Shortage of people with niche skills, business uncertainty drives demand for temp tech workers


PUNE: As information technology companies win more digital deals, the demand for temporary, or gig workers, in tech roles is likely to increase substantially.

According to temp staffing firm TeamLease, the demand for temporary workers in tech companies is already back to pre-Covid-19 levels following a sharp 90% slump in the early months of the pandemic.

“We expect demand to double in the coming months as there is a surge in digitisation and investments in Cloud and infrastructure projects,” said Siva Prasad Nanduri – VP and Business Head, TeamLease Digital.

Job listings at the company, which used to be 2,200 a month pre-Covid-19, had dropped down to 400 during the lockdown.

Across IT firms, too, there is realisation that gig workers will play an important role in executing their business plans.

Pune-based Zensar is in the process of putting together a comprehensive policy to govern its temp hiring.

“There is a shift in technology, and we need to have a wider pool of experts who can work on specific projects. This will be an area of focus for us,” said Vivek Tandon, Chief Human Resources Officer, Zensar.

Demand for temp workers is across functions, but particularly around niche skills like artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics.

IT firm Nutanix has been working with partners to take on temp staff to bolster certain skills when needed, said Sankalp Saxena, MD-Operations, India, Nutanix.

“Skills, typically, are focused around automation, testing, platform certification on the technical front and shared services augmentation for HR and finance as required,” he said.

The uncertainty in the overall business environment is also driving quite a few companies to look for people on contract.

The virus outbreak has enforced a work-from-home policy across the board and companies are still uncertain about their talent requirements over the long term. Coupled with a rising need for people with specific skill sets, this makes contract staffing an attractive proposition.

Contract management solutions firm Icertis is currently hiring contractors to fill open technology roles across India and specifically looking for people who work on niche technical skills like AI/ML.

“We are hiring temporary workers and expect a good portion of these to convert to full-time hires at the end of the current contract,” said Sulekha Thakkar, General Manager, Human Resources, Icertis. The company expects this trend to continue well into 2021 as business demands remain dynamic.

Globally, too, companies are preferring to turn to contract employees for specific projects.

“Organisations all over the world are going through various stages of transformation, hence we can expect the demand to continue to grow. The fluidity of demand from hiring contractors and the gig workforce is expected to increase, as employers variabilise their headcount and focus on outcome-driven programs,” said Vijay Sivaram, CEO of Quess IT Staffing.

Quess has seen a significant increase in demand for contractual employees and gig workers in the past year.





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