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Ernst & Young Resolution, Indian Digital Transformation, and Employment

As India is struggling with low employment, Ernst & Young (EY), a global professional services organization (1), declared that it would be hiring 9,000 professionals next year in India. According to Media Reports, the company is looking for talents from a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) background with artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, cybersecurity, and other emerging technologies (2).

EY will hire young Indian talent for various technology roles across all its member firms, including its global delivery centers. On Thursday, while announcing the massive hiring, the company stated that it aims to expand its digital capabilities to help firms solve their ‘complex end-to-end business transformation challenges.’

It is worth highlighting that EY has more than 50,000 people working in India in all member firms, and currently, 36% of all EY employees in India are from STEM backgrounds (3).

“With the pace of digital adoption accelerating exponentially, we are strengthening capabilities in emerging technology roles and significantly intensifying our hiring efforts in the coming year,”

– Rohan Sachdev, Partner and Consulting Practice Leader, EY India (4).

EY has a holistic approach to digital innovation and transformation across all its service offerings and sectors. It includes many digital tools and solutions like EY Asterisk, a supply chain planning solutions, EY Symphony, integrated governance, risk, control, and compliance platform.

Why is EY Conducting a Massive Hiring?

It is worth highlighting that EY in India has acquired Spotmentor Technologies, an AI-enabled upskilling and reskilling company, to strengthen its People Advisory portfolio of digital services this year.

Moreover, it also acquired C Centric, a CRM solutions and services provider, in 2019. In 2018, it had acquired Fortune Cookie UX Design to drive digital transformation, including design thinking, user experience design, usability, and building user-centric digital ecosystems.

EY in India is building a wide range of new digital proprietary tools and solutions to expand across organizations and geographics, stated Mahesh Makhija, Partner and Technology Consulting Leader, EY India (5).

The company utilizes its expertise and domain knowledge to help its clients from both government and private businesses embarked on technology-led transformation. Because of the surge in digital adoption, it has become crucial for the company to increase its emerging technology role capabilities. Hence, it is intensifying its hiring efforts in the upcoming years.

It will hire people from the STEM background and other emerging technologies. Rohan added that the firm is making bold investments in technology, data, and strategic acquisition while expanding its alliance and ecosystem relationships.

Simultaneously, India is grappling with the enormous task of vaccinating its 130 crore people for COVID-19. And considering the challenge of India’s vast geography, EY has launched a Techathon to develop novel solutions to immunize Indians. Its ‘EY Techathon 2021: #iSolveBillion Challenge’ also aims to engage India’s best tech minds.

They look for people to use the latest technologies like AI, machine learning, blockchain, and gamification to build a model immunization program across different supply chain spheres, delivery, monitoring, and vaccination. And has invited university students from all disciplines to come forward and develop novel solutions (6).

Indian Employment Upbeat in 2021

As EY announced that it would hire 9,000 professionals in India in various technology roles in 2021, recruiters have started to feel upbeat about hiring in the upcoming year.

Teamlease company stated on Freshersworld, a freshers hiring platform, that the demand expects to reach the pre-COVID level by June 2021. From the point of view of hiring activities, freshers hiring was up by 300% compared to what it was three months ago. Since September end, freshers’ job postings had also observed a 55% surge (7).

“There is also a 1.45 times jump in new registrations indicating a recovery in the interest to hire freshers. Further, about 90% of the students who completed their terminal exams between Sep-Nov 2020 will also come to the placement market.”

– Kaushik Banerjee, Vice President, and Business Head, Freshersworld (8).

India’s unemployment is already showing recovery compared to lockdown months and is expected to reduce further in 2021. According to Trading economics, India’s unemployment rate would stand around 6.30% in 2021 and about 6.20% in 2022 (9).

While commenting on the same, Naren Krishna, Head of Careers at InterviewBit and Scaler Academy (10), stated that we are optimistic that the placement rate will increase by more than 100% in the first half of 2021.

As per Scaler, an upskilling platform of InterviewBit, hiring will increase its momentum by Q1 2021. The key drivers of the recruitment market would be high growth startups, Financial GIC, and IT. According to the skills perspective, Java and Full-stack skills would continue to be major skills needed by most startups and product-based organizations.

Digital job

According to the white paper, ‘Metholodolgy: Digitization Capacity of the World Economy,’ at present, there are about 41 million digital job capacity across the globe, and by 2025, there would be more than 149 new digital jobs. These jobs are mostly in cybersecurity, machine learning, and cloud, with the highest being in software development (11).

new jobs

Overall, India shows better signs of recovery, and there is a positive sentiment in the market. Along with geopolitical stability, a diversified economy, government measures have played a key influencing role in the growing hiring intent in 2021.

Data and Digital Skills is the Future

There is no denying that there would soon be a future where the workforce will no longer be restricted to office sites and normal working hours. It would be much more digital, flexible, and less hierarchical, and the gig workforce would be more prevalent.

It means that HR requires to embrace the disruption and reimagine a workplace where people could focus and work safely, leading to an overall productivity improvement.

Between April to June 2020, the globe lost about 400 million full-time jobs because of the pandemic, as per ILO, International Labour Organization (12). Estimates suggest that some of these jobs could get lost forever, and at the same time, new digital jobs are emerging.

It is also high time for employers to reinvent work and shape it to current and future requirements. The coronavirus pandemic has been an excellent testament to remote working, which was not conventional in several industries before.

Moreover, according to a previous EY report, a combination of demographic changes, globalization, and new-age technologies would change the face of Indian industries.

It added that by 2022, more than one in ten workers would be employed for a role that does not even exist today. Even roles that are around today would evolve, and more than 37% of the workforce would be deployed for jobs that will need radically changed skill sets. And between 20 to 35% of the current employees are at the risk of having their jobs wiped out by 2022 (13).

Other than EY, PwC, KPMG, and Deloitte are also picking up their hiring numbers to scale up their digital transformation verticals (14).

India’s Digital Transformation

Digitization is transforming businesses worldwide and across India today. Organizations are now gradually started to integrate new technologies such as AI and machine learning.

According to a PwC India study on AI worldwide, titled, ‘AI: An opportunity amidst a crisis,’ India noted the highest increase in AI usage than major economies (15).

AI investments

There is no doubt that automation would soon replace job roles that require repetitive tasks. In turn, it would also make new job opportunities in the technology field.

According to a World Economic Forum (16), these emerging technologies would create about 58 million jobs by 2022. It is a strong indicator of the need to upskill and reskill employees. It is of utmost importance for organizations today to invest in digitally upskilling their workforce to prevent both workforce and company from becoming obsolete.

“Continuous employee training and coaching on using emerging digital technologies is critical to maintain and enhance their digital talent at work. In India, workers are looking for employers who invest in skills upgrading to allow them to remain adaptable and versatile in their career.”

– Rashmi Choudhary, Principal Research Analyst at Gartner (17)

Today, the Indian workforce realizes that their roles would evolve as technology progresses since they could feel its impact. Both professionals and organizations would have to acquire new technology skills to keep pace with emerging employment trends.

Key Takeaways

́Accoring to the EY company website, their purpose is to build a better working world. It aims to offer comprehensive services driven by innovation and transformation, and its recent acquisition spree indicates that it is already marching towards its vision.

As businesses are embarking on tech-led transformation, EY is taking bold steps to support them in their journey. And to pace with these digital adaptation exponential acceleration, EY is strengthening its capabilities with this massive hiring. Undoubtedly, these hiring plans are going to offer a lot of opportunities for deserving people. Now, it is also a time for all of us to take a constructive resolution for 2021.