HCL Technologies ramps up freshers’ hiring amid demand-supply mismatch

New Delhi: is looking to hire 20,000-22,000 freshers in the fiscal ended March 31, 2022, as the demand for technology services continues to outstrip supply of talent adept at digital skills.

The Noida-based IT services company has already added 17,500 freshers as of Jan. 10, Chief Human Resources Officer Apparao V.V. said. “We expect it (freshers’ hiring) to be anywhere between 20,000 and 22,000 this year. Our talent strategy has got a big component which is freshers and we definitely are looking at onboarding double this number next year.”

HCL Technologies added a net 10,143 employees in the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2021. to increase its total headcount to 197,777, according to the company’s
quarterly results declared on Friday. The attrition rate, on an annualised basis, stood at 19.8%. Attrition excludes involuntary attrition and digital process operations.

HCL Technologies’ Chief Executive Officer C. Vijayakumar also dwelt on the talent crunch afflicting the wider IT services industry. “At HCL, while we continue to onboard experienced domain and tech specialists, our strategy will continue to lean more towards adding net new talent at scale through fresh talent,” he said at the post-earnings presentation. “We are on target to achieve 20,000-plus campus hires during this fiscal, having already added more than 15,000 till date.”

Indian IT services have been dealing with high attrition rates as demand for digital talent has far outstripped supply, leading to what industry experts call a “war for talent”. In the three months ended Dec. 31, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. clocked an attrition rate of 15.3%, Infosys Ltd. 25.5% and Wipro Ltd. 22.7%.

HCL Technologies is offering stock options and better salary hikes to retain talent. Apparao said the company is investing significantly in talent and providing them long-term incentives, higher increments as well as upskilling and reskilling them. “The idea is to create a stable workforce with a significant retention to all these people…,” he said. “Also, as part of our leadership development programmes, we have identified almost 600 people as our next generation leaders who, over the course of next 4-5 years, will take up significantly higher roles in the organisation.”

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One of the talent strategies the company has adopted over the last five years is to identify locations where the talent is available.

“We call our approach as glocalisation, where we are making significant investments in developing talent in countries like Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Romania, Hungary, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Germany, France, Canada, Taiwan, South Korea, and Brazil,” Apparao said. “These are in addition to where we have reasonable scale operations like Poland, Mexico and Bulgaria. So, we have been investing in these countries to develop local talent there.”

On return to office, Apparao said that given that India is currently in the midst of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, only about 3% of HCL’s workforce is going to office. About 90% of the company’s staff is vaccinated, he said.

On Friday, shares of HCL Technologies rose 0.32% to Rs 1,337.55 apiece on the BSE while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex ended the day 0.02% higher at 61,223.03 points. The IT firm’s quarterly results were declared after market hours.

With inputs from PTI.

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