Why IT companies are looking beyond engineers

Asia's Tech News Daily

Why IT companies are looking beyond engineers
Mumbai: Indian IT firms are expected to intensify hiring of non-engineering graduates, as they look to tackle a talent shortfall amid increased business opportunities.
Typically, the tech industry hires up to 5% non-engineering freshers — those with MCA, BSc and other degrees — every year, but with rising attrition rates across firms and competition for talent, these firms will double the intake of such talent, which can be trained and deployed on projects, industry executives and HR experts said.
India’s IT industry is expected to hire between 160,000 and 200,000 freshers in the ongoing fiscal year, the highest in recent years as they see unprecedented demand for projects from clients looking to invest in technology to transform their businesses.
“Last fiscal, close to 20% of our entry-level hires were from non-engineering backgrounds. We are looking at hiring a substantially larger number this year due to an increase in demand,” Richard Lobo, executive vice president and head – human resources at Infosys told ET. “We hire graduates from disciplines that span liberal arts, business analytics, experience design, and others.”
Infosys is also working with academia and partners to co-create talent to meet future needs.
India’s top IT companies have built an assembly-line process of training fresh graduates to make them ready for projects. With digital tools, the training process has also improved as students receive constant feedback on the tasks they have done as well as get certifications in areas such as cloud and analytics, helping them be deployed on projects faster.
“Given that hiring itself has gone up by 30% this year and is expected to stay high for the next six months, organisations are actively hiring non-engineering graduates if they fit the assessment and aptitude criteria,” said Siva Prasad Nanduri, vice president and business head – IT staffing at TeamLease Digital. “We see at least 10% technology recruits coming from non-engineering backgrounds this year (as against 5% in previous years).”
Generally, companies prefer candidates with a background in mathematics, but general coding and technical aptitude is considered irrespective of whether the candidate comes from a science/maths background or not.
Large-scale recruiters are not the only ones seeking non-engineering grads.
L&T Infotech CEO Sanjay Jalona said since the demand for digital skills is high, there is a dearth of resources with decades of experience in such skills. Therefore, there is a market for new talent.
“We are recruiting 1,000 people on HTD (hire-train-deploy) basis from different technologies and backgrounds. We are also considering hiring non-technical people and putting them through six-month learning programs to create our own talent base to make up for what the academia and industry has not created yet,” Jalona said.
Wipro and IBM have structured programmes for hiring and training non-engineering graduates for technical roles. Wipro offers BSc graduates a work-integrated post-graduation course. “We are hiring close to 5,000 graduates under the Work Integrated Learning Program (WILP) that targets BSc and BCA graduates. This is 2X of what we have hired in the previous years. This talent pool will be close to 30% of our overall fresher intake for FY22,” said Satish Krishnan, vice president and head – global strategic hiring and redeployment, Wipro.
“Over the past few years, however, it has become increasingly common for candidates from all academic streams to opt for some kind of technical certification and skilling courses in order to land jobs in the IT sector,” said Yeshab Giri, chief commercial officer – staffing and RT professionals, Randstad India.
“Earlier, companies would only hire from specific engineering institutes but now with the war for talent they are diversifying towards BCA, BSc, MBA and more to fill technical roles. And companies are willing to invest time in training such talent further because they see the demand,” Giri added.

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