Sakshi Post Interview With Chitiz Agarwal CEO of Company Bench

30 Mar, 2023 16:44 IST|Sakshi Post
Image used for representational purpose only | Inset: Chitiz Agarwal CEO of Company Bench

The economic downturn is having a major impact on the job market as companies lay off and freeze hiring especially when it comes to the IT sector. The market was showing signs of picking up in mid-2022, but with tech giants like Meta, Twitter, Amazon, and Google laying off employees and slowing the hiring process, the job market scenario is likely to change. It has changed dramatically in the last few months.

In India, job openings for these tech companies are down 90% compared to regular hiring. Additionally, many Indian start-ups, which are India's top employers, have announced mass layoffs this year. Professionals continue to face unprecedented challenges in securing jobs, but businesses are also finding it difficult to attract and retain talented employees. Company Bench is revolutionary initiative aimed at helping companies hire skilled talent on an immediate basis and deploy unutilized talent to suitable companies.  

Check out Sakshi Post Exclusive interview with Chitiz Agarwal founder and CEO of Company Bench about the impact  of AI boom on IT jobs, hiring in India and much more...

Why are startups hiring now, after firings?

If you look closely at the companies laying off their employees, you will notice that the majority of these companies are large-scale enterprises or tech giants. In fact, startups are a saving grace for the IT sector during these testing times. You must have seen your LinkedIn feed full of small businesses and startups offering job opportunities to deserving IT professionals. At least in India, startups are in a relatively better position than tech giants when it comes to hiring skilled IT professionals.

How are project-based hirings the rescuer in the new pandemic of layoffs?

One of the biggest reasons why IT companies have been laying off employees is the difficulty in managing expenses. More and more companies are struggling with negative cash flows and pressure from investors to reduce expenses.

In such a scenario, hiring full-time in-house IT professionals is the last alternative a company would choose. Working with in-house employees puts additional pressure on your treasury as you require to pay them regular salaries irrespective of the revenue you earn and the leads you convert. 

Project-based hirings, on the other hand, are far more economical as the contractors do not become a part of your organization. Here, you are required to make a one-time payment, strictly limited to their time and services.

Why does India need to attract and retain top talent in the IT industry?

India has just started embracing digitization over the last few years. The country is getting digitally revolutionized with almost every industry finding a digital alternative to traditional processes. From buying groceries to finalizing business deals, a plethora of activities is being performed digitally every day. 

This increases India’s need to attract and retain top talent in the IT industry. With several young aspirants graduating every year, there is a market brimming with potential for people willing to upskill themselves. Now that India has already built a reputation in the west for producing capable IT professionals, it is high time we utilized this talent ourselves, too!

The impact of the AI boom on IT jobs in India

I see many people getting scared by the AI boom, especially with the advent of tools like ChatGPT. People feel that AI tools will snatch their jobs by performing better.

However, I beg to differ. I have always believed that people using AI are more valuable than AI itself. No matter how “real” AI seems, it is still a machine that scans through terabytes of information to produce the most plausible results. Even the best AI tool in the world will never be able to replicate the human mind and its creativity.

In fact, the AI boom will force candidates to enhance their skills and move away from mediocrity. If you remain sub-standard in your capabilities, any AI tool can replace you. Now, the fight is to become irreplaceable, for all the good reasons!

Briefly describe the USP offered by Company Bench

Company Bench helps companies hire IT professionals within 24 hours. The recruitment portal is associated with multiple contractors skilled in technologies like Salesforce, .NET, AWS, AI, Blockchain, etc. All a recruiter needs to do is put in their requirements and have suitable talent at their disposal. 

Company Bench connects organizations with skilled and trained IT professionals on an immediate basis, preventing them from spending a fortune on making in-house hires. It also provides deserving candidates a chance to showcase their skills and get hired by the right recruiters.

In an uncertain economic environment, how does the future of IT unfold?

Despite the troubling times the IT sector is going through, I choose to remain hopeful for a bounce-back. I consider IT to be one of the most resilient and secure industries worldwide. While tech giants are laying off their employees, smaller ventures and tech startups are creating more opportunities. If IT companies bring a noticeable change in their recruitment models and adapt themselves according to modern workplace trends, the industry is bound to get back on track way sooner than expected.

What was the idea behind the inception of the Company Bench?

Irrespective of their operational scale and the industry they operate in, companies often have a tough time budgeting recruitment. If a company builds an in-house IT team and does not generate enough revenue, it will still be liable to pay its employees, even for the time they spend without working on any project. 

Moreover, when it came to hiring contractors, I witnessed recruiters having a tough time finding skilled and trained professionals while meeting their project deadlines. Company Bench was born out of the need to fill such gaps in the industry. With Company Bench, we aim to streamline the recruitment of IT professionals on a contractual basis with a few simple clicks.

How project-based hiring can help in the mass layoffs scenario in India?

The primary reason for the layoffs of employees by IT companies in India is the challenge of managing expenses. Many Indian and international companies operating in India are struggling with negative cash flows and facing pressure from investors to reduce costs. Consequently, hiring full-time in-house IT professionals is not a desirable option for most companies. 

This is because employing permanent staff puts additional pressure on a company's finances as they must pay salaries regardless of revenue generated. Instead, project-based hirings are more cost-effective as IT contractors do not demand salaries or dedicated training.

How do organizations steer clear of costly bad hires through temporary resources?

Tackling bad hires through temporary resources is much easier and more feasible than doing so with in-house hires. Hiring an in-house employee calls for extensive onboarding, training, and dedicating substantial time before and after they are hired. Here, a bad hire can cost you a fortune.

On the other hand, project-based hiring portals like Company Bench help you hire professionals who are already trained in specific skills. They help you scan through their achievements and qualifications before you bring them on board. Even in the worst-case scenario of making a bad hire through temporary resources, you can simply avoid working with the concerned professional once their contract is completed and look for better alternatives without spending a lot of money.

Why the tech sector must embrace faster & smarter talent recruitment?

The tech sector must embrace faster and smarter talent recruitment because the rapid pace of technological advancement has increased the need to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive. To do so, companies need to hire skilled professionals who can drive innovation and help them stay at the forefront of their respective fields.

Moreover, the demand for skilled and genuinely passionate tech talent is extremely high. Companies that fail to recruit the best of the lot risk falling behind. With the competition for talent increasing every passing day, companies need to streamline their recruitment processes to attract top candidates before their competitors get the cake.

Also Read: IT firm Vee Technologies appoints top executive as it bumps up hiring

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