Small towns of India could be the answer to the IT talent crunch

A McKinsey research report, published towards the end of 2021, on the nature and characteristics of the phenomenon called the Great Attrition by some and the Great Resignation by others, stated that more than 19 million US workers—and counting—had quit their jobs since April 2021. These findings were consistent across all five countries surveyed (Canada, the United States, Australia, Singapore and the United Kingdom) and were fairly similar across industries.

Though India may not have been a part of the study, the trends resonated across industries all across the country. In part it was judged to be a response of individuals to the threat posed by the virulent second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic that raged across the nation around the end of the first quarter of 2021. The other part seemed to be a realization that there is more to life than earning the highest wage possible and that there were downsides to an existence on the margins of society in the big city while attempting to do so. Behaviour that would have been classified as madness a couple of years back, like leaving a job without having an offer in hand, started being witnessed to the dismay of employers.

With many young IT workers taking the next train or bus to the place they called home, a new phenomenon is being witnessed in hiring; that of scale employers, like the major IT companies, beating a path to their towns and villages in a bid to get them to work, or continue work. And the workers seem to be calling the shots, at least as of now. Many are negotiating ‘work from home’ as a condition.

These developments pose challenges for employers, like how to reach them across the length and breadth of the country. Earlier they could rely on jobseekers from anywhere looking out for their job openings and applying. The shoe is now on the other foot. Having evaluated that ‘work from home’ will work for them in certain cases, they now need to go looking for them. They need to explore avenues of reaching them in their small towns and cities. And even provide a support system so that eventually people who work virtually for them in a location, can access help when they need it. Large IT companies are taking tentative steps to address this gap.

Operating in Bharat, or small-town India, has been a blind spot for many large companies, comfortable in issuing orders from their big-city perches. Historically, leaders in large organizations, which invariably are the large employers, have fought shy of having to operate out of small towns. They are struggling to find answers to the challenge of hiring from the small towns of India, and managing staff who have chosen to stay there while working virtually.

What is the answer?

Hiring specialists like Ushankk, can help. Ushankk has been hiring and supporting large IT players with talented staff from across the country. Ushankk’s network is spread across both big and small towns with the specialists it employs for client projects being stationed anywhere in the country, where clients permit virtual work.

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