Software firms in wait-and-watch mode

With campus recruitment round the corner, software companies which are facing a slowdown have alerted some engineering colleges that they may cut down their intake sharply.

This year could be worse than 2008 with 40-50 per cent drop in campus recruitment over the previous year, say placement officers in engineering colleges.

This has made the institutions jittery.

“I am nervous and worried about this year’s campus placement,” said a placement officer of a leading engineering college. A similar sentiment was echoed by three other placement officers of large colleges.

Campus recruitment is likely to start in the first or second week of September. With over 500 engineering colleges, Tamil Nadu is one of the largest suppliers of fresh graduates to the software industry, contributing 10-15 per cent of the requirement. This year, the industry is expected to recruit nearly two lakh across India, said an industry source.

With US elections in November and the continuing slowdown in Europe, software companies are in a ‘wait-and-watch’ mode. These two geographies contribute over 70 per cent of revenue to Indian vendors.


An official of a top software company, speaking on condition of anonymity, felt that the campus placement numbers could be low this year. This is in the backdrop of the industry’s growth estimated to drop by 40-50 per cent; low employee utilisation; and low attrition.

Last year, the companies told colleges a month in advance about their recruitment plans. This year nobody is committing when they will come, said a placement officer.

“I am not interested in salary, but want our students to be placed in the companies,” said another placement officer.

According to the official, Tata Consultancy Services has given the dates only to ‘A’ and ‘B’ category colleges. While Wipro and Cognizant have also announced the dates in certain colleges, there is no word yet from Infosys.

The official said that this year IBM is hiring more from colleges.

TCS had said its gross hiring will be 50,000. “We are staying the course,” Ajoy Mukherjee, Executive Vice-President and Global Head, Human Resources, told analysts recently while discussing the company’s first quarter financial results.

Other companies have not revealed their recruitment plan for the year. Students recruited this year will join the companies in June or July and undergo six months training before getting deployed in projects.

E. Balaji, CEO of Randstad India, a HR company, said the confidence levels are mixed depending on the status of the college. Tier-1 management and engineering colleges, though a bit worried, are confident of achieving close to 100 per cent campus placement.

However, the biggest impact will be on Tier-2 colleges as IT and ITeS companies are the main recruiters. Some have even deferred the joining dates of last year’s campus hires. To address this, colleges are trying to increase the pool of companies from non-IT industries such as healthcare and manufacturing.

Source: Business Line


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