Swati Patil

Recruitment challenges in IT industry | Swati Patil | Director Talent Development | iOPEX Technologies

Swati PatilIf Gen Z were to ask the millennials and their forerunners about their corporate journey, the story would start with the job hunt. Over two decades ago, sources to enter the IT sector were limited only to campus and, in some instances, off-campus drives. In other cases, walk-ins, ads in the classifieds, word of mouth, and referrals through friends and family who had stepped into the arena of an “IT company.” The current IT giants who were setting up their roots barely felt the dearth of resources to fulfill the demand as nouns like disruption, transformation, and innovation were merely dictionary words and had not crept into the corporate syllabi. The Y2K wave, in its closest proximity, stirred the very first need for transformation in the IT industry by disrupting the existing IT landscape and forcing IT companies to move to innovative ways of coping. Students trained in colleges for Fortran, COBOL, and ANSI C were compelled by organizations running Initial Learning Programs centers to master Java and Dot Net overnight and be placed in projects within a week. These students are currently leading large transformation programs after being beaten up, drilled, and doing numerous late-night coding sessions.

Time-traveling to the current scenario, with the digital disruption, the enormity of cloud space, and a multitude of options for any application, demand from consumers for user-friendliness, vitality, security, and accessibility has skyrocketed. Thus, pressuring not only the IT players but the subsets working alongside them to get any application or engagement successful for the customers they serve. Demand fulfilment eventually puts the talent management groups on the cusp of generating and sustaining the resource pool for prolonged sustainability. If nurturing talent in an organization is playing on a golf course, recruiting the right talent to meet the demand analogies to walking on the moon – potholes over zero gravity.

The acquisition teams in the post-pandemic era face inflated challenges to cope with the business demands, striving to close requirements amidst jargon like moonlighting, gig workforce, and great resignation, grappling with their TATs and ETAs. Broadly, the current challenges in recruitment for IT firms can be parenthesized between two extremities – demand for an overflowing top-notch skill pool and managing the cost to onboard this pool, with the nodes of both confronted by other exigencies. These inhibitors have forced the talent management teams to face the wrath of the business, fittingly passed down by the customers, to meet the demand from the end users. Being on
the receiving end, it is more apt to voice out the shortcomings the fraternity faces in this process as bulleted.

 The unpredictability of a candidate joining an organization is proving to be a nightmare; recruiters allegorize this as “offer-shopping,” facilitated by prospective joiners having multiple offers in hand, enabling them the free will to accept the one best suits their personal and professional needs.

 One sect of organizations opts for either hybrid or permanent work-from-home, and the other goes back to full-time physical presence at the office. While the former has paved the way for the “gig workforce,” which has substantially helped IT professionals to curtail personal costs and enable additional income outside of their paycheck, the latter are trying hard to mandate physical presence and rule over the respite left behind by the pandemic.

 With advancements in technology, competition is forcing customers to demand a skilled workforce from IT service providers to be available within minutes of the latest version being released. The entropy between high demand and resource unavailability has pivoted to the Tim Burton effect for recruiters.

 With approximately 3 lakh jobs being created every year to be offered to a massive college crowd of roughly 15 lakh students, recruiters still find it challenging to meet customers’ demands, primarily because of the mismatch of the skills derived from education with the need. While affluent institutes manageably aid the IT sector with corporate-relations investments, it’s a rat race for the other institutes.

 There is no hesitation from job seekers to demand an exorbitant hike in remuneration and the ability of specific organizations to cater, and vice versa. While successful organizations, in pursuit of meeting needs, agree to high costs, organizations devoid of such privilege face wrath.

On one hand, the strides made by the IT sector have contributed phenomenally to the growth of a nation and, proportionately, the world economy; on the other, the war of talent has mortified the challenges for talent teams to cater to business demands. While forums, thus, might help talent heads with some reprise with collective solutions, it is definite that challenges will not percolate between the antithesis entities but will be extended.