Thursday, 20 November 2008

Tech biggies still hiring!

You thought pink slips are the flavour of the season, especially in the technology industry? Read this: Satyam hiring 15,000, TCS to add 12,500, Infosys headcount to be up 25,000...

Yes, you are reading it right! Contrary to the fears of a hiring freeze due to global economic slowdown, IT majors in India have their hiring plans intact.

While initial reports indicated that the slowdown could nibble revenues of IT firms, followed by a spate of pink slips, delayed joining dates and promotion postponements, here comes the good news that the companies are still hiring.

However, the slowdown has led to a review of the hiring policies with companies adopting what they term as 'stringent quality measures'.

So, here's looking into the hiring plans of tech biggies.

India's second largest software exporter which beat market expectations with a 30.2 per cent rise in quarterly profit, has become the second technology firm in the country to cross the one-lakh employee mark after industry leader TCS.

The company has expressed its plans to hire 25,000 people in FY09 and has said that it is committed to all the campus recruitments too. Following its Q2 results, Infosys reported that while 11,000 employees have already joined this year, another 18,700 are expected to join before the fiscal end.

Infosys and its subsidiaries added 10,117 employees in the second quarter of this fiscal that ended on September 30, taking the total headcount to 1,00,306 employees.

The company reported that a gross addition of 10,117 employees (net 5,927) for the quarter including its subsidiaries. The company has close to 1, 00,306 employees as on September 30. Last quarter Infosys added 3,192 new employees.

Company's HRD education and research head TV Mohandas Pai said, "Infosys continue to be an employer of choice. Our significant investment in training has enabled us to continuously enrich our human capital."

Tata Consultancy Services
India's top IT major Tata Consultancy Services, which reportedly fired close to 500 employees and announced delaying of promotions this year, is also upbeat on hiring plans. To tide over the US crisis, TCS plans to increase experienced hiring over freshers. A senior HR official said that the company is focussing on experienced candidates.

TCS plans to hire approximately 30,000-35,000 employees in the current fiscal. The company which recently acquired Citigroup Global Services for $505 million plans to hire nearly 12,500 employees of Citigroup Global Services (CGS).

During Q2 ended September 30, 2008, TCS saw gross addition of 9,682 employees (net 5,328) of which 6,673 were trainees and 1,587 were lateral recruits in India and 1,422 employees were added in overseas subsidiaries and branches. The total employee base is 121,610 professionals.

According to Ajoy Mukherjee, VP, head, global HR, “Our retention rates for employees continue to be the highest in the industry and we remain on course with our hiring plans for this financial year."

The country’s fourth largest software firm Satyam Computers too claims to be upbeat on hiring. Incidentally, the company was also among the IT companies who downsized their workforce and delayed appraisals.

The company recently said that it has no plans to recast its recruitment targets. According to chairman Ramalingam Raju, “Satyam will recruit 14,000-15,000 people this fiscal year.”

However, the company said that it may postpone some of the new recruitments for the next quarter. Earlier there were reports that the company has deferred the joining date of 7,500 graduates it had recruited from various college campuses this year. The company though maintains that it has no intension of withdrawing these offers.

During the second quarter ended September 30, 2008, the software major reported a gross addition of 1,814 employees, including 221 trainees. The total employee strength including subsidiaries and joint ventures stood at 52,865. The attrition rate fell to 12.3 per cent from 12.6 per cent in Q1 FY09. Satyam's attrition for the first quarter was among the lowest in the industry at 10.95 per cent.

Satyam has also denied any move to sack employees. Company’s chairman Ramalingam Raju said that the recent media reports about the company sacking 5,000 people are wrong. According to him these people were actually asked to go on performance grounds. He said, “As part of our appraisal process we identify around five per cent of our associates in the performance improvement category. Every year about five per cent of our employees leave the organisation as they fail to meet the performance expectations."

World's largest software maker, Microsoft, too is geared up to add thousands of new jobs this year. The company which was recently said to have announced a hiring freeze denied any such move.

It said that though it is reviewing its hiring plans in light of the tough economic conditions, there is no company-wide hiring freeze. A few media reports had indicated that Microsoft has sent out an internal memo calling for a hiring freeze.

Company's spokesperson Lou Gellos sent out a mail saying, "Given the current economic environment we are taking the prudent step of reviewing our hiring plans and will make some adjustments as appropriate."

Microsoft, which has more than 91,000 employees worldwide, has been on a hiring spree, adding more than 20,000 employees in the last two years.

Wipro Technologies, which reportedly fired close to 1,000 employees recently, too claims to have put no freeze on hiring. According to Wipro Talent Acquisition VP Pradeep Bahirwani, the company has started campus hiring in US and UK. The company is also pursuing campus programmes in India.

Wipro has introduced stringent quality measures into their hiring pattern. Various measures have been introduced including setting up a Talent Quality Group within Talent Acquisition.

Bahirwani added, "There are programmes like Wipro Academy of Software Excellence (WASE) which will help graduates learn while they work on projects with us."

Earlier reports indicated that the company had put about 4-5 per cent of its workforce, about 2,400-3,000 employees, under the scanner for non-performance. While some would be given counseling to improve their performance, others would be asked to leave.

New-York listed Wipro had 97,552 employees as of September 30, 2008. This number includes 75,748 employees in IT business unit and 21,804 employees in BPO business.