Inside India’s startup hiring frenzy
Tech hiring in India has reached fever pitch in the last six to nine months. Not only is there a massive demand for new-age tech skills, but the country is also witnessing an acute talent gap.
This has been aggravated by the rapid digitisation of sectors post-pandemic and the widespread creation of new jobs by homegrown startups, Silicon Valley tech companies, and legacy MNCs setting up offshore offices in India — all at the same time.
As of August 2021, there were over 70,000 active openings for the top six skills: full-stack engineers, data analysts, front-end developers, SRE/DevOps, data scientists, and backend engineers. Collectively, these contribute 30 percent to job openings in the IT sector.
This has led to companies doling out “reckless” pay packages, extravagant perks, joining bonuses, and referral goodies, and more. Candidates are going shopping, with 4-7 job offers on an average at any given time, often leaving recruiters in the lurch.
The talent acquisition director at a Bengaluru-based unicorn tells YourStory, “One guy came to us with seven offers. He did three interviews in a week, and his Rs 45 LPA went to Rs 75 LPA. It is so easy to do a job interview today. You don’t even have to put on pants. This has also heated up the market.”
Startups say that engineers have become kingmakers in the last one year. Hence, post-offer dropout rates have also shot up. Data from specialist staffing agency Xpheno indicates that dropout rates stood at 42-47 percent for the key tech roles, more than doubling from last year.
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“Startups use ESOPs as a mode of compensation to attract top talent. But the average engineer will not care about ESOPs. They want cash in their bank accounts. ESOPs have to be used selectively to sweeten the offer. With those, companies are trying to reduce their monthly burn.”