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Tech hiring in India shrugs off Omicron jitters, remains buoyant

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Hiring action in India’s tech sector continues to remain buoyant, undeterred by the steep climb of the third Covid-19 wave.

In the first week of 2022, the sector put out more than 70,000 active job openings, according to data from LinkedIn put together for ET by specialist staffing firm Xpheno. This is despite the first few days after holidays being typically a slow period when most companies restart action. If the current hiring action is sustained into the rest of January, the number of open job positions is likely to cross December’s figure of 253,000, thus making it the strongest in over two years, according to Xpheno estimates.

Top technology company executives said they expect a “minimal impact” on their hiring plans as clients across sectors continue to accelerate their digitisation drive to enhance productivity and save cost.

“In spite of an increasing threat of Omicron, 2022 has begun on a positive note for hiring action,” Xpheno cofounder Kamal Karanth said. “Considering the Jan-Mar quarter is generally a buoyant quarter for jobs, the action in IT hiring may not slow down any sooner,” he added.

Top companies with fresh job postings in the first week of the month included Accenture, IBM, Genpact, Dell, Zensar, Salesforce and Oracle, showed the data.

The local unit of US multinational Oracle, which has seen a fourfold jump in hiring from last year, will be recruiting thousands this year in functions such as sales and service staff, solution engineers, enterprise architects and product development engineers. “This is higher than last year and multi-fold more than the pre-pandemic period,” said Gunashekar Govindan, vice president, talent advisory, Oracle Japan and Asia Pacific. “With the launch of our cloud regions in India — in Mumbai and Hyderabad — the demand has grown exponentially … We expect this trend to continue in the near future,” he added.

New York-headquartered IBM has embarked on an aggressive talent expansion strategy in India, said Thirukkumaran (Thiru) Nagarajan, vice president & head of HR for India/South Asia. “We are extending opportunities to skilled professionals across key cities (beyond the metros) in India for the benefit of our customers. With expansion of our various business units in Kerala (Kochi), Gujarat (Ahmedabad), Karnataka (Mysuru) and Telangana (Hyderabad), we are looking to our new hires to help accelerate IBM’s hybrid cloud & AI strategy,” he added.

That apart, the top 10 Indian IT services players, including Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, HCL Technologies and Mindtree, will together hire about half a million in the whole of FY22, factoring attrition refill, according to Xpheno estimate. These include about 200,000 new jobs by the end of this fiscal year in March.

The top three IT bellwethers — TCS, Infosys and Wipro, which announced their-quarter results on Wednesday — recorded their highest attrition rates in over three years during the October-December period: 25.5% by Infosys, 22.7% by Wipro and 15.3% by TCS. The three software exporters together also made a net addition of nearly 51,000 jobs to their combined headcount in Q3, showed Xpheno estimates.

In an interaction with ET in the first week of January, Girish Nandimath, TCS’ global head of talent acquisition, said the country’s largest IT employer plans to hire talent across technologies with special focus on digital skills.

“The demand for technical talent is unlike any time we have seen before. Across geographies, industries and sectors, we are seeing clear evidence of customers wanting to accelerate their adoption of the digital business model,” said Nandimath.

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