IT job market in India is apparently crashing. It is mayhem in IT sector. According to various reports and studies, about 2lakh job cuts are going to happen every year in next three years. This unfortunate happening is more severe than ever after globalisation. Few reasons of mass scale terminations of employees in IT companies are identified as rise of protectionist policies in US and Europe, rise of automation, decrease of hiring of Indian engineers abroad, rising rupee value to Dollar leading to lower realisations for software exports and efforts of IT majors to maintain their profits in bad weather too commonly known as cost optimisation.
Could IT majors not read writing on the walls earlier? Did they make any efforts to address the challenges as global hiring policies in IT sectors were targeted by foreign Govts? Were IT industries not prepared fully in adapting newer technologies? These questions are to be answered by IT sector.
It is said that maximum employees targeted for job loss, fall in category of having outdated skills that no more required in the business. Here two questions come on surface. First, who will take care of re-skilling and up-skilling of such "redundant" employees working for years in the organisations as performers and overnight they become under performers. Will it be employer or employee himself?
Second question is, how job cuts, which are popularly termed as Layoffs to be handled by HR. Actually in legal terminology of employment laws, these are not layoffs. These are actually retrenchments, which need due compliance of relevant law before effecting. To avoid legal compliances and further disputes if such retrenchments are challenged, IT industries have adopted the way of forced resignations that too in a brutal manner.
Business demands that to keep talent pool intact, organisations should invest consistently in re-skilling and up gradation of skills of their employees much before such situation arises. Because, it is the employer who knows better what up-gradation of skills are required for people in future. These initiatives may reduce the numbers of terminations. Employees should also understand the job market and take note of what is in demand and up skill them to remain employable before such unfortunate situation knocks their door.
In the whole process of mass terminations, the manner in which these are affected, have brought bad name and dent to the image of reputed organisations, particularly in terms of HR capabilities for handling such sensitive issues. If the organisations have to terminate hundreds of employees every day to execute the mandate of top management, it is perhaps difficult rather impossible for anyone to remain empathetic and sensitive in each case. To develop empathy and sensitivity towards each employee who is going to face the heat of job loss, needs time, which HR Executive may not have because, he has to show the achieved figures every evening to his boss . HR cannot be blamed alone for such insensitive mass terminations. Public apologies of seniors can be a damage control exercise and to save public image but can't really improve HR practices at bottom line. HR practices flow from top after all.
This month’s cover story is on the same burning topic of importance of re skilling to remain updated in market otherwise no way. CEOs, HR experts and industry stalwarts have put their wisdom through responses to our questions.
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