Cognizant Technology Solutions, to arrest attrition, which dropped in Q3, has introduced a one-time, “two merit cycles” for its employees. This include salary increases (hikes), bonuses, and promotions, said Rajesh Nambiar, Chairman and Managing Director, Cognizant India. A majority of employees will receive two merit increases over the course of six months — one merit increase effective October 1, 2022, and another for eligible associates from April 1, 2023.

The US-based software company with a large presence in India, is advancing merit increases to earlier in the year. “This is good news for employees and a commitment of the investment we are making on people,” told businessline.

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Cognizant has redesigned its promotion initiatives, expanded learning and development programs, and enhanced compensation and benefits programs. “We are absolutely committed to investing significantly in our people, and expect sequential reductions in voluntary attrition to be more meaningful in Q4,” he said.

Voluntary attrition for Cognizant dipped by two points sequentially to 29 per cent on an annualised basis and fell three points sequentially on a trailing 12-month basis. “We expect attrition to decline more meaningfully in Q4. We have been working aggressively to not only mitigate attrition but also propel the career growth of our people,” he said.

Overall, at the end of the third quarter, there are favourable trends with attrition reducing, the deal pipeline getting better and good operating margin growth. “There are some macroeconomic uncertainties, but we are confident of the future,” he said.

Headcount and fresher hiring

At the end of the September quarter, Cognizant’s global headcount has grown to almost 3,50,000, up by approximately 32,000 this year. Of this, India’s employment stands at 2,55,000 associates, up by approximately 12 per cent y-o-y or increase of approximately 27,000. “We are on track to hire 50,000 freshers from India. We have hired 16,000 freshers this quarter, and totally we hired nearly 38,500 freshers so far this year. Over the past 12 months, we have hired more than 54,000 freshers,” he said.