India – Demand for freelancers growing as tech companies look to plug niche skills gaps (Economic Times)

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IT companies are turning to freelancers for projects that require skill sets across blockchain, AI and cybersecurity as availability of full-time professionals remains limited, reports the Economic Times. Companies such as IBM, Accenture and Intel have been hiring freelancers for projects across blockchain, AI and cybersecurity amid rising demand for these skills from multiple industries. Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder of Teamlease, told the Economic Times that hiring freelancers will become a definite way for IT companies going forward. “No doubt, hiring these talents is a challenge but at the same time, these ambitious projects are also quite limited. Hiring these talents for a long term may not be quite fruitful. However, freelancing is a win-win situation.” Kamal Karanth, co-founder of HR consulting firm Xpheno also commented, “Lately, there has been a growing demand for freelancers from many IT companies as professionals with such skill sets refuse to work full-time and work on project-basis. Quite a few industries heavily rely on freelancers to churn out products but IT is yet to position itself for freelancers. The IT industry is seeing this trend is at a very nascent stage now, but is bound to grow seeing the current landscape.” The Economic Times pointed to a study from professional services firm KPMG which showed that IT freelancers form 6% of the IT workforce in India. However, growth in IT freelancers is expected to be the fastest in startup and ecommerce sector at 17.3%. IT Flexi staffing industry is expected to grow 16% in FY18 and 14-16% yearly till FY21, according to the study.



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