The Indian IT sector made massive news this year thanks to the reported mass layoffs, and the situation is unlikely to get any better in the next two quarters. While a hiring slump is expected to hit the industry, experts are also not ruling out the possibility of some more layoffs in the next 6-12 months.

According to the Experis IT Employment Outlook Survey carried out by Experis IT-ManpowerGroup India, hiring processes have declined about 8 percentage points for the period of October 2017-March 2018 compared to the last quarter, and 23 percentage points, when compared to the first quarter of 2017, reported the Economic Times.

The survey also found out that most of the hiring that is going to take place will be in the junior and mid-levels and the senior-level staff is likely to witness quite a few layoffs. Additionally, it was also revealed that the slump is expected to affect start-ups as well as product and services firms, whereas captive firms will witness more hiring.

When it comes to workers and skills in demand, cloud computing and software as a service top the list at 29 percent, followed by Big Data and analytics at 22 percent, machine learning at 12 percent, mobility at 12 percent, and global content solutions at 10 percent.

"Those with the right skills will increasingly call the shots, create opportunities and choose how, where and when they work. Organisations also need to invest in employees' skills to increase the resilience of their people. Individuals and fresh graduates also need to nurture their learnability: their desire and ability to learn new skills to stay relevant and remain employable," ET quoted Manmeet Singh, president, Experis, as saying.

AG Rao, group managing director, ManpowerGroup India, echoed the same thought and said that upskilling is the need of the hour and the world is "at the brink of digital transformation."

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Workers are pictured beneath clocks displays time zones in various parts of the world at an outsourcing centre in Bangalore, February 29, 2012.Reuters file

The importance of upskilling has been discussed numerous times in the past few months and Industry association Nasscom too had said that he best way to retain jobs would be to "re-skill." The body also explained how the world was moving towards automation and digital services and employees will have to "re-skill or perish."

Meanwhile, it is not just the IT industry that is reeling under the slump and it looks like the situation in the other sectors isn't that blissful or rosy either. Leading listed companies have also seen a decline in hiring in the year 2016-17, as compared to the previous years, according to the Indian Express. The daily accessed data on 121 companies and reported that net hiring in these firms dwindled to 730,694 from the previous figure of 742,012.

As per the data, 107 companies saw a consecutive decline in their headcount. While these firms employed 684,452 people at the end of March 2015, the number dipped to 677,296 in March 2016 and 669,784 in March 2017.

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Workers stand around a crane as it loads wheat onto a ship at Mundhra Port in Gujarat in this file photo. REUTERS/Amit Dave

"A number of companies in the manufacturing space are already saddled with high unutilised capacities and, therefore, instead of hiring they are taking measures to reduce their staff cost. Also, in many cases, if employees are leaving or retiring, the organisation is not getting replacements," an HR official told the Indian Express.

The slump has also affected several sectors such as textile, metal, construction, power and others. However, sectors such as auto and pharma have seen a rise in headcount.