Work ecosystem being reshaped by digital transformation, says LinkedIn report

The latest LinkedIn data underlines that digital roles have registered a huge surge in demand; seven out of 10 companies in India are keen on moving to a completely remote setup; and that burnout cannot be swept under the carpet

July 06, 2021 10:44 pm | Updated 10:48 pm IST

During a vaccination programme at a company in Chennai Photo: Jothi Ramalingam B

During a vaccination programme at a company in Chennai Photo: Jothi Ramalingam B

The latest LinkedIn data paints a variegated picture of the work ecosystem in India, with hope and despondency emerging as alternating colours.

Looking on the brighter side of things, digital transformation is on the ascendancy, and the demand for highly specialised tech roles is keenly felt. A sub-plot in this digital transformation story is that a large section of India Inc views remote work as an opportunity for growth, inclusion and diversity.

“A little more than 7 in 10 companies in India are keen on moving to a completely remote setup, while the proportion of entry level jobs labelled as ‘remote’ increased nine times between 2020 and 2021,” states a note about the LinkedIn Data, adding that this development augurs well “for new grads, women professionals, and the future workforce”.

The report further notes: “Both organisations and professionals have redoubled their efforts to match strides with today’s increasingly digital and remote job market. More than 9 in 10 companies in India are merging roles, and looking to fill open roles internally.”

The report points to an improvement in hiring rate, terming it moderate — dropping from 50% in March 2021 to 10% in April 2021, India’s hiring rate on LinkedIn clambered up to 35% in May 2021.

Now, a part of the dismal picture ironically emerges from the one that looks bright. The digital transformation sweeping through the work ecosystem is making for huge demands on the workforce.

As this dynamic hustle for upskilling, tech-proofing, and recruiting continues, India’s workforce has slowly but surely arrived at the brink of collective burnout. This sentiment reflects strongly across the rising demand for flexibility in India as every second (50%) job seeker prioritises location, hours, and work life balance when looking for a job today.”

The LinkedIn data further elaborates that “working women and young professionals still remain vulnerable to economic turbulence. Working women are four times less confident than working men” about future work scenario.

Top five jobs

Using this filter — jobs with a minimum of 300 postings on LinkedIn that witnessed the highest month-on-month growth in the period April to May 2021 — here is the five jobs most in demand.

1. Software engineering specialist; 2. automation test analyst; 3. Dotnet developer; 4. Java software engineer; and 5. DevOps engineer.

The report says: “In 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, the demand for specialized engineering, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and data science roles took centre stage. Nearly a year later, this demand for IT talent continues to surge.”

Top five hirers

The top five dominant industries on LinkedIn that are actively hiring are:

1. Finance; 2. Corporate services; 3. Manufacturing; 4. Healthcare; 5. Hardware and networking.

The methodology brought to the assessment was that the industries should have registered a minimum of 500 job postings with the highest month-on-month growth.

These sectors “have witnessed a growth in hiring, as economic activity resumes after a two-month pause since the second COVID-19 wave,” the report explains.

Decline in hiring

Industries with a minimum of 500 job postings on LinkedIn that

registered a decline in hiring from April to May 2021 are as follows:

1. Media & communication; 2. Automotive; 3. Marketing & advertising; 4. Staffing and recruiting.

High remote openings

As per LMU India May 2021, following are roles with the most remote vacancies are:

1. DevOps engineer; 2. JavaScript Developer 3. software engineer.

In-demand skills

The list of 10 highly in-demand skills is based on the picture that emerged in March 2021.

1. SQL; 2. JavaScript; 3. Sales management; 4. Teaching; 5. Business analysis; 6. Adobe Illustrator; 7. Recruiting

8. AutoCAD; 9. Team leadership; 10. Core Java.

The IT scenario

Based on the “Jobs on the rise” report 2021 April - October 2020, here are some of the in-demand IT and digital roles.

The specialised engineering roles that are much sought are as follows — network expert; software engineering specialist; back-end developer; development team lead; web development specialist.

Among artificial intelligence roles, demand for machine learning specialist; artificial intelligence specialist and machine learning engineer has shot up remarkably.

With Cybersecurity roles, it is security researcher; and cyber security specialist. With data science roles, it is data science specialist; analytics consultant; and data analyst.

Digital roles that have registered various degrees of growth on account of the COVID-19 pandemic are as follows.

Under social Media and digital marketing, it is social media marketing manager; social media strategist; growth hacker; web manager; and digital marketing director. Under ecommerce, it is online specialist; and e-commerce coordinator.

The emphasis on user experience has been instrumental in the surge in demand for some of these roles.

Under user experience design, it is user experience designer; and user interface designer.

What employees want

The latest LinkedIn data throws light on various aspects of the Indian work ecosystem. Besides providing insights into work trends as seen during the pandemic and the prevailing workforce morale, it also underlines what workforces want the work experience to be in the future.

Workforce sentiment

Workforce Confidence Index, as calculated from May 8 to June 4, 2021:

“India’s overall workforce confidence has declined after peaking in early March, with a composite score of +54 today (down 4 points from +58 in March). The aftermath of the second COVID-19 wave has left professionals in India — particularly Gen Z and working women—increasingly vulnerable to the economic uncertainty in today’s evolving job market.”

Future of Work

1. Job seekers prioritise flexibility (based on the Workforce Confidence Index May 8 - June 4)

2. 50% of India’s job seekers value hours or location flexibility post COVID-19

3. 48% of India’s job seekers value work-life balance more post COVID-19

Key work trends from the latest LinkedIn data

During the pandemic, their was an increased inclination towards knowledge accumulation, as was evident from the surge in webinars and a variety of other online engagements, engineering by subject matter experts in various spheres.

Learning data

Here are findings from LinkedIn’s December 2020 learning data:

One, the average number of monthly learning hours increased three times in comparing April-December 2020 vs. “pre-COVID” (January-February). And two, students, career starters (< 2 years into career), and job seekers saw the largest increases in learning hours.

Internal mobility

Here is how internal mobility was being viewed by organisations and professionals (Future of Talent 2021 — January 2021 via LinkedIn). Internal mobility was markedly on the increase.

1. “More than 9 in 10 (93%) companies in India are looking to fill open roles internally in the post-Covid era while 7 in 10 hire internally to gain an insider’s perspective or a sense of progress.”

2. “Top 3 functions with the highest internal mobility rate in India, in 2020, included product management, consulting, and programme and project management.”

3. “Top 3 industries with the highest internal mobility rate in India, in 2020, included energy & mining, hardware & networking, and consumer goods.”

For new graduates

New graduates witness more remote openings and longer hiring processes, according to the Labour Market Update May 2021 presented by LinkedIn

1. “In India, the average time for fresh graduates to find a new job was 43% longer in 2020 compared to 2019 (up from 2 to 2.8 months).

2. “The proportion of entry-level jobs labelled as ‘remote’ posted between January-March 2020 increased nine times between January-March 2020 and January-March 2021.”

About remote work

India Inc tilts more towards remote work (Future of Talent 2021 | Labour Market Update May 2021)

“71% of Indian companies said they are willing to give up their office spaces and move entirely to remote work.”

“50% of companies in India are willing to hire remote staff within the country.”

On gender gap

According to Workforce Confidence Index May 8 - June 4, 2021, “working women are two times more likely to be worried about job availability compared to working men.” The Index added that “1 in 4 (23%) working women are worried about growing expenses or debt when compared to just 1 in 10 (13%) working men.”

The key findings of the Opportunity Index March 2021 is that “84% of working women in India have missed out on a raise or promotion; 71% of them said family care comes in their way of career development; 37% of them feel they get fewer opportunities and lesser pay than men.”

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