A serial entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in Technology Leadership, Narayan Mahadevan is the Founder of IP driven Incubation Lab, BridgeLabz. An AWS recognised company, BridgeLabz focuses on increasing employability and nurturing ideas as well as talents in the Emerging technologies domain. Narayan oversees the overall operations and functions at the company.
Now is an excellent time to be an engineer in India because of the higher market demand in the sector. The IT push post-pandemic has led to a hiring war where more and more companies seek engineers to work on various technologies. They are ready to offer everything from a handsome package to additional perks and work in your chosen model. The increased demand for IT engineers has also led to rising attrition rates at the companies. People are trying to find the best available opportunity and are not hesitant to leave one company for the other. India’s major tech companies have registered an increase in attrition rate, touching 20-30% per annum in six months.
The Great Resignation phenomenon is likely to continue in 2022—the trend of companies paying higher than expected salaries to retain employees, especially at senior levels. The increased demand has led to the practice of poaching among IT companies. The prediction is that the hiring war will most likely continue in the coming years as still there is a difference in demand and supply.
Opportunity for young graduates
It must be noted that when there is a massive demand for IT talent, the sector is also marred by the skill gap among the talent. The employability rate among Indian engineers is about 55%. The overall employability rate among Indian youth has remained stagnant, around 46%, as of 2022. The low employability rate is why so many Indian engineering graduates remain unemployed despite the higher demand in the IT sector.
To lap up the opportunities available in the market, engineering graduates need to understand market requirements and build their skills as per the need and interest. Skills like effective communication, project experience and problem-solving are in high demand, as per the India Skills Report 2022. This means that engineering graduates need to focus on honing their skills in the same category. Similarly, a LinkedIn survey revealed increased demand for programmers in blockchain technology. Other technologies that need more engineers are data science, programming, cloud computing, cybersecurity, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). These technologies are still very new and have a minimal talent pool. Engineering graduates can select a technology of their choice and undertake skill enhancement programs to improve employability.
Practices for companies
While the existing tech talent must focus on upskilling despite the increased opportunities, the companies also need to look at their hiring practices. It is time to move on from traditional hiring methods. The lack of relevant skills and practical knowledge among the tech talent is why only 10% of the total talent can be readily employed. In such a scenario, the tech companies can partner with skill development companies and bring the trained talent. They can do it to fire freshers as well as senior level engineers. Experiential learning methods adopted by the skill development companies will build a talent pool that knows how to reflect, analyse and evaluate the problems at work.
Apart from this, post-pandemic, the companies also need to consider the transformed working models. With ramped-up vaccination, companies will expect workers to return to offices, but that may be a deal-breaker for many people, and they may prefer going for a company that offers work from home or a hybrid work model. Thus, companies have to be more considerate and flexible as they undertake more hiring. The hiring war is a competition to offer the most efficient and employee-friendly workplace to retain and attract talent.
There are ample opportunities and a large pool of engineers as well. It covers the skill gap that will resolve the ongoing hiring war, and it requires efforts from both the companies and the engineers.