Accenture is on a hiring spree and has recruited 1.62 lakh employees (net) in the last one year globally — the highest reported by any IT services company in a year. Of this, nearly 40 per cent will be in India, which is the company’s largest centre, followed by the Philippines and the US, said analysts tracking the industry. Its current global headcount is around 6,99,000, of which over 2,50,000 are in India.

Accenture’s hiring comes in the backdrop of strong second quarter results reported by the global professional services company, and the buoyant outlook for the year which provides a positive visibility to the Indian IT services sector’s growth momentum. It has provided revenue growth guidance to 24-26 per cent, up from 19-22 per cent Y-o-Y.

New bookings

For the second quarter of fiscal 2022 ended February, Accenture reported record new bookings of $19.6 billion, up 22 per cent from the second quarter last year, with high bookings in consulting ($10.9 billion) and outsourcing ($8.7 billion).

Accenture's net headcount addition of 1.6 lakh over a 12-month period is a record in its own growth terms. While the number refers to Accenture's global hiring, the majority of the action is contributed by the Indian workforce that accounts for over 40 per cent of the total, said Kamal Karanth, Co-Founder, Xpheno, a specialist staffing solutions company.

Purely on Indian territory demographics, Accenture's net hiring volume is a strong contender to be the highest annual net additions count by an IT services player, he said.

Accenture’s spike in net hiring is driven purely by its strong business performance since FY21. After registering the highest YoY net revenue growth of 11 per cent in FY21, it continues to rise on a stronger growth trajectory. With current fiscal’s YTD revenue already at over 60 per cent of the previous total net revenue, Accenture’s new bookings also on an equal high. The strong order pipeline will continue to drive headcount growth, said Karanth.

“Accenture has had a phenomenal year and its growth numbers this quarter would scare Indian based peers. Despite Accenture being almost double the size of largest Indian heritage peer, it is growing much faster,” said Yugal Joshi, Partner, Everest Group, a global research firm. “This does put immense pressure on Indian heritage peers from a hiring perspective,” he added.

For lateral hires, Accenture is believed to offer very competitive and higher compensation if the talent is right. Most Indian peers do not have such aggression, said Joshi.