flexi said companies technology hiring staffing bench
Tech turns to flexi staffing to keep its bench from idlingIndia’s IT industry is renewing a push towardsflexi staffing, with more companies reducing bench strength, or those employees who are noton projects.The $177 billion technology services industry is expected to employ 7,20,000flexi staff — people recruited for a short duration and not on company rolls —in three years, according to estimates by staffing firms.The sector reported nearly 5,00,000 flexi staff at the end of December 2018.That is expected to increase 44% by 2021, driven by increasing demand fordigital technology skills, a waning bench and cost-efficiency mandates,according to the Indian Staffing Federation (ISF).Infosys,, TCS,Cognizant, HCL Tech,,and others are seeing faster growth in digital technology-led services. Thisshift from legacy businesses has prompted automation across ranks and employeeoperation levels and is helping deliver projects faster.Two trends are making flexi hiring interesting, said Rituparna Chakraborty,cofounder of Teamlease and president, ISF.While companies are seeking faster deployment for certain niche skills, peoplewith skills inartificial intelligence,machine learningand other emerging skills want to be part of a gig economy unlike a typicalcorporate structure, she said.“Enterprises have a clarity today that the future of work will be much moretechnology driven. As more organisations, both in technology and non-technology sectors, see a fastpaced shift, flexi staff is becoming a way oflife for many. For IT services companies, getting talent for niche skillsbecomes a challenge and that is resulting in a steady rise in demand,”Chakraborty said.Businesses that adopt subcontract and flexi hiring models will be at anadvantage, given the changing speed of fulfilment, said Pankaj Khanna, vice-president, talent acquisition at mid-tier IT services firm Mindtree.“For requirements that are short term, it makes business sense to leverage thesubcontracting/flexi hiring models without increasing headcount,” he said. TheBengaluru-headquartered company said it operates at the industry average forsubcontracting or flexi hiring, which varies between 10% and 15% (of overallworkforce). The IT-ITeS sector currently employs more than 4 million people.One of the top-five IT companies, Tech Mahindra, is also “actively promoting”flexi hiring.“Talent trends around the world indicate that ‘top talent’ today is looking atemployers who allow ‘benefits’ of work hours, location, job role andcompensation. Gig workers and part-time workers are getting very popular asorganisations like Tech Mahindra hire for ‘niche’ and ‘rare’ skills. We areactively promoting hiring of flexible workers in these niche areas,” saidHarshvendra Soin, chief people officer.Industry lobbyNasscom, however, thinks the bench model will stay even if companies look for “justin time” talent.“Flexi hiring will happen, but it does not mean there will be no bench. It(flexi hiring) will be much more for jobs that companies do not want to hiresuch as basic coding, testing,” said Sangeeta Gupta, senior vice-president,Nasscom. Large IT players may not “adopt this in a big way”, she added.Some companies are also hedging against fast-changing skills in the sector,said Kamal Karanth, cofounder of Xpheno, a Bengaluru-based staffing agency.