IBM does not disclose employee numbers by geography, but it is estimated that about a third of its workforce of 350,000 is in India, more than even in its homeground US. Americans unhappy with this often expand the company acronym as India Business Machines, instead of International Business Machines.
The open positions are for people managers, middleware administrators, data scientists, network architects, incident management and cloud architects. On the IBM India career page, there are some 566 openings. In the US, it had about 91 new positions on LinkedIn in the past 24 hours. It has over 400 openings on its US career page.
Rod Bourgeois, head of research in DeepDive Equity Research, said IBM and other major IT services businesses remain in need of India’s significant IT talent pool, especially given an ongoing struggle to find sufficient staff in the US and Europe. He thinks IBM is hiring in India also due to reduce labour costs. “IBM is facing heavy competition as it seeks to win upcoming outsourcing contracts, plus many IBM clients have moved into a cost-reduction mode,” he said.
Moshe Katri, managing director of equity research in Wedbush Securities, said hiring trends are typically a function of existing/new deal pipelines. “Specifically, legacy IT work (people-intensive coding) will likely require incremental recruiting offshore (India), while digital work will require incremental onsite recruiting,” he said.
The hirings are happening alongside layoffs. The company, whose annual revenue has been trending down since 2012, has been restructuring to focus on cloud and cognitive computing. Cloud capabilities received a big boost with the acquisition of Red Hat last year. The layoffs are seen to be of those who lack the skills IBM now wants to focus on and cannot be reskilled to those new requirements.
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