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February 3, 2023

Why the tech sector must embrace faster, smarter talent recruitment

With digital requirements expanding rapidly and pushing into new and emerging areas, identifying, recruiting and developing the right talent is a growing challenge. Hexaware’s Senthil Nayagam discusses what tech workers are now looking for in an employer of choice – and how best those qualities can be delivered.

IT services provider Hexaware is in a period of high demand for tech recruitment and rapid talent onboarding. 

For the second year in a row, growth is happening at a phenomenal pace, necessitating a committed talent recruitment programme. In 2021, its rate of hiring accelerated with more than 10,000 new colleagues joining the business. Things did not slow down in 2022, positioning the company squarely on the front line in the war for talent.

tech recutiment
Talent recruitment needs to be smarter. (Photo by Alexander Supertramp/Shutterstock)

To deliver on its potential for growth in the year ahead, created by the rising demand for its technologies and services, it needs not just any talent, but the right talent

“Hiring must be delivered at faster-paced, smarter and higher volumes,” says Senthil Nayagam, chief learning officer and global head of revenue assurance at IT services company Hexaware. “In terms of mix, we are seeing a continuing shift towards cloud skills, digital skills and data integration. Available talent has never had it so good – high demand, lots of options – they can almost pick and choose where they want to be and what they want to do.”

“Nevertheless, employees are also looking for good employers with a long-term vision,” he adds. “I personally believe nobody really switches jobs just for the heck of it. I also think for many of them, it is a great opportunity to be at the forefront of really cutting-edge technologies.”

This makes it an exciting time both for existing employees in the tech industry and for new talent looking to contribute. Not only can they command good salaries, but candidates can also choose roles that help them to stay relevant and deliver high-end, value-added work for clients.

How employers can win the war for talent

Strong all-rounders will always be needed, but, as new technologies come to the fore, specific skill sets are in particularly high demand and low supply.

Half the world is busy hiring full stack developers, but then you need all these digital skills as well,” believes Nayagam. “You want them to have experience on AWS or Azure, for example, but the supply of good talent available in the market starts dwindling. Then there is testing, which is essential to any development process, and then data integration skills.”

Cybersecurity has become extremely important in the era of the cloud, and DevOps skills to evolve and improve products at a faster pace are also essential. The need to attract the right mix of talent puts a large burden on talent acquisition, particularly when Hexaware is not alone in its search for such a wide breadth of talent.

The hot job market, in which key skills are scarce, means good candidates can command a premium. Salary is important, of course, but with companies falling over each other to pay the going rate, it does not necessarily serve as a differentiator.

“It’s a candidate market which means they have many options, and it is your responsibility as the employer to attract them to you,” says Nayagam. “Money aside, people also look for opportunities for growth. It is one thing to be in a large company, as you may have size and power, but if it’s not a growing company, there is no excitement for employees. People love to come to a vibrant, happening place..” 

Investing in tech recruitment opportunities 

Employees want to work at a company with new projects, new customers, exciting technologies and, crucially, the opportunity to build a career.

“Culture is important and one thing we have seen even more during the pandemic is an increased demand for learning opportunities,” notes Nayagam. “If you’re in the right place at the right time, if you upskill yourself, if you’re relevant, then you have that higher trajectory to go after.”

“It isn’t enough to be good,” he adds. “It is just as important for you to continuously upgrade your skills and stay relevant. People want to dabble in new things.”

Hexaware has long proved it is willing to open up the purse strings and invest in talent development. It not only provides numerous new projects and mature HR practices that allow employees to get exposure across various areas, but also provides its members with the freedom to innovate.

“We created a Challenger Zone workspace, isolated from the rest of the organisation, where you can walk in, plug your laptop, get the software environment you want and start working on a new project all by yourself,” Nayagam explains. “Beyond learning opportunities and new projects, there is also a culture where employees can experiment on new things.

“We leave it to them to pick what they want to be,” Nayagam remarks “With hindsight, there is a lot of convergence of technologies. From everybody working in silos, today technology is converging. That convergence has helped people appreciate that they can’t be a one-trick pony. They need a broad base, and be more agile to be able to pick things up on the go, as things evolve and change. We enable that.”

Employers need to be thought leaders rather than followers if they are to attract the best talent and give them the opportunity to grow as the company flourishes.

“What motivates and inspires people to learn and upskill is an equally important consideration in talent acquisition,” believes Nayagam. “You have to be responsive and adaptive. If we have a closed mind and think we’ve been there, done that and we’re ready for the world, then, sorry, the world will keep moving on.

“It is good to let people dabble in new technologies and let them innovate,” he adds. ”There is plenty of creative talent out there, and the right impetus and support can bring in a lot of it. So we nurture that kind of curiosity because we want to be a disrupter and challenge the status quo.”

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