Charting India’s Employment Odyssey: 2023-2024 Unveiled

Sachin Alug
Sachin Alug, CEO, NLB Services

The Indian hiring ecosystem in 2023 witnessed a mixed chain of reaction. The overall intent to hire decreased from 51% in Q2 FY22 to 36% by Q2 FY23. Owing to global recession and shift in business synergies, the IT sector witnessed a dip during the initial quarters of this year. In fact, in Q1 FY24, IT witnessed the sharpest contraction in headcount in the last three years as companies were experiencing the heat of the slowdown in projects.

The employment landscape in India faced a challenging scenario characterized by significant layoffs initiated by major corporations. Among the various sectors affected, the technology sector experienced the most severe impact, closely followed by e-commerce, finance, and education. Several factors contributed to these layoffs, including the global economic slowdown, ongoing conflicts, increasing inflation, and a downturn in funding within the startup ecosystem.

However, in Q2 FY24, the key IT firms reported a 3-10% average increase in their net profits. The positive growth trajectory was largely influenced by IT players securing strong new wins, expanding multi-year renewals with existing clients, and growing investment into technology, etc. Despite the initial slowdown some of the skill sets which continued to shine in prominence in this segment included software development (with 28% demand), SAP expertise (12 % demand), automotive design (14% demand), and testing skills (12% demand).

Amidst the burgeoning expansion of the sunrise sector within the Indian economic landscape, the overall hiring sentiment remained notably optimistic throughout the course of the year 2023. Specifically, domains such as Electric Vehicles (EVs) constitute highly technical industries, and there is a strong demand for skilled talent in areas such as engineering, manufacturing, and research and development. In addition to traditional engineering and manufacturing roles, the EV sector is also creating new job roles in areas such as battery technology, charging infrastructure, and software development. Overall, it has been estimated to have witnessed a growth of 40-45% of jobs in 2023 as compared to 2022 and in 2024, hiring is further expected to surge by 15-20% in the coming year.

Furthermore, corporations are progressively directing their attention towards fostering diversity and inclusivity within their recruitment strategies. This shift is propelled by various factors, including the growing awareness of the benefits of a diverse workforce and the increasing number of women and other underrepresented groups entering the workforce. Throughout the year, there was an evident rise of 26% in diversity-focused hiring compared to the preceding year of 2022.

The third quarter of this fiscal is bringing a favorable outlook. Promising prospects are foreseen in green technology, electric vehicles, and an increased emphasis on AI and cybersecurity. IT enterprises are actively searching for proficient experts to make the most of these opportunities. Furthermore, IT firms foresee a strong hiring expectation, estimating an increase of approximately 8-10% in Q3FY24.

Anticipations for 2024 are optimistic on both technological and non-technological fronts in the realm of hiring. Reports indicate that IT hiring is expected to gain momentum in the early months of the calendar Year 2024, driven by the increasing adoption of new technologies such as big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. Overall hiring in the IT sector is expected to surge by 12-15% in CY 2024, especially due to the surge in GCCs and global economy settling down comparatively. From a quarter perspective the initial quarter will notice an average 8-10% growth in hiring, followed by Q2 and Q4 demand percentage rising up to 12-14%.

Some of the most in-demand IT skills in 2024 are expected to include, AI/ML Experts, DevOps Specialists, Full Stack Developers, Cybersecurity Experts, Blockchain Developers, Cloud Architects, UI/UX Designers, and so on. Emphasizing upskilling and reskilling will remain a prominent objective for a majority of companies.

Top Skill Sets/ Profiles for 2024 :

Top Skills Average Hiring Increase Expected in 2024
AI/ML 10-12%
DevOps 10-12%
Cybersecurity 12-15%
Blockchain 8-10%
Cloud Computing 10-12%
UI/UX Designing 12-15%
Data Science 10-12%

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