A large number of technology graduates who had received job offers at the beginning of the academic year will have to wait longer as joining dates get postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
India’s largest software and IT services company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has frozen increments and lateral hiring and has said it will continue to hire fresh graduates. However, with examinations on hold and TCS suspending its accelerated on-boarding process in the first two quarters of the fiscal year, freshers might have to wait longer.
“We have more than 30,000 offers outstanding on trainee recruits and on-campus recruits and we are going to honour that. We expect that given the impact that the crisis has had on the university system, we are probably looking at their exams getting delayed to June, July or something, but immediately after that, we will start bringing them on board,” said Rajesh Gopinathan, chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director, TCS.
IT companies are hiring more freshers for sometime now as that helps reduce costs, and have fewer experienced mid-level associates overseeing a wider base of employees with 1-3 years’ experience. Companies including TCS, Accenture, Tech Mahindra Ltd, Infosys Ltd and Wipro Ltd have robust online on-boarding programmes in place, and can virtually on-board and train freshers if required. Companies such as TCS and Accenture have already indicated that they will honour offers.
According to Nasscom, the industry hired 205,000 new employees in FY20. The sector employs close to 4.5 million people. The largest employer in the sector, TCS, added around 30,000 fresh graduates in FY20. In the March quarter, TCS said it will increase this number to 39,000 in FY21. Infosys has made 18,000 offers for FY21, Wipro had said it will on-board around 20,000 fresh graduates, while HCL Technologies indicated 15,000 fresh hires in FY21. All these initiatives were announced in the third quarter before the virus outbreak.
In an earnings call last week, Wipro CEO Abidali Neemuchwala said the company had hired 12,000 people last fiscal but is now looking at a deferred the hiring schedule, LiveMint reports.
Overall job scenario is grim now across all levels as almost 50% companies have requested to put new recruitment on hold for two-three months even across middle and senior management because of covid-19 concerns,” said Kris Lakshmikanth, founder chairman and CEO, Headhunters India.
Lakshmikanth said that many new joinees being trained have already been requested to go home because it is not possible to give them work and have someone to supervise them while much critical work is pending.
Of course, when companies are struggling to permit remote work for critical projects given their contract terms and falling demand, fresh recruits are not the top concern, another hiring industry executive said.
“On the other hand, this might be the best time to learn new skills, especially for technologies related to network security, cloud migration and collaborative tools as nobody will be in a hurry to go back to physical offices,” the person mentioned above said on condition of anonymity.