According to work by global HR consulting firm Robert Half, cloud migration and project management experience are top of the tech list for hiring managers in 2021, with DevOps engineers, programme leads and network architects all in high demand.
But with requirements – and technology – evolving at breakneck speed, and fierce competition between enterprises to attract the best candidates, how does one secure the personnel required to thrive in a crowded market? In a similar vein, how can ambitious tech professionals ensure they are joining an employer that gives them the opportunities to grow, while also being an attractive place to work?
For Hexaware, these aren’t hypotheticals. The global IT consulting and digital solutions provider has been on a major recruitment drive this year, looking to hire some 10,000 tech professionals in 2021 alone. For Senthil Nayagam, Hexaware’s global head of revenue assurance and chief learning officer, the accelerated shift to digital, automation, and cloud technology has “skyrocketed demand” for recruits.
Echoing the findings of the Robert Half survey, Nayagam suggests that more sophisticated skills are in especially high demand. With the vast potential of new technologies for business transformation, recruiters are looking for “specialised, niche skillsets that can transform enterprises and keep customer business growing and ticking over smoothly”.
Of course, that’s simple to say in theory. In practice, however, recruiters have their work cut out. For one thing, the transformations of the last year mean that practically every enterprise in Hexaware’s field is trying to lure a relatively small pool of qualified candidates. It is a jobseeker’s market, forcing employers to battle hard to fill vacancies.
For its part, Hexaware has tweaked its approach depending on where recruitment is taking place. Nayagam says that potential staff on the subcontinent generally have a strong grasp of Hexaware and its mission. That isn’t always true further afield. In markets such as Western Europe and the US, where Hexaware is as much insurgent as incumbent, Nayagam acknowledges that some degree of education may be required.
There is a large need to expand the experienced workforce to support growth, with lateral hires, a strong and ever-growing priority. “Those sorts of people are much more likely to know Hexaware” explains the chief learning officer. “We offer them opportunities that set us apart from the market.”
With technological silos on the wane, there’s also an appetite for talent capable of operating across multiple platforms and disciplines. “We provide a strong, much-awarded continuous upskilling framework called ‘Evolve’ that helps our employees be ready for the digital era and ensure career growth,” Nayagam explains. “Candidates and employees value the investment and support we provide for their career development.”
While Nayagam agrees that different geographies and seniorities might display some differing priorities, he is also keen to stress that some core values are universal. “We are a fair and equal employer everywhere and an exciting place to work, with opportunities for learning and growth,” he reiterates.
Given Hexaware’s ambitious staffing targets, there is also great focus on eager, young recruits, who, despite lacking in experience, demonstrate the attributes to upskill quickly. The company has updated its campus graduate training programme with a new cloud-centric “Digital Foundation” programme, role-specific training, and a range of behavioural techniques ideal for dealing with customers in modern delivery.
Talent development sits at the heart of the value proposition and should apply to all team members, regardless of their stage of career. Hexaware works hard to encourage what Nayagam calls “career democratisation”. Expectations and needs, he notes, change over the years. “Career democratisation,” he explains, “is about enabling learning and development opportunities, investing forward where the employees can develop and grow towards their aspirational roles, and opening up opportunities for employees.”
In practice, this means that employees can easily move around the company, sharpening their skills within and across service lines. Hexaware functions on a perfect scale for this sort of flexibility, Nayagam argues. “We are right-sized, with the nimbleness of a start-up and the necessary resources to invest for today and the future, with talent, always recognised and never lost in an ocean of people.” Wherever they sit in the organisation, team members are likely to be working on cutting-edge systems, with digital work accounting for 80% of Hexaware projects.
“Whether you’re an applications developer, a DevOps engineer, an analytics expert, or an automation engineer, everybody has exciting opportunities waiting for them when they join Hexaware,” Nayagam says.
“Empowering employees to define new possibilities for their customers and disrupt the norm – and providing colleagues with tremendous growth opportunities in an open and inclusive culture – is playing a crucial role in enabling us to find the right people.”