During the second quarter of this fiscal year, 65 per cent of the total demand originated from the top 5 skill sets: development, ERP, automotive design, testing, and administration, according to Quess.

In addition to these functional skill suites, incremental demand for skills related to Gen AI, Data Science, DevOps, Cloud, Automotive Engineering, Cyber Security, Networking Specialists, and more was also noted.

However, hiring remains muted as organisations have adopted a wait-and-watch approach considering geopolitical tensions, putting a hold on discretionary spending.

“Large IT services companies have shown a decline in headcount and reduced guidance values, signalling a collective exercise of caution in navigating the future. We believe this uncertainty will continue for a quarter or two before the next uptick begins,” said Vijay Sivaram, CEO of Quess IT Staffing.

On the bright side, the GCC ecosystem is growing exponentially, and with the advent of Gen AI, it is expected that the integration of additional tech in the Indian IT space, which holds considerable long-term potential. “Opportunities abound for those who invest in upskilling, with a notable shift in the way businesses operate, as over 85 per cent of Indian businesses plan to invest in AI within the next two years,” added Sivaram.

In Q2 FY24, there was a strong demand for developers proficient in over 100 technical proficiencies. Mature skills such as Java and NET continued to dominate, with high demand in the banking, consulting, technology, telecom, and automotive sectors.

According to Quess, there is a noticeable uptick in fresher demand within sectors such as engineering, manufacturing, healthcare, and retail. Skills pertaining to data engineering, development (Java, Angular), ERPs, Power BI, network engineering, cybersecurity, and UI/UX are particularly sought after among early career professionals. Furthermore, we see a positive trend where many prominent technology, consulting, and FMCG companies are increasingly introducing specialised early career programmes aimed at empowering recent graduates and enhancing their professional, business, and technical skills.

City-wise recruitment trends 

The hiring demand in India is relatively concentrated, with the top 5 cities accounting for over 79 per cent of all job postings. However, the rapid development of infrastructure, skill diversity, remote work, and governmental initiatives such as smart cities have enabled an upswing in hiring across Tier 2 and 3 cities, particularly cities including Ahmedabad, Mysuru, Jaipur, Indore, Coimbatore, Kochi, and others. 

Further, the country has seen new tech hubs emerge in cities including Pune, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, and the NCR. This shift is driven by their flourishing tech industries and the presence of both domestic and international companies.

Quess Corp. launched the Skills Report, offering insights into the technology skills enabling the future of work in India. This report is based on Quess IT Staffing’s operations data, which maps demand and supply in our talent ecosystem.