IT companies are paying hefty amounts for top skills.

The heydays of the IT industry’s workforce are here to stay. IT companies are eager to pay hefty amounts for top skills that will continue to demand as industries undergo rapid digital transformations.

According to HR consultants, full-stack engineers, data engineers or data analytics, frontend engineers, and site reliability engineers or DevOps should expect salary increases of 50-120 per cent. The hiring momentum for these abilities has already increased, and when combined with high attrition and a plethora of chances, the pay is sky high and will remain so for the next three to four quarters.

Candidates with multiple offers and are simultaneously negotiating with several employers to move the offer value incrementally are known as ‘offer traders.’ A candidate selects a suggestion, files notice to the present employer, and then uses the notice period to continue gathering further offers, according to Xpheno, a Bengaluru-based speciality staffing agency.

“Offer Trading is now the game!” remarked Prasadh MS, a technology specialist at Xpheno. Candidates utilise the current offer as a starting point for negotiating the next one. The goal is to collect as many offers as possible and then jump over them to maximise the value. There have also been instances where a counter-offer is negotiated with the current employer in the final week of the notice period, and the candidate remains on.”

To be accurate, during four job offers, a data engineer with eight years of experience went from a CTC (cost to company) of Rs 18 lakh to Rs 30 lakh per year, plus a Rs 2 lakh joining bonus. In another case, a three-year-experienced DevOps/cloud infrastructure engineer negotiated a raise from Rs 8 lakhs per annum to Rs 18 lakhs per annum by negotiating three offers.

As a product leader in a multi-national firm, a senior data engineer with ten years of experience went from Rs 49 lakhs per annum CTC to Rs 60 lakhs per annum CTC with a joining bonus of Rs 12 lakhs.

IT companies see a rise in skill premiums, according to Rajul Mathur, head (talent and rewards) at Willis Tower Watson. “Skill premiums are projected to be significant in data science and BI, full-stack developer, and cloud computing professions,” he said.

Average salaries have also risen dramatically. A full-stack engineer with four to seven years of experience earns between Rs 15 lakhs and Rs 32 lakhs per year, and candidates expect a 70-120 per cent increase in this number when transferring employment, up from 25-35 per cent in 2020.

In existing jobs, the increments during the review will now be 28-35 per cent, up from 12-15 per cent in 2020. The remaining three profiles follow a similar pattern.

IT companies would have to continue to pay highly competent digital employees above-average pay gains until surplus freshers are hired and trained, according to Kamal Karanth, co-founder of Xpheno.

“It will take a year or two for the freshers hired and taught to become chargeable or relatively proficient, and until then, IT companies will need to have greater wage budgets for these unique abilities,” Karanth added.

TeamLease Digital’s vice president and business head (IT Staffing), Siva Prasad Nanduri, feels that these salaries are unlikely to go down very soon. “We should see some stabilisation starting in the second half of this year since organisations are preparing to recruit the necessary personnel from many sources, including employing freshers,” he added. “It will take roughly six to eight months for the situation to calm down.”