IT employees actively hunting for a job are negotiating an average of three to four offers at present, and are seeing 50-70 per cent joining hikes as demand for niche digital skills are at an all-time high driven by Covid-led opportunities, according to recruiting firms.
"Last year's lockdowns reduced job offers significantly. But Covid has opened up IT in a big way. There are so many opportunities on the digital side. Now, everyone is willing to pay big bucks for good IT talent because the demand is huge and supply is less," said Randstad India director of staffing Yeshab Giri.
Going by the strong deal momentum and higher attrition rates announced by major IT firms in their Q4 results and post-earnings calls, there is a war for talent in the Indian IT industry, making meatier salaries, bonuses, and perks common again.
"Hiring in the IT sector is at its peak and candidates are getting exorbitant offers and better roles across the industry," said ABC Consulting's senior director (technology) Ratna Gupta.
Drop-out rates are also up significantly, they said. "It is now 40-50 per cent. That is, for every 10 job offers made, 4-5 of them are turning down the offer. This is quite high and difficult for both us and the companies we recruit for to manage hiring," said Giri.
TCS, which reported an all-time low attrition of 7.2 per cent, said that it expects the number to go up. Infosys said the 15 per cent attrition it posted in Q4 is likely to continue in the next two quarters. Wipro, which posted 12.1 per cent attrition, expects higher uptick in attrition in FY22. HCL Tech which posted 9.9 per cent attrition expects the level to largely remain the same.
Last year attrition was only 10-12 per cent. By the time we close this year, attrition could be upwards of 20-25 per cent, said Giri.
IT firms are looking at increasing fresher intake and building talent in-house to address attrition, Gupta said. HCL, for instance, told BusinessToday.In that the company is giving employees acquiring in-demand skills a skill allowance and getting them a more suitable role commensurate with the new skills.
"Over the last three years, our internal fulfillment is inching up quite steadily. Last year, our internal fulfillment at offshore was 55 per cent which means for every 100 roles, 55 roles were fulfilled internally. We are enabling people who are joining us by reskilling and upskilling them and providing them a suitable role," said HCL CHRO VV Apparao.
Full stack developers, big data, Internet of Things, DevOps, cloud engineers, data science, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, digital transformation and automation are some of the skills in high demand. These differentiated and niche skill sets are attracting 50-70 per cent hikes, the recruiters said. "There's almost 30-35 per cent increase in hiring in these skill sets," said Giri.
TCS, Infosys, Wipro and HCL Tech have said they will hire more than 1 lakh freshers cumulatively in 2021-22.