But companies may prefer lateral hires to campus trainees

Infosys Executive Chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy recently announced plans to hire nearly 16,000 graduates next year. Its competitors may plan to hire more in 2014 as demand for IT services in both the US and Europe – the two biggest markets for the $108 billion industry – are picking up.

Looking at various market sentiments, IT hiring is going to be high next year. While this may cheer college placement officers, HR experts feel the hiring could be more lateral and ‘just-in-time’ rather than from campuses. The sector employs nearly three million people.

Under pressure

Campus hiring may continue to be under pressure next year as IT companies resort to hiring only when there is a need. Earlier companies used to hire a large number of fresh graduates and have them on bench till they became billable. Lateral hiring will continue to relatively see positive growth, said Kamal Karanth, Managing Director, Kelly Services India.

2014 could be another challenging year for freshers entering the industry.

They should have worked on some good projects while graduating. They should also not expect to get hired immediately as employers have become careful while hiring freshers, he said.

P. Thiruvengadam, Senior Director, Human Capital Consulting, Deloitte India, said there is no change likely in the proportion of laterals and campus hires next year.

The reason is that lateral hiring is a product of growth in new sectors and campus hires are primarily for deepening and widening existing areas. Also lateral shifts mean higher attrition. In addition, cost averaging would be driving the mix of laterals and campus hires.

US tech spending

It looks as if the worst is over for the job market and “we are entering a zone of another 2-3 years of positive growth if not more in the IT industry,” said V. Suresh, Executive Vice-President and National Head of Sales, Naukri.com.

The US labour market seems to have revived and there is likely to be an increase in discretionary spends across the IT space. This will have a positive impact on the hiring prospects in the IT/ITeS sector. There seems to be a possibility of more stability in the domestic political and economic climate, which will be a key enabler for job creation, he said.

There could be a paradigm shift from scarcity mindset to problem of plenty for quality talent in the IT sector. As the Indian outsourcing space is going through a metamorphosis from volume to value, opportunities will be more in sectors such as analytics and consulting.

Next big wave

The year 2014 could be the start of the next big outsourcing wave, creating more exciting career opportunities. Candidates entering this space need enhance their skills to prepare to tap such opportunities, he said.

US economy is improving and it is the biggest customer for Indian IT industry and hiring of IT professionals will grow in 2014. Sentiment is also improving due to the new market avenues like IT industry for Africa-based customers and demand for Europe and Middle East market is also getting stabilised, said Sunil Goel, Managing Director, GlobalHunt, a leading executive search organisation.

raja.simhan@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 26, 2013)
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