as important as those regarding remuneration when it comes to accepting a job offer. Hence, HR teams are further challenged when it comes to recruiting top-tier talent in IT companies that are already tough to recruit considering the requirements of technology skills and updated knowledge.
Employee Retention: While employee retention is challenging for HR teams across the board, it is particularly more pronounced in the IT industry because of the talent war. With tech companies willing to go the extra mile by offering perks such as cars, signing bonuses and much more, HR professionals are hard-pressed when it comes to finding newer ways to keep employees from changing companies. A recent Gartner survey that looked at IT employees across 40 different countries found that IT professionals are more likely to quit their jobs than employees in other sectors. Furthermore, it revealed that a mere 29% of IT workers intend to stay in their present company. Such an environment makes it infinitely harder for HR teams to recruit and retain top talent in the IT industry.
Employee Burnout: A phenomenon that has gained even more significance during the pandemic, employee burnout is an issue that HR leaders are taking great cognisance of. Experts are calling this an “epidemic of epic proportions” and according to recent surveys, nearly 95% of HR leaders think that employee burnout impacts retention. The problem is multifaceted and may stem from a variety of potential factors, such as long or irregular working hours, work overload, insufficient reward or recognition, lack of community, poor leadership, toxic work culture, and much more.
As lifetime employment with one company continues to rank lower and lower on employees’ agendas, and high-tech IT jobs keep needing an upgradation of skills causing a greater skill vacuum, HR leaders are going to play a key role in the future. HR teams across the globe will, thus, be important as strategists and interventionists who will need to understand the challenges of the IT industry and the needs of candidates to achieve success.