No freeze on hiring at India’s top IT firms

Top Indian IT services companies – TCS, Infosys, Wipro and HCL Tech – have said that they would continue to hire freshers through campus interviews, though lateral hiring will be mostly on exception basis.

IT services firms in India are likely to continue with their campus recruitment plans this year despite the COVID-19 crisis impacting their businesses.

However, the hiring of experienced people will be done on ‘need basis’.

Though the pandemic has increased cost pressure on these companies, prompting them to freeze lateral hiring, experts are of the opinion that intake of fresh engineering graduates will continue as they don’t want to miss out on opportunities when the demand bounces back.

“While companies are looking at optimising cost by limiting lateral hiring, at the same time, they don’t want to miss out on the demand, which is expected to come back after the pandemic is contained.

“The implication of not having enough resources when the demand picks up is not seen as a good strategy.

“So, all big IT firms are reorienting their strategy to have enough freshers on a roll to meet any surge in demand,” said Aditya Narayan Mishra, director and chief executive officer, CIEL HR Services.

In a post-earning commentary for the just-ended quarter, top Indian IT services companies – Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Wipro and HCL Technologies – have said that they would continue to hire freshers through campus interviews, though lateral hiring will be mostly on exception basis.

HCL Technologies is planning to add 15,000 freshers this financial year.

Last year, TCS has made around 40,000 offers to fresh graduates, while Infosys has made 18,000 offers.

Wipro has issued around 20,000 offer letters during this period.

“In this uncertain environment, it is difficult to predict whether the number of campus offers will remain at the same level to last year or not.

“Each company will take a call depending on its own strategy and reading of demand environment,” Mishra added.

According to human resources (HR) experts, many mid-level positions, which will fall vacant because of the ongoing cost-optimisation moves of companies, may not be filled up at all if the work can be distributed in the team.

Similarly, IT firms are expected to explore the option of replacing many mid-level positions with junior level employees or fresh engineering graduates by dividing the job role into pieces.

As 55-60 per cent of operating cost of Indian IT services players comprise wage cost, hiring of more number of college graduates keep costs in control apart from infusing young blood into the system who are good in new age technologies.

Usually in IT companies, staffers in the L1 to L4 level (freshers to employees with 5-8 years) comprise bulk of the workforce.

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