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IT firms turning to off-campus recruitment

K. V. Kurmanath
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The off-campus avenues include spreading through word of mouth and social media.
The off-campus avenues include spreading through word of mouth and social media.

Long waiting period forces them to go for ‘just-in-time’ hiring of freshers

Is large-scale on-campus hiring losing its sheen among IT companies?

If the reduced intake by top IT, IT-enabled services from campuses is any indication in the last few years, one can say that large-scale induction look a thing of the past. This is resulting in a newer trend – take freshers off campus.

Reduced bench sizes (the workforce kept as reserve) and increased utilisation rates are a manifestation of the reduced intake of freshers. Majority on the bench are freshers, waiting for their turn to go on a project.

New trend

Hari T, Chief People’s Officer and Chief Marketing Officer of Mahindra Satyam, sees a clear trend in the drop in campus hirings.

“The IT companies are not in a position to wait for long periods of 12-18 months for selection, induction and training of freshers. A good number of them are looking at just-in-time recruitment,” he said.

Mahindra Satyam, which has just weathered a massive crisis, has significantly reduced its campus exposure for intake of freshers.

“We certainly are taking freshers. But we are taking them through off-campus sessions in order to meet the demand,” he said.

The off-campus avenues include spreading through word of mouth. In all, the company and its associate firms (such as Tech Mahindra and its recent acquisitions) have about 80,000 employees. “If we spread the word, getting 5,000 freshers is no big deal,” he said.

The other methods include social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

T.K. Kurien, Chief Executive Officer of IT Business and Executive Director, Wipro Ltd, told Business Line that the company in 2013-14 would hire less across the board as compared to last year.

“Lateral hiring will mostly likely be on a ‘Just-in-Time’ basis, to meet routine project demands,” Aditya Narayan Mishra, President (Staffing and Marketing Director) of Randstad, said.

However, in areas such as cloud, mobile and social analytics, hiring would be strong signalling a focussed hiring strategy by companies.

Lower intake

Ramesh Loganathan, who heads the products segment of ITsAP (IT and ITES industry association of Andhra Pradesh), corroborated the view on the lower intake from campuses.

“I am not surprised. Reduced bench sizes could be a clear indication,” Ramesh Loganathan, Vice-President (Products) and Centre Head of Progress Software, said.

Reduced demand for IT services and delays in decision making by clients are forcing the IT firms to go slow on the hiring of freshers.

(With inputs from Venkatesh Ganesh in Bangalore)

kurmanath.kanchi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on January 23, 2013)
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