Recently, I got a panic request from one of the technical professionals who has worked with me, for an urgent job change without any salary hike. While reviewing his profile, I saw that he has recently switched his job around three months back and changed two jobs in the last year with almost 3X salary, so I discussed with him his reason for the change again.
Based on this discussion and a few incidents recently, I thought of writing my point of view with recommendations and guidance around the current IT employment situation. Recently, there has been a rush to hire technical resources as freshers and lateral hiring across all levels & roles with expertise in technology, digital technologies e.g., cloud, AI, Machine Learning, deep learning, data science, and analytics, etc.
I started my career 21 years back during the dotcom bubble. Then onwards, I have seen multiple cycles of ups and downs in the demand for technical and technology-based experts which has gone for years. But now we could see a complete swing of opportunities in the last 3-4 months where salaries and expectations are skyrocketing due to a gap created during the pandemic.
Now, remote working/work from home is stabilised and corporates are ready to track productivity across the globe with the significant increase in skilled/lateral manpower to start executing all available work and also build the right business continuity, to make sure there will be no disruption due to any future pandemic wave. Hence, there is a significant increase in salary for junior resources to augment/build the team. The instances resulting from these changes include:
- Employees have started getting multiple offers and counteroffers are increasing multifold
- Projects which are in progress are impacted severely due to cost factor and rotation of employees. Hence, project managers need to explore ways to reduce the cost
- All contingencies and buffers of the engagements are exhausted from higher CTC
- Now with high CTC, productivity expectations have also increased manyfold, which means employees need to perform better
Considering the above points, below are some of the suggestions for the employees, both experienced and freshers –
- Select right company: With multiple job opportunities in hand, every employee has the option to choose the right company
- Along with salary, employees should look into other details to make sure they have the capabilities to deliver
- With higher salary comes higher expectations, so employees have options to select best suited opportunity in line with their capabilities and continue to be star performers
As the hiring demand increases and continues to grow, here are some recommendations for employers:
- Provide a career growth and job clarity to employees, instead of giving counteroffers with salary hike. Companies need to spend to create their brand value, career growth opportunities and project activities, to make sure they hire the right candidates for long term
- Avoid using fail-fast strategy on employees: Sometimes organizations hire buffer candidates and if they don’t meet the expectations, they are asked to leave. Instead, candidates must be assessed thoroughly and made sure they are given enough time to perform
- Short notice period: 4-6 weeks of notice period is a good time for knowledge transition. Also, during notice period, many employees are non-productive as they spend time to complete HR formalities
- Right references: If candidates work with a company for longer duration, they build good references. There is no point having references if candidates have spent less than one year in a company
- Faster onboarding: Most of time the onboarding process is very long with many steps involved. It starts with HR onboarding, followed by practice/BU and project team. It is good to show a collaborative approach while onboarding candidates. But it is also important to have quick discussions with relevant teams
- Clear job role and description: This is the most important area in finalising the right candidate. Many a times, JDs have content which doesn’t match with candidates. The hiring team focuses only on keywords and not on actual job role, profile and work. There should always be a discussion with the team that the candidate will join, to make set the expectations right before onboarding
- Job location: As work from home and remote work has become a reality, at present no has clear roadmap for future of work. The HR should discuss with the employees on back to office plan, so that it doesn’t impact business continuity post pandemic
Every employee should understand their capabilities, interest, and passion to work with full dedication, build their competency to justify their salary hikes, instead of considering it as a market-driven opportunity and fall short of their deliverables. In short, this is a good time for employees to decide on their future, look for their dream job, and focus on the long term.