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Greenshoots In Tech Hiring As Multinationals Prepare For Post-COVID-19 World

Banking and retail multinationals are at the forefront.

May 4, 2020 / 06:18 PM IST

Greenshoots have started to emerge in hiring as multinationals look to beef up their IT Indian offshore centres.

This is despite the overall slowdown in hiring, and the delay in setting up of new offshore centres in the country due to COVID-19 outbreak

Hiring executives Moneycontrol spoke to said that the revival in demand is driven by the need to be technology-ready for the post COVID-19 world, especially in banking, infrastructure and retail verticals.

Multinationals in these sectors are already hiring in their offshore centres, added the executives. This is important given that captives are one of the largest job creators in India.

Slow beginning

Global firms that have setup offshore centres in India, are one of the biggest recruiters in the country. They employ about eight lakh people across their 1,500 centres in India and generate revenue of about $23 billion a year.

Kamal Karanth, co-founder, Xpheno, a specialised staffing firm, had earlier told Moneycontrol that close to 25 captives opened in India last year and hired close to 5,000 people. However, this number is likely to come down as the coronavirus has made the execution a challenge.


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A GIC consultant, who facilitates setting up of offshore centres in India, pointed out that the company saw a steep drop in demand after the virus outbreak. As the year started, the consultant said, they had a mandate to hire 10,000 techies across clients. "Now, this is definitely not happening," he said.

However, things are looking up as some of these firms are beginning to hire to prepare for latent demand.

Who is hiring?

Ajay Shah, Head- Recruitment, Teamlease Services, a staffing firm, said: "Recruitment is happening in sectors where demand recovery is faster such as banking, transport and medical services firms."

An IT staffing firm is already seeing recruitment process outsourcing requests for major multinationals in these sectors to the tune of few hundreds in the coming months.

Why are firms hiring?

For one, during the time of lockdown the Indian back offices have been able to shift to the work from home model seamlessly. “So what we are experiencing is that GICs who are already here have more work since they have become back offices. So business continuity plans are working,” Karanth explained.

This includes banks, e-commerce firms and other technology companies who have been able to step up during crisis.

Vikram Ahuja, co-founder, Talent500 by ANSR Consulting, a recruitment firm, said that thanks to the virus outbreak firms have realized importance of technology and are investing more. “So players in retail and BFS are doubling down their product development effort," he added.

"In banking and financial services sector, what we are seeing is that banks are already thinking about what happens when you can’t go to bank. So lot of investment happening there," Ahuja explained.

This includes digitising operations and developing products and services that would support the core business. This could be online retail or branch-less banking driven by technology. In terms of talents, there is a huge demand for full-stack developers, data scientists and front-end developer.

Normalisation of wages

Another reason why this might be the best time to invest in talents is the normalisation of wages. While talents such as data scientists will continue to be premium, for others average wage is likely to come down by 15-20 percent.

In the last few years, startups were willing to pay premium of 50-60 percent premium for tech talent in emerging technologies, which not many companies were able to match. For instance, a data scientist with five years of experience could get Rs 46 lakh, a 60 percent hike compared to the market average. Other talents such as web and developers too were see a huge hike in wages.

These would be normalised and have a better chance at finding right talent, added another expert.

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Swathi Moorthy
first published: May 4, 2020 06:18 pm

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