It’s raining perks for IT workers – from luxury bikes to gadgets to pay hikes

Debangana Ghosh Updated on July 26, 2021

As attrition soars, companies are pulling out all stops to retain employees

Top IT companies — both Indian and MNC — are offering cool perks and fat pay hikes to attract and retain employees as attrition soars. From luxury bikes, high tech gadgets, foreign trips to retention bonuses, companies like Infosys, TCS, Wipro, HCL are doling out generous incentives, according to industry sources.

“Some of our global clients are offering short off-site trips to the Europe and Middle East. Some of them are buying tickets to the T-20 Championship in Dubai for employees,” Sanjay Shetty, Head – Strategic Account Management, Randstad India, told BusinessLine.

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Retention packages

According to Shetty, as part of these ‘Retention Packages’, employees get to choose from gadgets like Apple Ipad Pro, Bose Headphones, Harman Kardon Speakers, and luxe watches. Some organisations are offering large monetary incentives too. “Almost 50-100 per cent of their salaries are given as retention bonus for a period of 2-3 years,” he says.

Talent assessment company Mercer Mettl’s CEO Siddhartha Gupta concurs. “Companies are offering excellent perks to keep their top performers in the tech team engaged.” Some of these perks involve fitness gear and health bands, cordless ear pods, speakers, bikes, and ergonomic and high-end work-from-home furniture, he says.

Attrition woes

The retention perks are understandable as almost all IT companies are losing talent in droves. Wipro, Infosys and Larsen and Tourbro Infotech’s (LTI) attrition rates stood between 14 and 15 per cent in the first quarter of this year. TCS was the only exception, whose attrition rate went down marginally to 8.6 per cent in the first quarter this year compared to 8.9 per cent in the quarter ended September 2020.

“The cost of replacing an employee is 35-40 per cent higher than retaining an employee. Training a new IT professional in the in-demand skills and the company’s business objectives is time-intensive. That’s why organisations go to great lengths to retain their highly-skilled IT specialists,” Gupta said.

Consequently, companies are offering way higher salary packages than usual for certain specialised engineering jobs. Hiring firm Randstand India’s Shetty stated that the base salaries offered to full stack engineers have gone up by 20-25 per cent, data analytics engineers are offered 15 per cent higher salaries, DevOps engineers are being offered 10-15 per cent higher pay, Machine Learning experts are seeing 15-20 per cent increase and backend engineers are getting 15 per cent higher salaries respectively.

“This is the lower end of the spectrum. On the higher end it can go up to 50-60 per cent increment for some of the roles. In my 22-year stint with Randstad, I haven’t seen a trend like this before,” Shetty said.

Upskilling is key

Companies like Wipro and Infosys have been investing steadily in employee upskilling programmes, an important measure to retain them.

“Employee retention is a key focus area for Wipro. We have in place multiple measures such as compensation intervention, growth acceleration via faster promotion for talented individuals, programs aimed at nurturing talent, policies to promote work-life balance and an employee-wellbeing-first culture that engender a sense of belonging among our over 200,000 strong workforce,” a Wipro spokesperson told BusinessLine.

According to Richard Lobo, Executive Vice President, Head HR, Infosys, “At Infosys, the structured learning paths made available through our learning platform Lex, have witnessed a threefold increase in reskilled talent over the last fiscal.”

“Our in-house developed, anytime anywhere learning platform, Lex, offers over 1,800 courses curated for easy consumption on mobile devices with advanced telemetry, gamification, and certification features. Over 2,40,000 of our employees use Lex and are spending approximately 45 minutes per day on average for learning activities,” he added.

Remote working and Talent Crunch 

“The major take-away from the pandemic would be work-from-home opportunities. JobsForHer found that 40 per cent of companies rolled out special work-from-home roles post-COVID-19,” Neha Bagaria, Founder & CEO, JobsForHer told BusinessLine. 

“The implementation of new-age technology and innovations in workplace transformation has pushed the demand for cybersecurity and Infosecurity professionals, CISOs, CTOs, Cloud specialists, software developers, and data analysts.  The boom in startup culture in India has also added to the already surging demand for IT professionals, irrespective of sectors or industries,” Gupta said. 

He added, “IT roles have been the most in-demand in the last 15 months with 31 per cent growth for us in IT/ITes assessments in 2020-2021 over and above the already high level of hiring that companies do every year.  This will continue to be a sweeping trend for the IT industry for the next 12-24 months. 

Published on July 26, 2021
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