TCS on Monday reported an all-time high of 1.03 lakh net employee addition for fiscal ending March 31, 2022 – more than double the last year’s number of 40,185. This comes after Accenture recruited 1.62 lakh employees (net) in the last one year (as of February end) globally — the highest reported by any IT services company in a year. Of this, nearly 40 per cent was in India, which is the company’s largest centre, followed by the Philippines and the US. Its current global headcount is around 6,99,000, of which over 2,50,000 are in India.

“The outlook remains strong with the highest ever pipeline. We are very well-poised to capitalise on the demand fueled by our clients prioritising digital transformation for growth,” TCS said in a statement.

The net addition growth in hiring action by both volume and velocity are clear indicators of a strong business pipeline, that's powering expansion hiring and a strong fresher intake for building capacity, said Anil Ethanur, Co-Founder, Xpheno – a specialist staffing company.

Existing & future projects

Net employee additions by IT service players are driven by expansion in hiring for matching and creating capacity. These enterprises' net addition drives are designed to serve both existing and visible order pipelines alike. The record setting net employee additions by Tier-1 IT enterprises indicate high value and long-term orders already in the bag and few more in the pipeline with high visibility.

The March quarter also had the talent acquisition teams on their toes with gross hiring action of over 1.32 lakhs after TCS registered its highest ever attrition rate of 17.4 per cent over the quarter. High attrition rates are reflective of an overall positive buoyancy in the IT hiring market, with more opportunities opening up from technology enterprises that are on a strong upward trend, he said.

Talent to remain challenge

According to Yugal Joshi, Partner, Everest Group, a global research firm, hiring is indeed a strong indicator of demand. However, service providers do not reveal their hiring trends globally, but are generally focused on India. Most service providers are struggling to retain talent in client location and that is increasing their subcontracting costs, he said.

Service providers need to think of hiring more holistically than keep repeating their fresh graduate hiring as an indicator. Talent will remain a challenge for the next 18-24 months and these fresh graduates, who actually are proficient with some programming skills, will become the core engine to deliver that demand.