Indian eCommerce firms plan to increase their headcount: Vinu Nair, Antal International

According to a survey, currently 74% Indian eCommerce companies are hiring, whereas for the IT sector currently 67% are hiring and 62% plan to hire in the next quarter. The firing trends in both these sectors are almost half of that number, this surely indicates positivity within these sectors and the next year may prove to be a great one for professionals within these sectors. So what lies ahead for mid and senior level professionals within these sectors? To get more insights, Dataquest interacted with Vinu Nair, Managing Partner, Antal International Chennai. Excerpts:

What lies ahead in the year 2016 in terms of hiring within eCommerce and IT services sector?
2016 will continue to see a growth in hiring by eCommerce, Technology and IT Services companies.  According to the 18th Edition of the Antal Global Snapshot, 62% of Indian IT firms and 71% Indian eCommerce firms plan to increase their headcount.
The level of activity and early success in the start-up arena has created multiple roles coupled with eCommerce and cloud solutions. As per the trends, we are seeing right now, the market for skilled candidates may be at its best in 2016. Services companies are facing attrition in the range of 15%+ and this would mean backfills of at least a 30 to 40% lateral hiring from the market.
What will the new recruitment trends or salary trends?

While recruiting manager will look for hands-on skills within eCommerce and technology companies. Skills relating to building solutions for cloud-related technologies and platforms will see a surge. Infrastructure-related roles will see continued growth as well as analytics will see solid growth in the coming year. There is a shortage of qualified engineers to tap high-end business opportunities such as mobile applications and cloud computing and this will pose a  risk to the growth of the Indian IT sector in the years to come.

The recruitment trends across the eCommerce industry will see a lot of reconsolidation. Previously seen aggressive trends would be met with more cautious approach to enable better planning for further expansion and enabling startups to normalize their cost towards recruitment and salary’s for employees. This also means that the average compensation increase for candidates will also see a more proportionate figures of 20-25% across mid and senior levels hires. This has also got to do with the fact that a lot of investors have shoe-stringed their investments for better long term profitability.

A lot of average candidates getting exponential increments in their compensations will not happen and only the ones who can actually provide value for their talent will be ones who will see above normal increments. This is because of the fact that there is dearth of really exceptional talent across the industry and more across functions like design, product.

Please give details about talents shortage within these sectors. 

Mindset of a good resource should be to see through the project phase before he changes his assignment or changes a job, and if this were to happen talent hiring can be a more planned approach.  For the technology business there’s a shortage already for good developers with problem solving skills and design thinking.  Some clients are looking to source candidates with start-up experience all the way from bay area or “retuning Indians”.

Which skills will be in demand in the near future?

Services companies have a staple demand for “regular” skills like, ERP, Java, ERM, Automated testers, DBAs and  Infrastructure which will anyway continue. Lateral hiring will be most preferred option for backfills, on the other hand technology companies and start-ups will need Frontend skills (Java script), Data Science, Product Managers, iOS and Android developers. Packaged application like Workday and Salesforce which are cloud based solutions will generate more skill requirement keeping in view their increased adoption across multiple clients and geographies. SAP, Oracle eBiz and its portfolio of products are creating more jobs and hence the skill requirements will be high.

Consider a scenario for one of the leading services companies which has about 100,000 skilled resources and with more than 15% attrition there is going to be a need to backfill 15,000+ resources and with a potential 10% growth there could be a need for a further 5000+ laterals, after assuming for about 50% backfill being staffed with freshers with proper training we are still looking at a potential hiring of over 12,500 laterals. This would work out to circa 1,000+ skilled resources a month for this one company alone.

We may see candidate drop outs and counter offers as a continued challenge with the increase in hiring and demand for niche skills on an increase within  IT sector. Start-ups and services companies could use training to create the skills in house to reduce the cost of hiring and also to reduce unpredictability of candidates not joining after offer acceptance is made.

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