Tech sector salary increments for potential hires have significantly shrunk, dropping below half of previous levels over the past year, according to an ET report. The industry-wide slowdown in recruitment across major tech segments — IT services, products, and tech-driven startups — has led to reduced eagerness among companies to acquire candidates possessing in-demand high-end specialized tech skills at any cost. Experts in the field have pointed out this evolving trend.
The once notable average salary growth has come down from the range of 50-100% to a more modest 35-40% for “hot skill” sets like full-stack engineers, data engineers, front-end engineers, SRE/DevOps specialists, data scientists, and back-end engineers. This data comes from specialized staffing firm Xpheno, compiled for ET.
This contrast is a noticeable departure from a year prior, when job seekers had their pick of multiple job offers, resulting in a rampant practice of shopping for the best offers, while employers found themselves in a feverish rush to hire.
For instance, the standard pay bracket for a full-stack engineer possessing four to seven years of experience has contracted to Rs 10-26 lakh annually, down from the previous Rs 15-32 lakh at the close of 2021-22. Similarly, employer-offered bargaining margins have come down from 50-100% during that period to 20-35% now.
In the fields of data engineering and data analytics, the scope for salary hikes now stands at 25-35%, a drop from the 40-90% seen a year ago. The hike figures for front-end engineers have tapered to 15-35%, a decline from the previous 50-90%. SRE/DevOps roles have undergone a hike reduction to 20-35% from 40-80%, while data scientists are now being offered increments in the range of 20-35%, in contrast to the prior 40-100%.
Anil Ethanur, co-founder of Xpheno, observed, “We are witnessing the quintessential ‘calm after the storm’ in recruitment conversations”. According to him, following budget adjustments downward across roles in 2022-23, current salary ranges for offers have now stabilized, devoid of any unusually high increments.
Ethanur further noted that despite candidate expectations, there have been corrections from the employer’s end, leading to normalized negotiating ranges, hovering around the average 35% increment ceiling. While exceptional offers and negotiations persist, they are infrequent, he noted.
The outlook on anticipated increment levels has also seen a substantial cooling, dipping from 70-120% at the conclusion of FY22 to the current 30-40%, according to the data.
The CEO of Longhouse Consulting, Anshuman Das, acknowledged that specialized skills still warrant a premium due to the ongoing demand-supply dynamics. However, Das highlighted that the salary inflation prevalent in 2021-22, a period marked by fierce competition for tech talent across IT services and startups, has subsided.
The situation has transformed for IT services firms as they narrow their negotiation scope to focus on utilization. Likewise, startups, grappling with a funding slowdown, have veered away from unlimited spending.

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