For engineers joining TCS, spending months in classroom training felt like an unnecessary extension of four years of college. But that’s now in the past as TCS wants them to get to the job straight out of college.

“We are pushing the pedal and re-imagining talent acquisition. We significantly changed it on the campus side. Last year, we digitised recruitment, now we are massively digitising training to get rid of classroom training,” TCS CEO Rajesh Gopinathan told BusinessLine .

S Janardhan, a lifelong Tata employee and the head of digital talent development at TCS has been the pioneer of the new platform, FrescoPlay, which gets rid of classroom training for freshers, making them work-ready a lot faster.

“We are using data and analytics to have individually-focused training programmes for all of them because we know where they’ve done well and where they haven’t,” Gopinathan said. “It is also pull based system—individuals can pull what they need and stitch together a programme as appropriate.”

The initiative has already cut down classroom training by more than 80 percent, Gopinathan said.

“This completely changes the agility of the recruitment process. We are stressing the system by accelerating the onboarding of trainees. Earlier, we would bring them on depending on the training capacity we had,” he said.

TCS this year gave 30,000 offer letters to fresh graduates. About 40 per cent have already joined the company, and the remaining are expected to join in the next quarter.

The classroom training however, will not completely end. TCS plans to use those for in-depth classes for mid-level employees.

“The thinking is that we will switch classroom training to mid level employees. But for freshers, classroom training is already 80 percent out,” Gopinathan said.

TCS has been trying to re-imagine hiring in order to attract top talent in large numbers to support its growth. Last year, the IT services firm launched TCS National Qualifier Test that attracted nearly 2.2 lakh candidates. The process eliminated the need for TCS to visit each campus and cut down hiring time to six weeks from the previous four months.

TCS is using this to cater to the growing demand for digital talent, which is expensive to hire laterally and tough to search. Online training is helping TCS accelerate shift towards digital as now instead of teaching generic computing skills to everyone, TCS can customise training as per individual strength and business requirement.

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