India was riding on a high in terms of hiring activities at the start of 2020, which was driven by the country’s burgeoning economy. However, the COVID-19 pandemic quickly put brakes to India’s financial boom, and the world, to a standstill. Caution was top of mind as businesses remained in a holding position during the early months of the nation-wide lockdown. By mid-2020, it was clear that the pandemic, and the resulting economic downturn, was not going away anytime soon. With that said, there were some drastic changes in the way businesses started operating. Rapid adaptation of digital mediums of communication and running business. This also resulted in an uptick in hiring activities among internet-based businesses, technology and healthcare sectors in India .
Our ‘Talent Trends 2021 Report’, indicates an optimistic recruitment trend across industries in 2021. The new normal signals a hybrid work culture, as firms and industries across sectors work towards a healthy recovery with a renewed positive outlook. Optimism has now started to show, with about 53% of companies in India looking to increase their headcounts in 2021.
As we see the economy moving towards recovery, companies will look at a strategy that will ensure retaining existing talent and hiring talent to bridge the skill gap, especially specialised talent in certain key growing areas in technology and healthcare. The pandemic made a lot of companies realize the need to have professionals with advanced and specific skill sets. Here's a look at the skills that will be most in demand in 2021.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
As the world continues to deal with the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, India is emerging strong in the field of technology, specifically in tech investments. If current technology trends are anything to go by, the future is almost certainly driven by artificial intelligence (AI). The business world, too, is slowly but surely catching on to its vast potential. The focus, too, has shifted over the past decade. Whereas before it was about discovering the next technological breakthrough in AI, sectors now are looking for more tangible, real-world applications. Therefore expertise in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) space are the key skills in demand. There has also been a high adoption & migration to cloud across public, private and hybrid models. Larger organizations are building capabilities in Automation and Digital Transformation, with a specific focus on Industry 4.0 in manufacturing setups.
Anybody with even a passing knowledge of banking, investing and financial services would have heard about the rise of blockchain technology in the last decade. While the technology has so far been associated mostly with the introduction of bitcoin, its application has since ballooned into an entire market unto itself. Even businesses that are not typically operating within the financial space, too, are looking towards blockchain for its various developments, applications and commercial possibilities. With that said, curiosity for blockchain is only the beginning. In future we will see applications of block chain in the fields like realestate, digital identification, contracting etc to wean off from the effects of pandemic the organisations will assess their tech and business roadmaps based on value-add potential and this is where blockchain solutions will see the next generation of opportunities.
Soft Skills- mind-set will matter
Even though there may be many candidates on the market, those with the right combination of experience and soft skills will still command high salaries, and become even more in demand as the market returns to normal. Soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, relationship management and leadership will become the differentiating factors between good and great talent. In this dynamic environment, the ability to stay positive, adapt, and take steps to tilt things in one’s favor — in other words, to be resilient — becomes critical.
Businesses in India acknowledge that by optimising performance marketing, they not only sell more, they are able to learn in real time and effectively the traffic and behaviour of their online consumers. This knowledge is derived from digital customer data and analytics, and really reveals which marketing channels are the best for them to target. At a time of the global pandemic, more people than ever before are spending time online which has multiplied their shipping activity especially with e-commerce sites and convenience service mobile applications. Companies who roll out a high level of performance marketing have the ability to take advantage of this massive spending pool on the Internet as well as match their products to reach consumers and appeal to their unique buying preferences.