Though hiring of freshers in the information technology (IT) sector is expected to remain strong in 2020, those of mid- to senior-level professionals will continue to face pressure, owing to changing skill requirements.
Job cuts at the latter levels are likely to continue through the next year as companies focus on changing their employee pyramid to optimise costs. Experts in the human resource (HR) consultancy space say, however, that despite these layoffs, the overall hiring number will not dip.
"IT (services) firms will continue to reduce their middle management. For every manager they (IT firms) send, they can easily hire three to four staffers at the junior level. So, the numbers for the industry, in which around four million people are working, will remain more or less the same," said Kris Lakshmikanth, founder of HR consultancy The Head Hunters India.
Demand from global software product companies will remain strong. companies such as SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, and Google are looking at expanding their India employee base further. Similarly, the pace of hiring by start-up companies is also expected to pick up, though this will not be significant in absolute terms.
According to estimates, of every 100 engineers getting hired by the sector, IT services firms absorb nearly 60 per cent. Followed by software product ones at around 15 per cent and GICs (global in-house centres) at 10 per cent.
Large IT services companies such as Cognizant, Infosys, TCS, and Wipro are looking at reducing their headcount, mostly mid and senior levels. Cognizant has already announced it would reduce its employee count by around 12,000 in the next few quarters. Others are yet to speak similarly but sources in the know said the total number of layoffs in IT have touched around 35,000 and is likely to cross 50,000 this year.
“The headcount reduction at companies that we are seeing now is driven more by skill requirement than anything else. But, there is no slowdown in the industry as such — the market has huge demand for engineers with digital skill sets, which exceeds the supply base,” said Supaul Chand, head of digital at TeamLease. “Languages like Python, Angular Java and programmes related to Cloud, artificial intelligence or machine learning are in huge demand.”