What has been the impact of Covid-19, on IT hirings, not only for the IT industry but IT positions across sectors in India?
The impact of Covid-19 has not been evenly spread across sectors. Some sectors, such as software technology, medical/doctor, and marketing have experienced a surge in job postings. Job titles including Delivery Person and IT Manager saw a steady increase as well, each tracking well above February 2020.
New job postings for India has shown steady growth in the past month – It is still declining as compared with 2019, but it is better as compared to previous months. As of July beginning, new job postings on Indeed India were growing 51 per cent slower than in 2019; whereas in May, it was growing 70 per cent slower.
If this current trend continues then overall job postings will begin to improve, as new hiring activity more than replaces older job postings leaving the website.
Any interesting trends you have observed regarding IT recruitments since March this year in India?
Amid the coronavirus-led lockdown, cyberattacks targeting individuals and organisations have increased considerably, resulting in the growing demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals – cybersecurity-based job postings increased by 6 per cent, while searches for various roles related to it grew by 30 per cent from February to May 2020.
As a leading labour market researcher, we can say that one of the bigger conversations happening as a result of Covid-19 is on the future of how we work. It’s created an opportunity to examine workforce flexibility or more remote work options in the future, especially if employers see benefits.
For many companies, the shift to remote work is a test. I think many companies have seen there is no impact to productivity – especially given the circumstances people are working in – the stress of the virus, many caring for young children and homeschooling. The fact that we have not seen a drop in productivity is remarkable and shows that this is a viable option. Many companies are offering mental health benefits and resources, encouraging teams to take vacation time and talking openly and honestly about mental health in virtual meetings.
Can you share with us the challenges of virtual hiring in this market?
As many employers are practicing social distancing precautions amid Covid-19 concerns, companies are having to rethink their interview processes. There is a shift to conducting interviews using video conferencing technology, in order to help identify a candidates’ applicable skills. Adapting to these new hiring and recruiting tactics can be challenging for a company to implement on a large scale. To date, most companies have relied on in-person interviews so it can be hard to move away from the norm.
With all of these shifts to working remotely and interviewing over video, it is important to shift your mindset. Technology allows us to stay connected and actually see the candidates and hiring managers, rather than simply relying on phone calls and emails for communication. In the hiring process – from interviewing to onboarding – you can still communicate the company’s core values and company culture, etc., virtually – that doesn’t go away.
Be patient. It can be difficult to transition to a non-social home working environment. Learning how to balance your work and home life can be a challenge, so make sure to set fixed hours for working. Moreover, know that you may become lonely—even with virtual video meetings—so take measures to have a work life balance.
Which industries are witnessing IT recruitments, and why? Also, for which positions?
Our data reveals that mobile technology, services industry, and back offices of large MNCs are witnessing steady and consistent IT hiring. The top 5 roles that have seen an increase in job postings in 2020 as compared to 2019 are –
– Full-stack developer
– Front end developer
– Software architect
– Sap consultant
Which IT skills remain the most in-demand? Has the pandemic and the lockdown driven the demand for hiring people with particular skill sets?
As job postings in IT and tech have seen consistent growth in India, it is promising to see job seekers take an increasing interest in these roles as well. With advancements in several areas of science and technology such as cybersecurity, robotics, IoT, and so on, there is likely to be demand for tech talent across sectors. However, skills such as android development, java are very relevant in the field.
With news of retrenchments, how do you foresee the demand vs supply panning out for IT hirings in the next six months?
It is too early to say, this situation is evolving and at Indeed we’re still collecting data on what is occurring across the economy. Yes, the situation has gotten worse because of the pandemic. But our data says that hiring in India is slowly getting better. Post pandemic we could see many roles in the informal sector become formal. For example, roles in construction and farming especially – that could add new jobs in the economy. Covid-19 has created a new opportunity to see how workforces can have more work from home flexibility or could even allow for more remote work options in the future especially if employers see benefits.
Are you witnessing any impact on IT salaries?
Broadly, the impact of Covid-19 on pay cut has become somewhat stable right now. We have seen multiple reports of companies announce that they have reversed pay cuts and are open to honoring hiring offers rolled out during Covid-19. From a survey conducted by Indeed in June, 36 per cent of job seekers however are willing to take a pay cut to find a job right now.
How will the pandemic and its aftermath work out for the gig economy?
The gig economy was probably the best prepared, with 83 per cent of businesses emphasising their contingency plan includes frequent communication protocols and technological infrastructure to ensure seamless remote working. We see the service sector embracing the gig economy in India the fastest.
Job seekers across the country are showing greater interest in working remotely amid the Covid-19 crisis. Job seekers are increasingly searching for terms like ‘remote’, ‘work from home’, and related phrases. Between beginning Feb 2020 and July 2020 searches for remote work have increased by over 442 per cent as a share of all searches on Indeed India.
We see companies working to leverage technology to bridge the physical distance remote work might bring. From video conferencing to document sharing platforms, employers are going the extra mile to ensure that all members of the company feel involved and are able to keep track of key organisational operations.
Any other significant factor you would like to highlight?
In recruiting we have this conversation all the time – you can have the talent come to you, open offices where they live – OR you can let people live where they want to live and let them work remotely. What if there is an amazing software engineer in Nagpur and we don’t have an office there? I think Covid-19 opened up a whole different pool of talent by allowing work from home policies. There are a ton of untapped talent out there that we are missing out on because they don’t happen to live in the cities where companies have offices. This means we might see an enormous migration of talent where people with those skills want to live; they could be optimising for happiness.