TCS, Infosys, HCL Tech and Wipro open up lateral hiring as more people walk out the door during the COVID-19 pandemic

Indian IT services companies open up lateral hiringBCCL
  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, HCL Technologies and Wipro plan to open up lateral hiring further in the next three months.
  • In April to June, the attrition rate — number of employees that continue with the company — have dipped for all four of them.
  • Although hiring will not be done to replace them immediately, aside from freshers who already have promises to come onboard, Indian IT companies will be hiring laterally to meet deal requirements.
Every major Indian IT tech company decided to go slow on hiring or suspended hiring altogether at end of the last quarter in March. However, despite these assertions, they have continued to bring on lateral hires.



CompanyLateral hires
Infosys5,000
HCL Tech2,000
Source: Company earnings call

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One of the big reasons is attrition. Attrition rates present the speed at which employees are leaving the organisation. The lower the attrition rate, the fewer employees a company has been able to retain.

Attrition rates across TCS, Infosys, HCL Tech and Wipro for the last five quartersCompany filings/BI India

Lateral hiring continues driven by demand
Any freshers on-boarded before the pandemic will continue to come through albeit at a slower rate with training facilities caught in the coronavirus pandemic lurch. Meanwhile, offering any new freshers to come on board isn’t a part of the plan.


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Instead, the companies are looking at lateral hires to fill the gaps where skill is needed to fulfil current deals and projects. Even at Wipro’s chief human resources officer (CHRO) Saurabh Govil claims that lateral hiring never stopped at the company. “We will continue to hire in Q2 based on demand.”

“The downward trend in attrition continues. Expected to continue in the next quarter as well,” said HCL Technologies chief human resources officer (CHRO) Apparao VV. “Attrition has significantly come down but we will not be hiring significant numbers for immediate replacement,” he added.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) didn’t hire in Q1FY21 but filled in over 4,500 positions by reskilling, cross-skilling and multiskilling the company’s existing employees. CEO Rajesh Gopinathan claims that learning intensity at the company has increased by nearly 25% between April to June.

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The company is now revising its freeze on lateral hiring to meet the demand environment. “We decided to open up on the lateral hiring side and have started onboarding new associates into the TCS ecosystem,” said Gopinathan.

Indian IT services companies — like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, Wipro and HCL Technologies — has been launching new initiatives for their staff. Infosys, for instance, increased the variable pay for their staffers in the first quarter of 2020-21. TCS, on the other hand, rejigged their learning module to promote employees already within the organisation.

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