Faced with a shortage of around 500,000 people over the next couple of years, the Indian IT industry is trying out several innovative measures to plug this yawning HR gap: from hiring science and humanities graduates, the mainly metro-focussed industry is now starting to rapidly enter Tier-II and Tier-III towns in search of employable talent.
Leading the charge is India’s #1 software exporter TCS that plans to hire around 5,000 people from these places. #3 Wipro, too, is seeking to cast its net wider and is recruiting from as many as 260 campuses nationwide. At Infosys, executives are working at expanding the focus of Campus Connect, its initiative to upgrade the skills of graduates from Tier-II and Tier-III colleges and towns.
The Infosys programme now covers nearly 400 institutes across dozens of small towns that Tier-I players have only recently started visiting. “We are no longer a Bangalore-only company. We have operations across the country and we want to attract the best talent from all these locations,” says T.V. Mohandas Pai, Director, HR, Infosys. Most of these companies spend heavily on training recruits from smaller locations. Infosys, for example, spends an average of Rs. 2.5 lakh per candidate for 16 weeks of intensive training at its swish campus in Mysore.
Several smaller companies have also taken a fancy for recruits from small towns who are seen as less likely to jump ship for a few thousand rupees more. “Small towns are a key focus for us, since we’re expanding into places like Bhubhaneshwar, where there is a sizeable talent pool,” says Puneet Jetli, VP, HR, MindTree Consulting.