After years of rapid hiring, the IT industry is finally being hit by the slowdown blues. With its main market, the US, grappling with a slowdown, and its focus market, financial services, in turmoil, companies across the board are going slow on recruitments.
Infosys Technologies will hire just 25,000 people this year, compared to over 35,000 last year, while industry leader TCS, too, expects recruitments to be muted. “There has been a lot of back-ended recruitment in the last quarter, so our overall hiring was negative,” says Wipro’s HR Head Pratik Kumar.
The company made a net addition of only 108 people in Q1, 2008-09 compared to 5,225 in the corresponding quarter last year. He adds that companies will now also tweak other metrics such as bench strength and step up non-linear initiatives. Says Kris Lakshmikanth, CEO and MD, The Headhunters: “Reduced hiring by Tier 1 Indian IT players may benefit large MNCs such as Accenture and Cap Gemini who are looking to quickly ramp up their India headcount.
And starting salaries have stagnated or are a shade lower at campuses.” That means IT companies are moving from smooth (and seemingly non-stop hiring schedules) to more erratic and project-based plans.