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On ceaseless job hunt post-pandemic, techies are looking for flexible working & their dream firm

According to a survey by HR firms ANSR and Talent500, techies want more than just lucrative salaries. For companies, this means adjusting to the new normal. 

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New Delhi:  What do techies want from their jobs in the post-pandemic era? Not just more lucrative salaries or better work profiles but also a more flexible, or hybrid, work environment, a new survey has found. 

The survey, conducted by HR solutions firms ANSR and Talent500 and released Tuesday, has found that India’s recruitment landscape has undergone a “tectonic shift” after the Covid pandemic, with tech employees having new expectations from their workplaces. 

Titled ‘From Attraction to Retention: Understanding the Recruitment Landscape in the Current Times’, the survey was conducted over two weeks and involved questions posed to 10,000 professionals in the tech sector. 

Techies from cities including Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Pune, and Bengaluru were asked questions such as ‘what is the job seeker today thinking’, ‘what are they looking for next’, and ‘how are they looking at the employment market’.

The survey found that close to 60 per cent of participants were actively looking for better jobs while 28 per cent were open to exploring opportunities. Additionally, 89 per cent of participants preferred a remote or hybrid working model instead of coming to work every day. 

It also highlights a high number of “drop-offs” — that is, people who agreed to join a company but never showed up on the date of joining. 

Releasing the results, Vikram Ahuja, managing director of ANSR and co-founder & CEO of Talent500, said that the survey also revealed some disillusionment with the startup space post-pandemic, especially given the layoffs in the tech sector in the past year.  

For context, Indian startups have laid off over 20,000 employees in the last year — a result that experts are putting down to the changing market situation post-pandemic. 

“I think there is pent-up attrition since the pandemic that is flowing into 2023. So I think a lot of people who are looking at new opportunities post-pandemic have continued and there is disillusionment within the startup space,” Ahuja said during a media interaction Tuesday.

This trend was also driven by layoffs by Big Tech firms such as Amazon and Facebook, and made people want to explore “more stable opportunities”, Ahuja added.

Also Read: Big tech’s laid off over 2.6 lakh people since 2022. Why Indian industry will face limited impact

Salary — the primary motivator 

Predictably, money was the primary motivation for changing jobs, with 76 per cent of people citing it as their reason. This was followed by people seeking international opportunities (53 per cent), working at their dream company (47 per cent), new technology (47 per cent), and the work done by the company (46 per cent)

The survey showed that social media played a key role in helping candidates research their job roles. In this, LinkedIn appears to have helped candidates the most, with 85 per cent saying that they used the platform to gather information about an organisation. 

It’s also the most used platform, with 93 per cent of the respondents saying they’ve remained active there. This was followed by YouTube (88 per cent) and Instagram (73 per cent).

Candidate ‘drop-off’ ratio

According to the survey, one of the key concerns for companies is the “drop-off” rate. According to Ahuja, there have been complaints about “no-show” candidates.

“One out of every two candidates who accept an offer doesn’t show up…So you’re seeing a fairly high rejection rate of 50 per cent or rather a no-show rate of 50 per cent, and we wanted to dive deeper there because this is obviously a big concern for businesses,” he said.

“We found that about 60 per cent of professionals will continue to look out for offers even after they’ve accepted an offer, and the reason for that really is that they feel that there are better companies with better salaries and there is the possibility of getting paid more.”

The solution, according to Ahuja, is for companies to engage more with candidates —both in terms of their job profiles and offering competitive salaries.

“There is also a feeling (among candidates) that once they make an offer, companies don’t engage enough with them. So there is a need for companies now to really start to understand that in a competitive market, they need to be really on top of their game,” he said, adding that the survey has found that candidates today need to understand a lot more about what’s on offer. 

It’s a point on which Sandeep Agrawal, director and co-founder of Teamlease Regtech  — a company that deals with regulator technology — agreed.

“Until the last day, employers are not confident sometimes whether the employee will join or not. It could get scary for the HR or hiring teams,” he told ThePrint, but added that this could vary from case to case, depending on the “experience and maturity of the candidate”.

“I have seen that with people who have experience — I think they value what they get out of a contract over a period of time,” he said. 

Hybrid working — the new normal 

The survey shows that post-pandemic, tech employees are no longer happy with the old “work from office” policy and are increasingly seeking either remote or hybrid working. 

According to the survey, only 11 per cent of respondents said they preferred to work from their office every day. 

Experts believe that this is the “new normal” and that the trend has also allowed more participation from India’s Tier 2 cities.

Agrawal said, “Earlier, we noticed that 5 per cent of the workforce in this sector preferred work-from-home. We are likely to see a surge in this segment, with probably 20 per cent of employees asking for the same. This group will not look forward to coming to the office and companies will also accept this model eventually, since there are tangible benefits for both.”

Having a hybrid model also means setting up the right infrastructure and ensuring a “culture build”.

According to Vijay Sivaram, CEO of Quess IT staffing — a human resources company that specialises in the tech sector — increased competition in the market means companies are now tapping into the talent pool in Tier-2 cities.

“Therefore, having a hybrid working model helps since it will benefit all stakeholders. However, offices would want employees to come to work a few times a week. I foresee companies embracing this method and this means two things — building an infrastructure to support this model and ensuring there’s a culture of working remotely with adequate supervision,” he said.

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)

Also Read: Not just Twitter — Silicon Valley is gearing up for recession with layoffs & hiring freezes


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