MUMBAI: The telecom sector is targeting employees from the startup sector for a bulk of the 15,000-20,000 jobs that need to be filled by the end of this fiscal. Two thirds of this will need to be filled by December 2022 end amidst 5G roll outs.
A readymade pool of prospective employees comes from the startup workforce given that the sector has laid off as many as 23,000 employees since January 2020. And as funding dries up, more startup employees are looking for stabler and secure jobs with traditional companies and MNCs, say staffing experts.
They said that the mass layoffs have also led to an increase in voluntary attrition in that sector, with another estimated 40,000 startup employees on the hunt for new jobs.
“The fear of uncertainty and security job has led employees to give up on their startup dreams and go back to a stable work environment,” said Sachin Alug, chief executive, NLB Services, a staffing firm.
Balasubramanian A, vice president and business head-consumer and healthcare at staffing firm TeamLease Services, added that telcos had lost a lot of employees to startups a year or two back. “So now, some of these startup employees will look to go back. There is a workforce that knows how the telcos work and have gained leadership experience during their stint at startups.”
Staffing firms say that the hiring momentum in telecom will sustain over the next two years.
The job profiles in demand are at the intersection of those needed by telcos, and the startup workforce looking for a change. 5G will spur jobs in areas like augmented reality, virtual reality, the internet of things, cybersecurity, and other related areas. Skill-based job opportunities will be driving the surge in employment prospects.
“For instance, there are around 15,000 job openings from the telecom sector for cloud computing experts, user experience designers, cyber security specialists, data science and data analytics experts currently. (These profiles have seen) almost 15-20% month-on-month growth since January 2022,” Alug said. Overall, these profiles will see the growth in the range of 35-40%.
However, it may not all be easy pickings for telcos when it comes to hiring this workforce.
Sanjay Shetty, director-professional search and selection and strategic accounts at Randstad India, while telcos offer lucrative jobs, they continue to battle tech and IT companies for these professionals. And the latter have deeper pockets, and hence juicier packages to offer.
“Already there is a gap between the offers rolled out by telcos and tech companies for the same (level) job. In addition to this, with the rupee depreciating, the tech companies (whose billings are usually in USD) have more flexibility in terms of funds for hiring,” he said.
Additionally, with geopolitical pressures mounting in different parts of the globe, many companies are looking at India to move their APAC hubs to. This means while startups may have lost favor among employees, newer MNCs may enter the job market, looking to hire at warp speed.
One way that telcos are tackling the challenges is by bifurcating the hiring by experience levels. So, for a lot of the on-field entry-level jobs, telcos are looking to hire freshers who would come at a lower package. For the mid-level and managerial roles, they will look to hire from the pool of startup employees.
Telcos can focus on upskilling in niche technologies that will help create stickiness and also prepare a future-ready workforce, tackling attrition and hiring challenges collectively, Alug said.
He added that in the post-pandemic era, more people than ever are looking at working towards a larger vision rather than the project and therefore meaningful engagement and creating excitement in work and culture is of key importance. “One of the key aspects attracting people to newer opportunities is larger autonomy at work,” Alug said.