TCS, Infosys, HCL Tech, and others to see more freshers than lateral hires in the next six months

TCS, Infosys, HCL Tech, and others to see more freshers than lateral hires in the next six months
Indian IT companies look to hire freshers rather than laterals as attrition rates dipBCCL/BI India
  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), HCL Technologies, and other Indian IT behemoths plan to onboard more freshers than lateral hires over the next six months.
  • With attrition rates at an all-time low, there is less need to replace the loss of workforce, explained HCL Technologies’ CHRO VV Apparao.
  • TCS is looking beyond India’s border and plans to hire another 10,000 employees in the US amid H-1B visa ban issues.
Freshers have a better shot at getting hired at one of the big-wig Indian IT companies in the second half of the year than those looking for a job change. The churn of employees at Indian IT companies is settling down as the likes of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, HCL Technologies, Wipro, and Tech Mahindra are witnessing some of the lowest attrition rates that they’ve seen in a while.

“A large amount of lateral hiring happens because of attrition replacement. If I’m losing 20 people, I have to hire 20 people. To that extent, lateral hiring will come down,” HCL Tech CHRO Apparao VV told Business Insider. The company’s attrition rate was 12.2% this quarter — the lowest it has been in at least the last two years.

TCS, Infosys, HCL Tech, and others to see more freshers than lateral hires in the next six months
Attrition rate at India's IT companies over the last six quartersCompany filings/BI India

Indian IT companies are on the hunt for freshers
HCL Tech plans to onboard another 9,000 freshers before March 31, bringing the total of new hires to 12,000 in the current fiscal year. But, it is yet to make up its mind about the coming year.
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“We have not yet finalised. We’re doing a bottom-up exercise where we ask each of the businesses, what is the growth they see. Part of it will be based on form booking and a part of it will be based on anticipation — past number. But it won’t be less than 10,000,” said Apparao.

TCS, Infosys, HCL Tech, and others to see more freshers than lateral hires in the next six months
Net loss of employees in Q1 compared to net addition in Q2Company filings/BI India


Infosys, which already onboarded close to 16,000 freshers this year, is planning on recruiting another 15,000 for the next year.

With attrition at an all-time low of 8.9%, India’s biggest IT firm TCS too has been focused on onboarding freshers since July. “We started onboarding freshers and increased our recruitment globally in Q2 in anticipation of the growth trajectory,” said TCS CHRO, Milind Lakkad, during the second-quarter earnings call.

The company is looking to onboard 10,000 employees over the next year in the US amid the uncertainty around H-1B visa regulations. Over the last five years, TCS has hired around 21,500 employees in the country in its efforts to localise.

Wipro, which recently saw a change in leadership with Thierry Delaporte at the helm, did not disclose any exact numbers but does have ‘robust’ hiring plans for the second half of the current fiscal.

“Very robust hiring this quarter, both laterally and campuses. We continue to see the same momentum going forward,” said the company’s CHRO Saurabh Govil during the second-quarter earnings call.

He added that given the company’s current growth momentum, hiring — laterally and via campuses — is an important part of managing that growth. This includes hiring across geographies, including India and in the new business areas, especially cloud and cybersecurity, where the demand lies.

India’s IT sector is among the first to recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Hiring freshers, rather than laterally, allows companies to pick up talent that’s relatively cheaper. It’s also easier to train fresh minds in-house for specific skills, especially because they are in short supply in the market.

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