IT companies hiring plunges, but recovery expected in H2


BENGALURU: The top four IT services companies hired just 12,258 people in the first half of the fiscal, down from 54,002 in the same period last year, as the pandemic hit demand and companies took measures to rein in costs.
Hiring in the first half was limited to offers already committed last year at campuses. Unlike during the financial crisis of 2008, where many offers made were revoked, this time the companies said they have honoured all offers and onboarded everyone virtually.
For each of the four companies – TCS, Infosys, HCL and Wipro – hiring was down between 70% and 80%. TCS, the largest IT services company, saw the biggest decline, of 80% from 26,453 last year to 5,076 this year.
But with demand now showing signs of a pickup, hiring could improve in the second half of the year. All companies did better in terms of revenue in the second quarter than in the first, and it’s expected to further improve in the third and fourth quarters.

Recruiters also say that more offshoring due to less travel in the coming months would ensure hirings in India receive a boost. “There will be a gradual uptick from now onwards,” said Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder and executive vice president at staffing firm TeamLease. “The companies have done the clean-up at their ends, and there won’t be any irrationality in hiring, with specialised skill sets in demand and it becoming location agnostic,” she said.
Infosys, the fastest growing among the big four, said hiring in quarter three and four will be dependent on the growth. “In terms of freshers in India, this year, we expect to add about 16,500 people. And next year, we are planning to add another 15,000,” said chief operating officer Pravin Rao last week. The campus hiring season – for induction next year – has just begun.
Infosys’ total contract value of large deals jumped to $3.1 billion in the second quarter, from $1.7 billion in the first quarter, while for TCS, the same rose to $8.6 billion, from $6.9 billion.
TCS’s net hiring dropped in the first quarter, but rose to about 10,000 in the second, signaling rising confidence. The company plans to keep the fresher hiring number at 40,000 this season, about the same as last year.
Wipro’s chief human resources officer Saurabh Govil said the company has “very robust hiring plans” in client facing roles and domain expertise. The company said earlier this year that it will hire 12,000 from Indian campuses this fiscal. HCL has a target of 12,000 this year, compared to 9,000 in the last.



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