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Telecommunication and allied sectors are set to witness 40-45% hiring growth over the next couple of years, with the last 3-6 months recording a 30-36% rise in job offerings.

The demand is expected to be primarily led by emerging segments such as whitespace spectrum, 5G, virtual network operations, network security, IoT in big data, cybersecurity specialists and cloud, recruiters said. Non-tech sectors such as manufacturing, smart cities, robotics, tele-medicine, health tech and drones will also see rising demand, they added.

“On the whole, telecom sector will employ about 6 million people by FY26, from about 4 million in FY22," Munira Loliwala, business head at TeamLease Digital, said, adding that demand and payouts for specialised roles doubled in FY23. The sector saw flat rates of hiring and slight increases in salaries over the last several years.

“Specialised roles like network security specialists, data engineers, technical lead and technical architects, and optical fiber and cabling roles, systems engineers, saw 100% rise in FY23 over FY22. We expect it to continue to grow in FY24 as well, albeit at a lower rate of 10-14% for roles in AI and ML, which is still huge," she added.

The recent spike in hiring is due to the pace of 5G rollout by Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel Ltd since October.

The carriers have covered over 100 cities between them and are adding more regions every day.

Mid-range companies such as HFCL and Sterlite Technologies are also hiring talent for specialised roles to meet rising demand for deploying fibre, connectivity systems like fixed wireless access and open-radio access network architecture.

In some instances companies gave out mandates for hiring people with 10-15 years of experience on a contractual basis, which was unheard of till some time ago, Loliwala said.

Stanton Chase said demand is being seen equally for senior and leadership roles across sub sectors. “We expect 100% rise in mandates for senior leadership in the telecom sector. The demand is for cross-border talent and we are getting them from South East Asia and US. Salaries are in the range of 1.5 crore and 5 crore depending on profile and company size," said Amit Agarwal, managing director, Singapore and India, Stanton Chase. The mandates are from hardware, infrastructure and software firms as well as telcos. Growth is primarily being driven by 5G rollout but even cyber and data security as well as network management are in high demand, he added.

Field engineers , switching engineers, network planning and control are in demand for 5G rollout across geographies, said Aditya Narayan Mishra, chief executive, Ciel HR Services. “The telecom industry is opening up for new roles after a pause for a substantial period of time," he added.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gulveen Aulakh

Gulveen Aulakh is Senior Assistant Editor at Mint, serving dual roles covering the disinvestment landscape out of New Delhi, and the telecom & IT sectors as part of the corporate bureau. She had been tracking several government ministries for the last ten years in her previous stint at The Economic Times. An IIM Calcutta alumnus, Gulveen is fluent in French, a keen learner of new languages and avid foodie.
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