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Business News/ Companies / News/  Companies battle for small pool of IT employees: Mint-Shine report
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Companies battle for small pool of IT employees: Mint-Shine report

The demand for IT skill sets, especially in AI and ML, is rising as companies are trying to digitize their businesses.

Non-IT firms say they are losing talent to the IT sector, which has a stronger pull in the market for tech-based roles. (Photo: Mint)Premium
Non-IT firms say they are losing talent to the IT sector, which has a stronger pull in the market for tech-based roles. (Photo: Mint)

MUMBAI : Companies, both IT and non-IT, are grappling with one another to dip into the same cohort of skilled IT employees, leading to a talent gap that India Inc. is struggling to fill.

Almost half the respondents of a Mint+Shine Talent Insights Report noted that getting candidates from campus hiring who are abreast with the latest IT skill sets such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is a challenge.

“A significant challenge highlighted by 48% of respondents is the alignment of candidate skills with job requirements," said the survey, which was conducted during the October-December quarter with 187 HR professionals and 2,019 job seekers.

The demand for IT skill sets, especially in AI and ML, is rising as companies are trying to digitize their businesses. This is leading to a clash for similar skill sets across industries and, in many cases, against IT services firms as well.

“In the ever-changing landscape of the IT industry, our commitment is to address and close the prevailing skill gap," said Akhil Gupta, chief executive, Shine.com. “Beyond conventional talent acquisition, we are actively shaping a workforce capable of leading in an era marked by constant technological evolution."

The gap is prominent as new skill sets are getting adopted every few years, and the companies do not often have the time to train their employees and meet their clients’ new requirements.

“The skill set gap in the automobile sector is significant given the rapid transformation in the industry in connected, electric, safe and shared (CESS) technologies, and in skills related to advanced manufacturing across all levels," said Ravindra Kumar, president and chief human resources officer, Tata Motors Ltd.

Kumar said the automaker has in-house training and partnerships with academic institutions to offer certification programmes in CESS technologies. For the company, auto electric and electronics are the two areas where talent is scarce. “The current education curriculum, spanning B.Tech to M.Tech programs, necessitates a comprehensive revision to align with the evolving requirements of the automobile landscape."

According to the study, another notable challenge, cited by 32% of organizations, is the limited pool of qualified candidates during campus hiring. Companies are adopting different approaches to upskill home-grown talent rather than hire from outside, which is expensive.

“In navigating the dynamic realm of AI, ML and automation, the heightened demand for skilled professionals is a pivotal consideration for our HR strategy," said Kameshwari Rao-global chief people officer, Publicis Sapient, a digital transformation solutions provider that has curated learning programmes and paths for generative AI, catering to employees across all levels.

Non-IT firms say they are losing talent to the IT sector, which has a stronger pull in the market for tech-based roles. This fight is prominent in campus recruitments. “Twenty per cent of organizations express the challenge of competition with other employers in campus hiring for IT roles," the study highlighted.

“The IT sector’s attractiveness as a career path, coupled with the scarcity of qualified candidates, intensifies the competition among employers vying for the same pool of talented individuals."

However, the skill set demand gap in India may still be lesser than in the West. “Notably, India’s tech talent demand-supply gap, at 25-27%, is among the lowest in comparison to the US, China and the UK," said Arun Dinakar Rao, chief people officer, Birlasoft, an IT company. “This positive trend emphasizes the crucial need for organizations to consistently invest in upskilling initiatives to address any existing skill set gaps."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Devina Sengupta
Devina tracks and writes on workplaces, human resources and education for Mint. She also occaisionally writes an opinion column. She hosts a podcast on interesting HR trends in corporate India called The Working Life.
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Published: 23 Jan 2024, 12:06 PM IST
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