With two more quarters to go, IT giant Infosys has already witnessed the exit of as many 37,430 employees, which is 90 per cent of those who quit the company during the entire FY18.
At the same time, there has been a significant increase in the number of hires during the first two quarters compared with the entire fiscal last year: 13,598 hires compared with 3,743 for the entire FY18.
However, the company, in its 2018 annual report, stated that it received 15.4 lakh applications compared with 12.93 lakh in 2017.
While Infosys continues to remain an attractive option for software engineers, the attrition rate has grown too.
“In my view, lack of onsite opportunities (due to visa tightening), coupled with lack of cutting-edge projects, is the reason why so many people are leaving the company,” the head of an executive search firm, who did not want to be named, said. He pointed out that over half of 37,430 who left this fiscal had work experience in excess of six years.
An Infosys spokesperson did not comment on the trend and said the company will stick to its statement shared during the Q2 results.
In Q2, Infosys had said that attrition had fallen marginally from 23 per cent in Q1 to 22.2 per cent.
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Kris Lakshmikanth, CEO, Headhunters India, said that the increased attrition is largely due to an organisational rejig driven by the need to balance the workforce with millennial talent that is flexible to work on new-age technologies such as machine learning or AI.
Infosys, like others in the $155-billion IT industry, is preparing the current and future workforce for the work ahead.
But this transition is coming with a lot of pain for employees, a former top executive with Infosys told BusinessLine .
While hiring has come down, it cannot be inferred that this is due to lack of demand. The company had seen an uptick in demand in the quarter ended September, UB Pravin Rao, COO, Infosys, had said.
However, he did not specify how many graduates Infosys plans to hire. Going by the past year’s hiring numbers that should sound like music for the software engineers. Infosys closed the 2018 financial year with 2,04,107 employees.
Product cos preferred
For the country’s second largest software exporter, which essentially built the Indian outsourcing industry, the past few years have been tough.
After Vishal Sikka quit as CEO due to differences with the founders, Nandan Nilekani, one of the founders and who took over as Chairman (following Sikka’s exit), said in a press conference that he wanted Infosys to be “boring”.
While he may not have meant it literally, millennials in fact find these companies “boring”.
According to Neelam K, a full (software) stack developer at a leading health-tech start-up, there was no dilemma when it came to choosing between Infosys and the start-up she is working in.
“To me, the question — whether to work for a large company with an unclear career path or work for a start-up where there is no hierarchy and where one could work across different technologies —was a no-brainer,” she said.
“Millennial people don’t want to work on old technologies,” said Vaibhav Datar, a mid-life career coach for companies and entrepreneurs.
Also, unlike 10-15 years ago, job stability is no longer a concern with the sheer volume of start-ups looking for fresh talent.
“Today’s millennials are showing a clear preference for product companies over service companies and the attraction of better pay and faster adoption of new and exciting technologies is also driving them to start-ups, said Ravi Kaklasaria, Founder & CEO, SpringPeople.
While the churn goes on, Infosys continues with its hiring plans abroad.
India’s second largest IT services firm had said in 2017 that it will hire about 10,000 locals across the US, focusing on AI, user experience, machine learning, cloud and big data. Since announcing its intent, Infosys has hired around 5,000 locals.
In a similar effort, the company, a few days ago, said that it will launch three “Innovation Hubs” in Australia by 2020, which will create 1,200 jobs.