4. Hyderabad | Weighted Average Compensation: Rs 8.5 lakh per year (Image: Moneycontrol)
Techies have a lot to rejoice in 2021. With favourable H-1B visa regime in the offing under Joe Biden administration, ramp up in hiring by tech firms and salary increments, there is no good time to be a techie than now.
What are we talking about?
Biden’s immigration bill
On January 20, 2021 soon after he was sworn in as the US President, Joe Biden signed an immigration bill that was intended to reverse many of Trump administration’s protectionist immigration policies.
This includes change in H-1B regime that could benefit Indians and IT firms.
The bill addressed key concerns around green card, foreign students pursuing STEM education in the US and also put on hold the implementation of two rules – H-1B selection through lottery and wage hikes for H-1B employees.
These two rules would impact IT firms. These two rules would currently be under review and will not come into implementation at least for the next 60 days. It is yet to be seen what would happen to the wage-based rules as they can be challenged in courts or could be revoked by the Biden administration.
Also, the H-1B rule that mandated clients of IT workers to participate in the H-1B process too was revoked. This would have a huge impact on IT firms.
So at least for now, Indians and IT majors can relax and visa regime is favourable for students who want to pursue higher education and also work in the US. Indians account for a significant share of the 85,000 H-1B visas issued every year in the US.
Ramp up in IT hiring
The job market for IT workers now is in sharp contrast to what it was nine months ago. Starting April 2020, companies stopped hiring laterals and deferred their fresher on-boarding due to uncertainty around COVID-19. Contract staffing saw a steep decline as well.
However as deals ramped up and demand increased, IT firms are doubling up their hiring.
Indian IT firms made a net addition of about 36,000 for the quarter ending December 2020, more than double of close to 11,000 net addition the companies made for the same period last year. In addition, IT firms are looking to increase their fresher hiring as well.
TCS, Infosys and HCL Tech will together hire about 79,000 freshers in FY22. This is up from about 68000 freshers they hired in FY21. Demand for contract staffing has increased as well. Most of the firms reported that contract staffing has gone back to pre-COVID-19 levels and this momentum would continue in the coming months.
Wage hikes are back too. From top IT firms such as TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL Tech to mid-tier firms like Mindtree and L&T Technology services, hikes are being rolled out for employees, though they were deferred by couple of quarters.
While firms like TCS and HCL Tech rolled out wage hikes effective October 1, 2020, other companies like Infosys, and Mindtree’s salary increments came into effect on January 1, 2021. In the case of Tech Mahindra, the company has planned salary hikes for its junior-most employees in FY21 (before March 2021) and for the rest in calendar year 2021 (before December 2021).L&T Technology Services
will implement salary increments effective April 1, 2021 for its employees in phases. While junior employees will get their increments effective April 1, senior employees’ salary increases will be rolled out in July.