Industry Trends & Research


3 Key Things to Know About Hiring Engineers in India

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Veronica French

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India is brimming with millions of experienced software engineers and 1.5 million engineering students graduating yearly. Despite its seemingly perfect environment for cultivating technical talent, it’s still a complex market for organizations to navigate for hiring. India has its own employment systems, structures, and processes. These three aspects of hiring in India are critical to know so that you can get started quickly, run a fair hiring process, and meet candidates’ expectations. 

1. India’s Talent Hubs

Talent in India has mostly clustered around seven cities for the last two decades: Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, and Bangalore. With favorable government policies, access to a deep quality talent pool, advanced infrastructure, and connectivity to global and other hubs in the country, these places have cemented themselves as well-established and mature technology hubs in India. 

However, growth in these mature hubs has started to slow due to remote work and the increasing costs of talent and operations. These conditions have given rise to a new wave of emerging tech hubs scattered throughout the country.

Places like Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, and many others have a large and highly skilled workforce, advanced infrastructure, a supportive business environment, and government investment in education and training. There are also three advantages that these hubs have which can make attractive to companies:

  • High cost-to-value ratio: Rising hubs house high-bar talent and it costs companies 25% to 30% less than hiring in major cities.
  • Startup ecosystem: The many incubators and accelerators in these emerging talent pools provide support and resources for businesses. 
  • Proximity to major cities: Many of these centers are close to large cities, which makes them easily accessible to employees. 

While our data on over 350,000 technical interviews reflects many of the established tech centers in India, we have yet to see these emerging talent hubs make their mark. Six out of our top 20 cities for hiring software engineers are in India: Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi NCR, Chennai, Pune, and Mumbai. Five out of the six are mature talent hubs. 

This indicates that most businesses are continuing to hire from well-known  tech hubs and there’s an opportunity for companies to get into emerging locations before they become competitive.  

2. India’s Engineering Talent Pool

While India boasts a wealth of tech talent, the quest for the perfect match between companies and candidates often presents a formidable challenge. The high demand for specific skill sets and evolving hiring patterns create an overwhelming number of applications for most positions that companies struggle to manage. New entrants also often find it challenging to establish a compelling employer brand, impacting their ability to attract top-tier talent. 

Navigating through the cutthroat competition for key roles adds another layer of complexity. Additional considerations like pedigree bias, biases against women in tech returning from career breaks, and at times, regional biases, further complicate the hiring landscape. 

While the talent pool is rich, the intricate interplay of these factors underscores the need for a strategic approach to talent acquisition in India’s vibrant and evolving tech ecosystem.

3. Candidates Prioritize Companies With Stability, Attractive Compensation, and Innovation

Most candidates seek out companies that can offer job security. These companies used to be service-based IT companies, such as Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, and Wipro, which have typically absorbed 20% to 25% of engineering graduates each year. In recent years, employee interest has shifted to global capability centers (GCCs) and large tech companies, with over 40% of GCC talent being drawn from IT services, products, and tech startups. 

There are several reasons why workers are flocking to GCCs:

  • Higher salary: The starting salary of a software engineer at IT companies is equivalent to  $4,000 – $6,000 USD per year, while GCCs pay an equivalent of $12,000 – $16,000 USD per year on average. 
  • Better technology and innovation: At GCCs, software engineers get to work with advanced technologies and build exciting products. Many corporations from the U.S. and EU have set up centers of excellence and research centers in India where the main product is developed. 
  • Issues with IT companies: Recently, new employees have experienced a number of issues with joining IT companies, causing them to lose their allure and brand appeal. IT companies have revoked offers, continually delayed onboarding, or required incoming employees to undergo additional training as their offer letters are nearing expiration. 

If you want to understand India’s engineer hiring market better, download The State of Software Engineer Hiring 2024 Report to get access to recent data, insights, and solutions to common challenges businesses face when hiring engineers in India.

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