No change in TCS campus hiring plan despite all-time low attrition

The NQT platform for the first time also been made available to other corporates with companies such as Godrej, Kirloskar and Titan have showing interest to use it
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has said that it will continue with its campus-hiring programme and will recruit fresh graduates despite its employee attrition hitting an all-time low of 8.9 per cent in the September-ended quarter. 

While the details of the exact campus hiring numbers for this year are being worked out, Milind Lakkad, TCS' Chief Human Resource Officer and Executive Vice President told Business Standard that the will be more or less the same as the past years. He however said that if required, TCS will tweak lateral hiring (hiring of people with prior experience) numbers based on its business demand and that the gap, if any, will be filled in through internal replacements and external candidates in a balanced way. 

"Campus hiring is one of the key elements of the strategies to our growth for many years now. I don't see that number (of campus hires) significantly changing for the financial year ending 2021. The volumes in terms of trainee hiring will continue," said Lakkad. "Our attrition has been the industry benchmark and it has reduced further due to the pandemic. Adjustments, if any, will be made based on business demand and lateral hiring. We also need experienced professionals coming in. But how much is needed from outside and how much can be fulfilled internally is a decision we review every day," he added.

In the quarter ended September 30, 2020, the total headcount of the Tata Group company rose by 9,864 to 4,53,000. During the quarter, the firm virtually onboarded (inducted) 7,200 trainees in India, around 1,000 in the US and close to 100 in Europe. In the ongoing quarter, TCS plans to onboard 8,000 more trainees. Earlier, the company had indicated that it would look at giving offers to around 40,000 fresh graduates through campus interview in the ongoing fiscal. 

Unlike previous years, TCS which pioneered screening of fresh engineering graduates through a National Qualifier Test (NQT), for the first time, will allow the candidates to appear for it from remote locations instead of asking them to do so from designated centres. The company will use digital proctoring and deploy artificial intelligence-based plagiarism checks using its digital assessment iON platform.

The NQT platform for the first time also been made available to other corporates with companies such as Godrej, Kirloskar and Titan have showing interest to use it. According to Lakkad, the Mumbai-headquartered company intends to make NQT a benchmark for corporate assessments and hiring on the lines of the Scholastic Assessment Test (SATs) done in the US for academics. For this year, TCS has decided to offer the platform for free. 

With regard to the recent immigration related developments in the US, Lakkad said, the adaptation to a location-independent Secured Borderless WorkSpaces (SBWS) delivery model by the clients and the company’s proactive local hiring plans in the US would help it mitigate the visa risks. “I'm not losing sleep over it,” said Lakkad. "The changes in the mindsets of our customers to have a location-independent delivery is also going to play a significant role going forward. It is a big change that has happened six months ago and now. So all of these factors will play in mitigating that visa risk.” 

Earlier this week, the US government has published a set of rules that will result in the IT companies shelling out more to hire foreign workers while the changes also limits eligibility criteria for visa applicants.

TCS will also roll out salary hikes for the current year with effect from October 1 after pausing it for six months. 
Hiring Continues
  • TCS doesn't see its fresher hiring numbers change significantly despite a low attrition rate
  • The IT firm remains unperturbed about the challenges on US visa front 
  • Says, local hiring and Secured Borderless WorkSpaces (SBWS) model by clients to help mitigating visa risk
  • In Q2, its total headcount rose by 9,864 at 4.53 lakh
  • The company has decided to announce wage hike with effect from October 

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