It’s well-known that tech companies are on a hiring spree. The irony, however, is that most of them are finding it hugely challenging to attract good talent. Even if they are able to find good talent, they are forced to offer 30%-40% higher salaries than the pre-Covid-19 era in order to get them on board. According to talent search firms, the job decline rate in the tech sector is as high as 50%. “Most tech companies in the past few months have attracted huge investments and are running against time to scale up. All of them are in a hurry to hire. However, there’s a challenge in the supply side. Since there are ample jobs available, the candidates are bargaining with employers for the best possible offer and this is resulting in almost 50% drop in offers,” says Aditya Mishra, CEO, CIEL HR.

The demand for tech professionals is at an all-time high thanks to the high rate of digital adoption. It was just last year when popular tech startups such as Swiggy, Zomato, and Ola had announced massive lay-offs. A year hence, they all are hiring aggressively and are even willing to pay huge salary premiums. “Candidates are even being offered 100% hikes for certain niche skills. Many companies have also increased their notice period to three months to prevent the churn. This has led to candidates shopping for more offers while on a notice period which has led to increase in offer withdrawals,” says Rajneesh Singh, Managing Partner, SimplyHR Solutions.

Tech professionals clearly have an upper hand today and are not willing to settle for petty salary hikes. Also, the supply of good talent is far less than the demand. Ahmed Aftab Naqvi, CEO & Founder, GoZoop, says that the second quarter of FY22 has seen over $8 billion of venture capital investment in India, a high proportion of which has gone towards talent acquisition. “Top talent today has multiple choices which just doesn’t include joining another company, but also starting on their own. Some top talent are also preferring to lead a more mobile life, working remotely as consultants across organisations rather than being tied up with one organization. This is also one of the reasons why the job rejection rate has seen an upward trend,” explains Naqvi.

After the job bloodbath last year, one would imagine that job seekers would be desperate. However, experts say that job-seekers are extremely cautious about the new roles they are taking up. “Most candidates are prepared to wait for a couple of months longer, but they don’t want to make desperate moves,” points out Ashish Ambasta, Founder and CEO, HappyPlus Consulting. The mass layoff has obviously left a bad taste. “Also, the fear of job losses has reduced due to the upbeat mood of the tech start-ups. The candidates are maximizing their salary offers by putting one offer against another offer,” adds CIEL’s Mishra.

Ambasta of HappyPlus also sees a great opportunity for companies to focus on employer branding. “The pandemic has exposed the so-called great companies. They have laid off employees without batting an eyelid which has left a bad taste in employees. They now need to prove that they are genuinely kind and compassionate.”

However, a great employer brand doesn’t seem to be the priority of the current breed of job-seekers. It is remuneration which matters the most to them.

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