Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Skills Crunch

Skills Crunch
It is frightening see to how major IT companies are looking to multiply their employees strength by hundred of thousands in the coming months and years. While the whole logistics issue of ramping up infrastructure to make them productive is mind boggling, what is a big challenge even before that is the whole hiring process. It is true that , every job opening posting still elicits thousands of resumes, finding qualified resources out of that is a real problem. I have been working very closely with Indian IT market in the last fews months and is feeling the skills crunch firsthand.

And, I hear this problem is across all disciplines of IT industry from the leading edge to low edge. Every year, India churns out several thousands of graduates but the employability of these freshly minted graduates is questionable. Industry needs to invest couple of years to make them employable and by the time they are ready, they jump ship which is another major problem afflicting Indian IT industry.

Because of the hyper activity in the market now, attrition is all time high in the IT industry. People switch jobs for all kinds of reason and the IT head hunters welcome them with open arms, no questions asked. This constant churning has led to a whole new industry of companies that specialize in recruiting in boat loads and are having a field day.

IT industry badly needs a neutral governing body that can give out reliable information about candidates confidentially. Currently, the dependability of resumes received rather is low and several fronts from skills to work experience. This leads to lot unnecessary cautionary activities jacking up the hiring cost. I constantly hear about new hires being 'let go / fired' within first few months as the information provided by them cannot be reliably verified.

Like anything else, there is no short term fix for this problem, but the Indian Government and the IT industry must put their heads together now to chalk out some resolution. It has to start from the educational institutions to refocus curriculum on learnability / employability to infrastructure and a whole lot more.

Now, who is taking this to-do?