The top five IT majors in the country, TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL Tech and Tech Mahindra, hired more than 60,000 software professionals in the September quarter compared to nearly 50,000 people in the last quarter as pandemic-led digitisation across industries pushed up the demand for IT services.
Infosys, HCL Tech and Tech Mahindra each ramped up their hiring significantly this quarter, with Tech Mahindra more than quadrupling its quarterly hiring to nearly 7,000 employees over the previous quarter, according to the quarterly results data.
The five firms, which together account for about a third of the 4.5 million-strong IT workforce in the country, are battling a significant increase in their attrition numbers compared to the previous quarter. Infosys and Wipro reported more than 20 per cent churn rate compared to the nearly 14 per cent and 15.5 per cent reported three months ago.
TCS CHRO (Chief Human Resource Officer) Milind Lakkad described the attrition levels as concerning and said it is likely to continue for the next two-three years. He said the company has embarked on a robust talent acquisition model to keep the supply ready even as lateral hiring costs have risen.
With the costs of talent acquisition likely to go higher in the coming quarters, Infosys Chief Operating Officer Pravin Rao described this as "a new normal", which the IT service providers may have to deal with, and which in the near term may put constraints on the supply side.
The high demand and short supply of IT talent have led to a talent war. IT employees actively hunting for a job are negotiating an average of three to four offers at present and enjoying 50-70 per cent joining hikes as demand for niche digital skills are at an all-time high, driven by Covid-led opportunities.
As costs of lateral hiring have risen significantly, IT firms are hiring freshers at a record pace to train and deploy in projects.
TCS, Infosys, Wipro and HCL Tech have together committed to hire 1.6 lakh freshers for 2022, upping it from the earlier projection of 1.2 lakh. In comparison, they hired 82,000 freshers in 2021.
"Fresher-level salaries have not changed largely over the last decade. The higher attritions are being seen in the 3-7 years experience-bracket. A lot of IT companies are focusing on hiring more freshers and training them a lot more so that they can be deployed faster into projects in a way that they can be upskilled faster," said IT analyst Apurva Prasad. He is vice president (research) at Elara Capital.
Recruitment firm Experis IT's President Sanju Ballurkar said they are seeing a huge spike in IT hiring of both permanent and contract staff. "The October-December quarter is generally when there is a bit of slowing down in hiring but we don't see that happening this year."
Copyright©2021 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today