Nearly a month after Infosys said it had delayed its fresher on-boarding plan, instability in the economic environment and a possible slowdown in client spending have forced another IT services firm to postpone its fresher joining dates. California-headquarted iGate, which has a majority of its staff in India and employs around 30,000 people, said out of the 3,000 campus offers it made across India, joining dates of around 1,000 engineers will be delayed by one, or possibly, two quarters.
“The overall demand environment remains weak. Close to 1,000 freshers, who were expected to join in July-August, will now join by the end of September or October,” said Srinivas Kandula, HR head at iGate. “If the economic situation worsens, we will have to delay it by another quarter,” he said. iGate’s decision comes amid slowing growth for India’s software companies, which depend on the US and Europe for over 80% of its revenues. Last month, country’s second-largest IT firm Infosys had said it would delay the joining dates of over 25,000 engineers it hired from campuses to as late as mid 2013, a sign of how IT companies are coping with project delays and weak economic sentiments in the US and Europe.
“The economic environment may force companies to rethink. Based on the macroeconomic situation, we will decide when to dispatch appointment letters,” Kandula added. Close to 1.5 lakh campus offers were made by the top 10 IT firms through campus placements during August-September period last year. These top 10 firms account for roughly 70% of the offers, according to experts. TCS has made offers to over 43,000 freshers this year. Wipro, the country’s third-largest software exporter, said it does not disclose campus hire figures.
“Companies are very cautious and Tier-1 firms are still deciding whether to go ahead with the original schedule. Delay in joining dates could be anywhere between 9 and 12 months,” said Amitabh Das, CEO of recruitment firm Vati Consulting. Das, however, said compared to the 2008 recession, when top tech firms trimmed their campus intakes and tightened salary hikes, the hiring scene right now is much better.
IT firms plan campus hiring based on the expected demand for IT services and project flows. In 2010, top tech firms hired two lakh employees, with Infosys alone hiring close to 40,000 campus recruits. Last year, TCS hired roughly 40,000 freshers, Cognizant 28,000 and HCL over 6,000. According to leading recruiters, some of the large IT firms, which stagger joining dates of freshers across the four quarters of the year, are taking fewer freshers on board in the current quarter than they originally envisaged. They are postponing joining dates for the rest.
“The way companies admit campus recruits in different batches is expected to change. A company that typically admits 10,000 freshers in the first quarter, may now cut it short by 5,000,” said C Mahalingam, executive VP and chief people officer of Symphony Service, a mid-tier firm outsourced product development firm that competes with firms such as iGate and other Indian IT providers.
However, placement heads at two well-known engineering colleges said they were yet to hear about any possible delay in fresher hiring. HCL Technologies and Wipro said there has been no change in their schedule. Globally, over the past one year, job growth in fields like software development and testing has been slow.
Engineering graduates who received their job offers at campus placements in August-September last year should typically start receiving their joining letters during this period.
Source: Times of India