Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tech hiring to hit record highs

With campus recruitments by technology companies only weeks away, early indicators suggest this year recruitments may touch a historic high, as top Indian tech majors, including TCS, Infosys and Wipro, will alone recruit close to 100,000 engineers, if not more. Back-of-the-envelope analysis, coupled with stated recruitment plans of the IT biggies, shows that December-January will be action-packed at engineering college campuses, not to mention the impact that MNC biggies like Accenture and IBM will have.

"According to our original plans, we were to recruit 30,000 people this fiscal, but we will close the current year with 50,000 persons added. For the next fiscal, we could hire as much as this year, if not more," said N. Chandrasekaran, CEO and MD of TCS, which has a total employee headcount of 177,000 people. TCS follows a policy where it recruits 70% of its annual intake from campuses. The company recruited 24,000 persons in the fiscal ended March 2010.

NASSCOM, the industry body for software companies, has laid down ground rules for campus recruitments under which member-companies are allowed to enter campus only at the beginning of the eighth semester of engineering. Going by recruitment data and growth projections, most tech majors began 2010 with conservative estimates of manpower required but gradually scaled up their targets as the year progressed.

At the beginning of this fiscal, Infosys had said it would recruit 30,000 but hiked the figure to 40,000 by September-end. The annual report of Infosys says in the previous year (2009-10), the company interviewed 61,000 people and made 26,200 job offers. As of March 2010, Infosys and its subsidiaries had an employee strength of approximately 113,800 employees, of which 106,900 are technology professionals, including trainees.

Shankar Srinivasan, Chief People Officer, Cognizant, told TOI, "In the last one year (from October 2009 to September 2010), we saw a net addition of over 27,500 employees. We continue to be active in campuses as well as in the lateral market (hiring of experienced professionals). We ended the September 2010 quarter with approximately 95,600 employees globally."

"A 20% growth rate in the industry will lead to total demand of around 310,000 employees. Part of this will include employees joining from fields like MBA and accounts, and some employees will be hired locally onsite," Ashish Chopra, analyst with Motilal Oswal, said.

On the assumption that Cognizant, Wipro and HCL Tech will recruit as much in the forthcoming recruitment season if not more than they did in 2009-10, there are bound to be fireworks at engineering colleges. "We have never seen such large scale recruitment numbers. This is clearly the highest levels that I have seen in the past 10 years of campus," a campus recruitment watcher told TOI. Placement officers and institutional administrators in Tamil Nadu too are upbeat that IT majors such as TCS and Infosys have revised manpower projections for the coming year.

"This is fantastic news. I am excited at this (revised HR projections). This is something that must keep not just placement officers, students, job seekers and job providers happy but the nation as a whole as the job sector is looking up," says Jayakumar, former Deputy Registrar (Placements and Training) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

However, pay packages at campuses might not witness any significant uptick despite the surge in recruitments. An entry-level engineer is likely to get Rs. 300,000 to 325,000 as a starting offer, while a post-grad engineer may get an additional Rs. 20,000. Likewise, Professor S. Gowri, Registrar of Anna University of Technology, to which over 150 engineering colleges are affiliated in Chennai and surrounding regions, says "while it is appreciable that the job market is looking up, much will depend on the kind of jobs they provide."

Source: The Times of India, November 16, 2010
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