World Tour Insights: India’s out of work engineers


The moment you arrive in India people and activity immediately surround you. The infrastructure, and the lifestyles must adapt quickly to the incredible demographic shifts facing India’s growing population. While India’s growth slowed in recent quarters, 5.7 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2017 remains a face pace compared to many other countries, especially those considered mature economies.

But despite of the rampant economic activity over the last several years, 9 out of 10 engineers find themselves out of work. That number was shared with me in many customer meetings. How, in this vibrant Indian economy are 9 out of 10 engineers out of a job?  Reports like the 2016 Aspiringminds National Employability Report on Engineers offers more detailed figures, some of which are even worse. Their most recent study puts employability at 19.9% for the software services sector, 3.67% for software products and 40.57% for less demanding roles in Business Process Sourcing.

Because the wealth of candidates, it is a real challenge for companies to ensure they recruit the best people for their openings. Many leverage good English communication skills as a primarily qualifier. Many companies use screening assessments to evaluate candidates fairly and consistently.

According the report:

IT Services companies today realize that within two years of the job, the candidate will have to communicate with international customers. This makes English a much more important parameter right at the time of entry-level hiring. As these trends catch up across industry, the employability for IT Services sector, which is the largest employer in engineering will diminish further. To remain competitive in the job market, colleges and students both need to have a sharp focus on programming and English

—Aspiring Minds. National Employability Report [India]-Engineers 2016

But the War for Indian talent in still hot specially because organizations can’t find the talent they need to get their work done.

Companies looking for specific skillsets have no choice but to go to tier-1 institutions. They change the way they use assessments because of talent limited talent in many markets. Many organizations, for instance, use assessment during recruitment to take a snapshot of the individual at the moment of hire. This helps identify the development required to help them grow in their career.

Companies integrating talent development from the first day of hire improve retention as individuals tend to stay in a company they know is investing in them and providing opportunities for growth.

The Aspiring Minds report points to three fundamental areas of readiness deficiency: quantitative ability, computer programming and English. This puts English at the same level as some of the highest valued skills that differentiate technology-based firms. That means India’s future hinges as much on its ability to scale English as it does C#, Java or Python.

World Tour Insights: A new kind of energy for the UAE

Dubai, UAE

A new kind of energy for the UAE

Unlike many countries that curtail immigration to protect jobs, the United Emirates embraces it, out of necessity. Native born citizens make up only 20% of the UAE workforce. Immigrants make up the other 80%. This disparity arose because of the vast wealth from oil and gas, which drove mining operations and economic growth, including construction, in a very small country.

The situation is changing for highly educated expatriates.

As the golden era of energy-driven economics wanes,  uncertainly increases about the UAE’s ability to maintain highly paid job for highly educated expatriate. A growing culture clash also adds to the strain on the workforce as UAE citizens return from studying in the  United Kingdom or the United States. While the expatriate and immigrant workers typically welcome egalitarian management approaches, pressure within organizations forces returning managers to act more authoritarian, making the UAE a less desirable destination for workers.

A weaker economy also means fewer jobs. Abu Dhabi-based Technodip recently decreased the number of employees (mostly expats) from 2000 to 700 in the last 24 months. More layoffs are expected. In parallel, The British Club lost about 200 family members in the last year in Abu Dhabi. Similar membership reductions hit the Dubai-based Emirates Golf Club.

The UAE’s continued standing as an international business center, will continue to require more workers, perhaps with a shift toward services.  The Expo 2020  Dubai, for instance, will likely require a huge influx of immigrants to fill services jobs.

In recognition of these shifts, Dubai’s new Minister of Education, H.E. Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi, sponsors a strategic initiative to create more ‘global citizens. ‘ The program starts with English skills.

The UAE currently is recruiting teachers from the United States charged with developing a full curriculum for their public boys and girls schools. While the formal program launches in September 2017, they are already getting familiar with the school system and interacting locally. In many cases these U.S.-based teachers represent the first female teachers in local schools, an incredible change that offers the opportunity to infuse global culture in the classroom beyond the language learning.

For more world tour content see: World Tour Insights: Mexico Discovers Value in English