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Skilling over skimming to rule talent management at IT companies in 2022

By: Shwetank Upadhyaya, CEO (India), Millionlights

Indian IT industry is set for a hiring spree in the second half of FY2022. As per a report by UnearthInsight1, the industry is likely to see a gross employee addition of around 450,000 people in the second half of the financial year 2022 (H2FY22). While this is the good news, the challenge is acquiring the right talent which displays agility and dynamism along with the required technical skill sets.

Talent crisis faced by IT companies

It is no secret that the sector has been and is still dealing with a huge skills gap. Be it a job-ready fresher or up-skilled or re-skilled lateral, the pain points still exist. The employability of India’s youth has been vastly spoken about and various initiatives have been undertaken by institutions to address it as well. However, the crisis which was limited to job-ready fresher now started seeping into lateral hiring as well. This is owed to the introduction of cloud computing, AI/ ML, mobility, etc. which are bringing about rapid change in the technology environment. And just when the sector was trying to find a solution to it, the Covid-19 pandemic hit and made things worse for the IT companies.

The drastic change in how businesses operate across industries brought about by the pandemic is expected to continue for 2022 as well. Remote working, business digitalisation, cybersecurity, etc. became will continue to be the concerns to be addressed. These demand a workforce that can effectively and quickly adapt to the transformation and start delivering.

Skilling to survive

Change is the only constant and the IT sector can relate to it far more than any other business. Its ever-changing nature had always emphasized training, upskilling, and reskilling which as a result were a regular process at almost all IT firms. However, the Covid-19 pandemic induced a spurt in digitalisation across all businesses which suddenly widened the existing employability gap beyond imagination. As per a Nasscom2 report, digital transformations that once would take 3-5 years have to now deliver in 9-12 months. Businesses planned to increase digital spend by 30% in the next 18 months was also stated by the report.

IT companies are gearing up for a healthy pie of the growing demand and it is now that they are realising the gravity of the talent crunch being faced by them. Companies are realising that skimming talent has to be replaced by skilling talent now. They are fuelling their skill development programs for the employees by increasing investments substantially to include training on in-demand skills which would bridge the talent gap and house the right workforce.

These skill-development programs can occur two ways – in-house or outsourced to external training institutes. While many corporates are strengthening their in-house training but the crunch demands a different level of attention. Addressing this at the high cost of an employee’s salary is as daunting as engaging a visiting specialist is. Just like every challenge is an opportunity in disguise, so is this.

Skilling-focussed start-ups

Training focussed start-ups which had already started taking shape to address the employability gap of India’s youth were swift in adapting to the new challenge and demand. These training, upskilling, and reskilling focussed start-ups are proving to be a saviour for the talent-crunched IT companies. They have a focussed team of experts who keep themselves abreast with the latest in-demand IT skills and develop training modules to address the growing demand. As per a Nasscom2 report, some of the in-demand IT skills are identified as cloud computing, AI/ML, mobility, cybersecurity, IoT, and edge computing. They organise regular cohorts in these in-demand skills and also customise as per companies’ requirements. These companies aim at developing a pool of agile and dynamic professionals who are job-ready, upskilled, or reskilled to take on current business challenges. In addition, they train on soft skills and communications too which is identified as crucial for freshers.

This batch of ed-tech start-ups who have only one objective in mind, improving the Indian workforce’s employability, agility, and dynamism have also been able to diminish the line between the talent at tier I and tier II or III cities. Online boot camps are providing equal opportunities to the freshers and professionals based out of any city. Basically, these companies are ‘manufacturing’ talent to bridge the employability gap and improve the business environment for all to prosper.

Millionlights is one of such start-ups that helps “manufacture" talent for its partners. It runs global bootcamps and help learners connect with real job openings. Its vision is to help any learner that has the desire to upgrade their skill sets and put them on a faster track of development. MCAP is its India centric product that assists learners connect with leading tech companies in India. It recently announced successful deployment of its 12th global cohort and India’s second cohort at DXC Technologies. The firm is now gearing up to graduate 4 cohorts every month in India and upto 4000 engineers yearly.

As IT companies ready themselves for new year, they have to bear in mind that for attracting and retaining the right talent, skilling is going to be the key and crucial. In such a scenario, it would be prudent for companies to focus on what they do the best which is business transformation through effective use of technology while outsourcing workforce skilling and staying ahead of the competition in the highly dynamic industry.



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