Article (August-2017)


To beat job cuts, adapt new technological skills

Annapurna A

Designation : -   Director - Human Resources

Organization : -  Inspirage, Bengaluru


1. How do you see the scenario of mass layoffs in IT sector to change in future?
Ans. Layoffs as we have understood from independence days, it means the failure, refusal or inability of an employer on account of shortage of coal, power or raw materials or the accumulation of stocks or the breakdown of machinery or natural calamity or for any other connected reason to give employment to a workman whose name is borne on the muster rolls of his industrial establishment and who has not been retrenched. However, in today's scenario it's a mixed bag of layoff and retrenchment. Layoffs terminology usage to IT sector may not fit too well, rather I think we need to use the term Job cuts or retrenchment of resources.
Well, when we talk of Job cuts and the scenario which is persisting or which will come in near future will see an upward trend. The reasons are also multi - fold. We can attribute to VUCA business world, rapid technical up-gradations and performance issues.
Apart from the above, many of the IT organizations in anticipation of projects have kept building talent pool which has not materialized. Investments with careful consideration of cost, speed and quality are driving in a big way. The same is creeping into talent acquisition too. If the talent is cost effective, agile and delivers with high quality then there are jobs, else not.
Also, we see a huge about of mid and senior level of managers who, a kind of getting or got obsolete in larger organizations, because of so called managerial role and less of specialist or embracing new technologies and thus they are huge mis - fits in the newer business models.
2. What all sectors and functions will be highly impacted by job cuts?
Ans. All sectors would see the job-cuts. As more and more automation is on way, every sector will embrace automation and mundane jobs will get obsolete. Machines are already playing personal assistant to driving cars. There are technically few jobs that humans do which machines can't do. Some roles which are safe are of Health care professionals, Teachers and Creatives. Mckinsey says only 5% of global jobs can be entirely automated at the moment.
3. Is there a greater need than ever to stay updated, up skill, re-skill and remain employable?
Ans. There is a great need to be updated and get to know as things are changing rapidly.
According to a PwC - Assocham report on AI and robotics, few Indian startups are initiating development of conversational bots, speech recognition tools, intelligent digital assistants and conversational services to be built over social media channels. Online shopping portals have extensively been using predictive capabilities to measure consumer interest in products by building a targeted understanding of preferences through collection of browsing and click - stream data and effectively targeting customers using a multi - channel approach.
"More and more machines are taking over repetitive work in the manufacturing sector as well as in the legal industry," said Jean-Marc Laouchez, Global MD, Solutions for Korn Ferry Hay Group. Laouchez noted that "so there will be an impact, and many of our clients in the last six months are embracing a lot of automation and artificial intelligence. As a result, the workforce would have to be more flexible to adapt to new technologies and develop new skills."
According to a report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), a new approach is required to support job creation in this changing face of globalisation. "Protectionism is on the rise and Industry 4.0 is changing the costs and productivity of manufacturing, eroding the advantage held by low - cost labour intensive countries and reshaping global supply chains," the report said.