Flexi-Staffing: A No-Brainer For The IT Industry

Understand that once you partner with an IT staffing partner, they will hit the ground running. Before that, you need to articulate your needs and understand if your organisation is capable enough to handle all decision-making and hiring seamlessly.

What is IT Flexi-Staffing?

You see, the IT industry is always in a state of flux — there’s always some breakthrough tech development that changes the scope of work. Take emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Cloud Computing, and Robotics for instance. There’s always something new happening in these spheres which results in new skill requirements.

The IT industry always needs individuals with ‘’specialised’’ skills to work on projects that come through their gates. As such, the IT industry depends on IT flexi-staffing solutions to find talent ‘on a need’ basis, rather than footing a large wage bill for benched employees. Having a flexi-workforce for project requirements not only saves a lot of investment for the IT companies, but also helps them become more competitive in the market.

Investing in IT Staffing Services: When is The Right Time?

How does one know when to approach an staffing partner? 

This is a question that befuddles many IT firms. Especially those that have on-site HR teams who have the same task at hand – hire at the right people, at the right time. Agreed, some of the responsibilities of an IT staffing partner and an on-site HR do overlap. But IT staffing is ahead of the other in many ways and offers clear-cut benefits. 

IT staffing, as you will come to know later on in this article, is a multi-billion dollar industry. The sheer number of IT staffing companies in India and abroad are more than you can fathom, with room for more. And firms that have never worked with one before or are tinkering with the idea, struggle with differentiating one from the other. 

The good news is you don’t have to choose an IT staffing partner until you know for sure that you need one. 

To do that, some questions listed below need answers. If all answers are ‘Yes’, it’s likely that a staffing firm isn’t needed. A ‘No’, on the other hand, justifies the need.

  • Is there enough time and resources that can be spent on sourcing and screening the candidates? 
  • Can staffing be done in a timely manner with all the tools at the IT firm’s disposal? Can talent be quickly identified and assessed? 
  • Does the internal HR team have what it takes to understand the IT skill requirements? 
  • Is the on-site HR capable enough to assess the skills? 
  • Can the company’s budget, headcount, and payroll support the job role indefinitely as a full-time hire?
  • Can the company sustain all of the points listed above for a new hire, every time?

Numbers Say Otherwise: The IT Flexible Staffing Hype is Real

The IT industry in India is not the only one that is head over heels for IT flexi-staffing. In fact, India is placed just outside the top three places. Having said that, experts estimate that the rate at which it has been gaining popularity will result in the trading of positions with any one of the higher-placed countries.

The technology services industry in India is worth USD 177 billion. And according to staffing firms, as many as 7,20,000 flexi-staff will be added in the next 3 years. Moreover, those added will not be on the payroll of the hiring IT company.

The Indian Staffing Federation (ISF), in their report, also say that digital technology skills, reduction of wages and bench strength will be the driving forces for the 44% increase in flexi-staff by the year 2021. They also report that the IT sector had 5,00,000 flexi-staff at the end of December 2018.

ISF, which is the apex body for the flexi-staffing space in India, also said that out of the 460+ million workforce, flexi-staffing grew 16.3% to reach 3.3 million in 2018. And according to their report labeled ‘Impact Of Key Reforms On Job Formalisation and Indian Flexi-Staffing Industry 2019’, the flexi-staffing industry is poised to grow at the rate of 22.7% and hit 6.1 million by 2021.

Temp staffing in India is also a two-way street which is why it has emerged as a noteworthy business solution. Companies can easily hire extra employees when required and the candidates can work with several companies, amassing crucial work experience along the way. Not only that, flexible employees temp employees are presented with several opportunities to learn job functions from the ground up and get training on new skills.

In a country like India where almost 83% of the workforce is informal, the labour reforms will have a key role in determining how flexi-staffing plays out. It is estimated that close to 11 million jobs will be formalised between 2018 and 2021. The flexi-workforce growth, according to experts, is expected to rise with the onset of industrialization, reskilling of staff, job formalisation, and urbanisation.

IT Flexi Staffing: The Biggest Markets in India

According to the ISF, the global flexible workforce market stood at USD 59 billion in 2016. Of this number, India’s contribution stood at 4.8%. Although the number might seem minuscule, there is scope to improve and explore more opportunities as the staffing industry in India is still at a nascent stage.

The same report also says that on a global scale, the IT flexi staffing market size for FY 2016 in the Americas, APAC, and EMEA regions were USD 31 billion, USD 10 Billion and USD 17 Billion respectively. The size of India’s flexi market was 28% of the IT flexi staffing market in APAC. Furthermore, almost 90% of India’s flexi staff belong to the IT/ITes sector.

ISF also recorded that 55% of organizations interact with IT flexi staff for Infrastructure Management followed by 52% in Applications Support/Maintenance, 43% in Project/Product Development and 30% in testing and quality assurance.

As for the average work experience and service tenure of the flexible staff, 50% of the workforce have 2-5 years of experience under their belts and 49% of organizations hire the employees for a tenure that typically lasts 6-12 months.

The market penetration of flexi-staffing, as recorded by ISF, looked something as follows:

  • IT/ITes: 6%
  • Healthcare: 5.9%
  • Manufacturing: 4.8%
  • Retail: 4.0%
  • BFSI: 3.2%
  • Chemical Oil & Gas: 0.5%
  • Startup/E-commerce: 0.5%

Don’t be fooled by the tiny share of the Startup and E-commerce market. Experts are of the opinion that it will leapfrog the rest and engulf more than 18% of the flexi-staffing force, closely followed by IT/ITeS and Healthcare. BFSI and Manufacturing sectors will also witness more share with development and integration of Big Data and IoT respectively.

You Need To Know: Is Your Organisation Flexi-Staffing-Ready?

You now know a lot about the flexi-staffing market and your need to hire the services of an IT staffing agency. But, that’s not enough.

Once you partner with an IT staffing agency, they will hit the ground running. Before that happens, you need to articulate your needs and understand if your organisation is capable enough to handle decision-making and hiring seamlessly.

Define the skills your organisation needs, the duration of employment, the hiring criteria, the work experience needed, the purpose behind the job opening, the timeline for hiring and so on. 

Partnering with an IT staffing agency is a big step. It’s not only about reaching out to one and leaving everything up to them. A partnership will not bear fruit and your IT staffing partner might not be able to deliver unless you define your needs and wants.

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  1. comment-author

    Thanks for sharing this article. Hiring an IT staffing partner is basically a win-win situation for whre we actually spend less money and secure the best resources.

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