India’s job market is showing signs of recovery after massive lay-offs in the IT sector last year with recruiters betting big on hiring people with experience of up to eight years but hiring at senior levels will continue to remain weak, according to a Naukri.com report.

The reports shows 52% of recruiters are looking to hire candidates within the experience band of up to three years while about 35% of total employers surveyed said hiring will be prominent in the experience band of four to eight years.

“The Naukrispeak index has shown 16% year-on-year growth in January 2018 following 10% growth in December. It looks like the job market is slowly and steadily recovering,” says V. Suresh, chief sales officer at online job portal Naukri.com and Naukrigulf.com.

Abhishek Agarwal, senior vice president, Global Delivery, The Judge Group, a global professional services firm, says that underestimating the IT sector in the job market is a “big mistake”. He expects recruitment in the industry to pick up steam and normalise by the third quarter of the next fiscal year.

Last year was a bad year for the IT industry which saw massive retrenchment of engineers because of policy changes. According to media reports, the sector laid off 56,000 employees last year. The companies included tech majors such as Infosys, Tech Mahindra, and Cognizant.

Apart from IT, hiring in sectors such as fintech, banking, and healthcare will also grow. According to Zairus Master, CEO of Shine.com, another online job portal, talent shortage is expected to continue in sectors such as manufacturing, e-commerce, and pharmaceuticals.

He notes that while a surge is expected in hiring activities in the current year, recruiters will be looking for people with advanced skill sets. More importantly, 80% of the recruiters said that they were willing to pay a premium for such candidates. “Up-skilling is the need of the hour. The candidates who upskill further will likely get higher salaries than those who are laggards,” he said

Experts say there will be increased demand for candidates with skills in data analytics, machine learning, social and mobile analytics.

The lighting sector expects recruitment to go up.

“With the growth of smart cities, IoT and connected lighting, the lighting sector in particular will generate ample opportunities for talent with new age skills like data analytics, illumination and data scientists. Light has now become digital and we also offer our customers light as a service and value added consulting on their lighting infrastructure and energy management related to lighting,” Anusha Suryanarayan, HR head, Philips Lighting India.

“Hence engineering graduates with these skills are a great fit for these roles and add a lot of value to our company and customers. The growth of Internet of things and Industry 4.0 will further fuel the demand for these new age skills across various sectors.”

The company plans to increase its overall headcount by 25% in the next two years and hiring will primarily be for job roles in cloud computing illumination, and systems engineering.

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