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Business News/ Companies / Who is at risk in IT sector and which profiles are isolated as layoffs continue?
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Who is at risk in IT sector and which profiles are isolated as layoffs continue?

As the world emerges from the pandemic era, over-hiring, cost pressures and funding challenges have posed fresh problems for companies. According to projections, about 20,000 job cuts are expected over the next six months with certain profiles more at risk.

Declining revenue per employee and profitability are key reasons behind  Indian IT firms planning layoffs and job cuts. Photo: MintPremium
Declining revenue per employee and profitability are key reasons behind Indian IT firms planning layoffs and job cuts. Photo: Mint

In recent weeks tens of thousands of tech employees have been laid off across the globe. As the world emerges from the pandemic era, over-hiring, cost pressures and funding challenges have posed fresh problems for companies. According to projections, about 20,000 job cuts are expected over the next six months with certain profiles more at risk. 

Who is at risk in the IT sector?

Over 19,000 jobs were affected last year across startups, with companies such as Oyo, Zomato and Byju’s firing thousands of employees. While the layoffs initially focused on roles such as customer support, sales, admin, and content, tech employees have also been affected in recent months. 

The situation also depends on the industry and company in question. Amid the looming threat of recession in some developed markets, governance mis-steps and tighter funding has affected fintech, edutech, agritech, logitech and direct-to-consumer companies the most.

With high wage costs impacting the balance sheet, those on the bench, engineers and support teams are more at risk within IT companies. And as firms sack staffers from sales, DevOps, support staff and admin, others can expect a cut in bonus and variable pay.

Despite a decline in their overall headcount, Indian IT giants such as Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Wipro and HCL Tech have continued to struggle with high employee costs. While such companies have asserted that they will honour all campus recruits, the new joinees will face stringent screening tests intended to wean out larger than usual numbers.

Which profiles are isolated from layoffs?

Client-facing roles remain relatively safe with companies unwilling to disturb the team dynamics. Individuals working in legal and strategy roles have been untouched so far as have middle management staff - particularly those with strong digital skillsets.

Employees on running projects are better placed than those on the bench as companies have already started billing their clients in such cases. In edtech and logitech, finance and supply chain roles are safe for now.

 It is pertinent to note here that even as job security remains on shaky grounds, the startup sector has remained a top draw for candidates. While hiring had dropped in 2022 compared to the previous, the situation remains different from the near standstill that had marked the COVID-19 time.

Some firms have avoided mass recruitments as they remain in a wait-and-watch-mode, hiring for critical positions and replacements to balance attrition.

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Updated: 10 Feb 2023, 09:29 PM IST
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