The telecommunications sector will likely bleed talent amid financial stress.

CHENNAI: Once India's golden goose in the labor market, the telecommunications sector It is scheduled to lose its ability to attract and retain talent, as it faces quotas of more than Rs 92,000 crore in the recovery of adjusted gross income (AGR) by the Supreme Court.

Telecommunications companies have already lost some of their best talent for consumer technology in recent years, and it is likely that current cost pressures will also keep new graduates away.

Analysts said telecommunications companies would cut the number of employees in routine roles and focus on niche talent in future technologies such as artificial intelligence and 5G to stay relevant.

Alok Kumar, senior director of sales, account management, ManpowerGroup India, fears that a Domino effect may be triggered. [In] most places, new hires are frozen and very conservative in terms of bonuses and evaluations.

While telecommunications jobs used to be between 15% and 20% of the previous total work mandates, it occupies only 2% -3% of the pie, he added.

Kamal Karanth, co-founder of the Xpheno personnel firm, said in the past 30 days, about 32,500 employees of the three major telecommunications companies have been aggressively looking for new job opportunities, of this increase, more than half arrived in the last week. He said, noting that attracting talent to the industry could become a problem if this continues.

Telecom was registering 10% -15% year-on-year growth in hiring in the early 2000s, but the main players in the sector don't even participate in replacement hiring today, said Aditya Mishra, director of Human Resources Services at CIEL

Amit Vadera, head of government vertical, Teamlease, said SC's ruling will affect hiring plans. While companies can continue to selectively contract for digital roles, hiring operational profiles and back-end tasks will likely suffer, he said.

Airtel & Vodafone did not respond to TOI’s queries on the business impact of the SC ruling on hiring & expansion plans.