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HCL issued a letter of intent and not a job offer, says HR head

Venkatesh Ganesh
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Prithvi Shergill, Chief HR Officer, HCL Technologies
Prithvi Shergill, Chief HR Officer, HCL Technologies

Tomorrow, when budgets are optimised from discretionary to non-discretionary services, a company will have to deploy talent in line with that. Prithvi Shergill, Chief HR Officer, HCL Technologies

Around 4,000-5,000 fresh graduates all over India are concerned over the $6.2-billion group HCL’s lack of clarity on their joining dates over the last few weeks.

In an interview with Business Line, Prithvi Shergill, Chief Human Resources Officer, HCL Technologies, outlines the future of hiring and assures that all graduates will be given joining letters from August.

There have been concerns around on-boarding of new recruits. What is the update?

We would like to clarify that HCL is committed to all joinees and have been releasing openings for joining to candidates who graduated in 2012 and received Letters of Intent (LoI), in alignment with demand and momentum areas of the markets. (An LoI is not an offer letter to join the company.) We anticipate further acceleration in on-boarding from August 2013. It needs to be understood that terms and conditions for all options offered may not be the same. However, from the context of building careers in HCL over a three-year period, all options show growth and compensation opportunities as being equivalent.

To give you some context, by February, over 1,000 individuals from the 2012 batch of the engineering colleges had already been on-boarded. On March 1, we released openings in our Infrastructure Services Business, for which we already have received over 5,000 applications. The pre-assessment and selection process has started from March 12 for these applicants. It depends on the visibility of our business at any point in time.

In our case, our demand is in infrastructure services and in new areas like applications management rather than plain vanilla maintenance. The technology world is changing. There is a shift in the kind of work that we get and the services mix we offer is changing too. I would like to make it clear that we issued an LoI and not an offer letter.

Isn’t this changing mix an ongoing thing? Why is it affecting IT companies of late?

It is a factor of a lot of things. There is better employee productivity, attrition is low. Both these factors have resulted in lesser need to recruit freshers. Also, there is a lot of technology automation (from the clients’ side) which is resulting in lesser kind of regular work being done.

Are traditional job roles becoming irrelevant?

I would not say that it is becoming irrelevant. It is evolving and the amount of change has been underestimated. What you are looking for are people who have the ability to learn different kind of skills in different areas, which in turn creates different career options. Things are not like the way it used to be in the past. Tomorrow, when budgets are optimised from discretionary to non-discretionary services, a company will have to deploy talent in line with that. Ultimately, the ability to learn new skills in different kinds of environment would be the name of the game.

So, would the industry move into a just-in-time hiring scenario?

We have always maintained that we will hire as per business demand that we foresee.

We have talked about non-linear growth, volatility in demand, change in services demand (more non-discretionary projects) and opportunity in managing IT infrastructure of companies. When we connect the dots, it will eventually lead to a situation where IT companies have to take a more agile outlook towards hiring.

venkatesh.ganesh@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on March 19, 2013)
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Comments:

I am appaled that an Organisation like HCL is hiding behing terminology for its failure to honour the commitment. This doesnt show the Company as a good employer. The yougesters have lost precious years at the start of their career. Once the students get a letter with whatever wordings, they cannot get to participace in placement season.
There is only one solution. Just boycott the Company in all Campus placements.


from:  chandra sekhar
Posted on: Mar 19, 2013 at 23:11 IST

i can't believe how he could say this.....openly threatening freshers
that they issued LOIs not offer letter hence can be revoked....he is
person behind all such miseries....hcl never does this with its employee
in past...ever since he joined the company hcl have been no longer a
employee friendly company.

from:  MOHAN
Posted on: Mar 20, 2013 at 02:21 IST

What a shameful stance (we have issued an LOI, not the same as a job offer) - this could be legally correct, but practically faulty ! Does HCL go to engg campuses (day 1 status etc) simply to issue LOIs or to actually get employees - whyc onduct tests, interviews etc ? If a company is unable to honour its promise due to changed economic conditions, people may understand & forgive, but if a company tries to brazen it out through legal obfuscation, it will be a serious loss of reputation. So much for Vinit Nayyar's 'employees come first' proclamation !

from:  commonman
Posted on: Mar 20, 2013 at 09:46 IST

hillarious !! still making excuses and excuses. omg !! Does Mr.Prithvi realise its been a year since these graduates have passed out and yet no clarity on joining and here he is giving excuses. Simply great. Dont know if he has any human feelings.
Not only HCL, all other IT companies face market slowdown. But they make sure they dont mess up with lives of freshers. Hail the man single handedly sitting in A/C and making 5000+ suffer unemployed by playing tricks and giving false promises.

from:  vishu
Posted on: Mar 20, 2013 at 10:09 IST

Because of his policies Accenture fired him as HR Lead..
Now Hcl repuation is going to be in danger...

from:  raghu
Posted on: Mar 20, 2013 at 11:00 IST

This comes from a company which says Employees first, Customer Second. If this is the thing which happens to someone who they tell are their priority, I can only pity abt the sorry state of customers who they claim are not their first priority

from:  Jay
Posted on: Mar 20, 2013 at 11:18 IST

amazing .... hcl you are continuously playing dirty management with
all of the freshers , when you are not sure about the business demands
how cum you can promise the students to get joining within couple of
weeks , first try to uplift your lower level like ssd , who themselves
don't know what is going inside company and always condones us with
bloody shit of stories , no organizations can stand without giving
respect to its employees , do you think hcl will be able to recruit
from renowned colleges in India never sir mark these words u r loosing
the students who cud paid a lot in your organization , giving a
profile of help desk staff with a pkg of 2.75 in infrastructure and
then also the frp cleared wud have to go through interview process hcl
has alone messed up the whole recruitment system of IT companies
alone.

from:  dev
Posted on: Mar 20, 2013 at 11:51 IST

Prithvi Shergill is the main culprit.His policies are not worthy for
employees ae well as company.He is destroying company's reputation and
fresher's career.Such a person should not get any such position.Everyday
HCL is coming with new excuses!! but this one is totally unexpected.

from:  Vandana
Posted on: Mar 20, 2013 at 11:55 IST

what he is saying atleast he has a clarity or not i am not understanding
if its not an offer letter then what for they mentioned 3.5 lpa package
and job role as Software Engineer.

from:  hanumath
Posted on: Mar 20, 2013 at 12:02 IST

Letter of Intent is used in business agreements not in recruitment. In
organisations work stats with LOI itself. The detailed order follows.
The current gen HR professionals are colluding with the managements
and doing their part in cost reduction activities by giving all latest
and innovative names. And spoiling the meaning of Human Resource
Development. It is our fate that we are living in this fine and
historical country currently ruled by Visionaries having very short
sightedness. Time is very near to have Vande-mataram movement once
again to maintain our self esteem.

from:  G S Murty
Posted on: Mar 20, 2013 at 12:23 IST

No point blaming Prithivi Shergill or HR, they just do what management asks them to do and
this is well known in thr industry. No comments from the CEO so far, this has been
conveniently put on the shoulders of HR, this is not only a HR issue as the issue goes
against the Employee first policy - what does the new CEO have to say?

from:  Manish
Posted on: Mar 20, 2013 at 14:18 IST

he himself made a video in youtube that "all the students who got an LOI will be on-boarded" now saying this unethical words.? just login the HCL portal and check the LOI is named as "my offer"(Offer letter). dont play jokes infront media. we dont have patience to Laugh.

from:  Siva Krishna
Posted on: Mar 20, 2013 at 15:18 IST

None should join this company nor study where this HR person had studied

from:  Ranga
Posted on: Mar 20, 2013 at 17:48 IST

pathetic reply . god bless hcl and prithvi shergil

from:  dharshini
Posted on: Mar 20, 2013 at 19:24 IST

such a worst management is playing with students life.these kind of
companies should never be entertained into colleges............
worst part on the company what a shame....................

from:  jacobreddy
Posted on: Mar 20, 2013 at 20:49 IST

Simply put: worst HCL, Poor Excuses

from:  Chinni
Posted on: Mar 20, 2013 at 21:48 IST

i am one of those 5000 students who await their joining. i have an
education loan on my head and don't know what to do. Why doesn't Mr.
Shergill mention that they also sent a mail right after the selection
which clearly stated that all freshers will be given their joining by
June 2012, which was 10 months ago. was it my fault that i studied
hard and cracked their interview? i cud have sat 4 some other company
instead if i knew that they might just "intend" to have me on board.
my family is suffering and my career is destroyed. i have no faith in
HCL anymore. i cant even decide whether it is my bad luck which i
should cry over or the betrayal of my faith in the company. at least
there is one thing they can do, stop shouting "employee first,
customer second" on top of their voice.

from:  Saket Sharma
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 03:43 IST

If Privthvi can clarify that the its just LOI valid for 6 months, why is this explanation coming after a year? I doubt if HCL can issue LOIs to students of developed nations and later say it was an LOI, they will be sued by the students. We will have to take this up legally.

from:  Radha
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 15:08 IST

Why HCL did not mention clearly at the time of issuing LOI that they
were not offering jobs and that the joinings would be subject to
getting new projects? Why HCL did not inform earlier that joining is
expected around August 2013 which indication they must have in
advance? Clearly they wanted to maintain a buffer of freshers to use
them at their will without bothering about their career and future.
Had freshers known about August 2013 joining at the time of getting
LOI, they could have opted for other companies or higher studies?
Why Mr. Vinit Nayyar and current CEO do not come out issuing some
positive statement & giving firm assurance? After all HCL' reputation
is at stake and moreover they were also freshers once upon a time and
so should be concerned on the sufferings of the freshers? Who knows
in August they may offer joining for January 2014, June 2014 or even
Dec 2014.... only HCL Knows..

from:  SK
Posted on: Mar 23, 2013 at 21:09 IST

iam one among the 50000 recruits..hcl people dont understand our situation..how society treat us..even we are unable to face our parents face..our patience is got over...we are fed up with all false promises...hcl made to add the meanings for many words to the dictionaries...shortly...sooon...couple of weeks.. this is the real innovation by the hcl...the great hcl!!!!!! thank you hcl and prithvi shergill for your silly tricks to keep us to wait for the doj...its over... good bye...

from:  shan
Posted on: Mar 24, 2013 at 22:53 IST
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