How Infosys is honing its talent

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on December 23, 2019 Published on December 23, 2019

Krish Shankar

IT major is offering its staff various programmes to keep pace with customer demand

Curiosity and the ability to learn, unlearn and relearn are the two key traits that can get you a job at the country’s second largest IT services firm, Infosys.

What’s more interesting is that, once in, consistent high performers will be enabled for “career of their choice,” receive bonuses for specialising in skills of the future and increments ranging from 5 to 75 per cent if they make it to the elite Power Programmers team, says a top executive from Infosys.

To keep pace with evolving customer demand for new digital skills, Infosys, which has been grappling with one of the highest employee attrition rates compared to its peers at 21.7 per cent, as of September 30, 2019, is going all out to attract, train, skill, engage and retain talent with a slew of programmes like Be the Navigator, Manager Enablement, Early Career Accelerator Programme (ECAP), Power Programmers and Skill Tags.

Three key elements

“There are three key elements at the heart of our employee value proposition. Employees who want the opportunity to work on interesting projects and make an impact can be a part of Be the Navigator, a programme that encourages employees who are trained in design thinking to innovate for clients. For example, last year, our team designed a robot to clean electric wires for an electricity company, which wasn’t part of the client brief.

“Providing employees with a non-stop learning and career development environment through Lex, a mobile-first, modular learning platform that allows our employees to access learning content from anywhere, any device, at any time.

“And, giving a great digital employee experience, which is facilitated through apps like Infy Me, a personal productivity app,” said Krish Shankar, Executive Vice-President, Group Head-Human Resources at Infosys.

ECAP is designed to cater to early-stage high performers, who are put on the fast career growth track with promotions 18-24 months ahead of the average promotion time-scale. They are enabled for a “career of their choice” with three options to choose from: Rotation to projects where they work on specialised high-end technology and are mentored by the unit technology architect. Digital work, where they are mentored to complete all training and certifications on digital technologies closest to their current skills and moved to these areas within 60 days. And, career shift to consulting/Power Programmer which comes with a compensation hike.

Of Infosys’ 2.28 lakh plus employees, 1.8 lakh are in technology, of whom around 25,000 are middle-level managers. “This year, we have given out a lot of stocks to 8,600 of our middle-level managers. While these are small numbers, we want to ensure that a large number of our managers are involved in the value creation process for our clients,” said Shankar.

The company has identified 36 new key digital skills for the future and created learning pathways for them, where employees can learn, get certified and work in that area for six months to get a skill tag like Cloud Architect, Scrum Master, or IoT/AI/Big Data professional.

“Those with skill tags receive a bonus once a quarter in addition to their salaries. We also have a very rigorous - Power Programmer initiative we started two years ago with a small number which has grown to 700 power programmers to date.

“Our clients said, ‘let’s have nerd programmers and great developers’. So we went out and hired engineers from premier IT schools like IITs and NITs with a passion for deep programming who were selected based on coding challenges like hackathons” said Shankar.

Existing employees can also apply for the programme. While freshers who get ₹3-3.5 lakh per annum get double the salary, others will get increments ranging from 5 to 75 per cent, based on their capabilities and salary band.

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Published on December 23, 2019
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