BANGALORE: Many of those who were campus-hired by IT companies last year or early this year and who expected to join soon after completing their courses in June/July, are still awaiting their joining letters.
Companies are unwilling yet to admit it publicly, but all indications are that uncertainties about IT demand in the wake of the global slowdown are compelling them to stagger their fresher joining dates over a much longer period than is normal. Some third party recruiters say the wait could go up to a year for some freshers.
`Appointment letters and confirmations are delayed. The unfriendly external environment has forced us to rework on our fresher onboarding plan. Based on quarterly reviews we will dispatch appointment letters,” said the HR head of a mid-sized IT company who did not want to be named.
Over 2 lakh final-year candidates were made offers in the past one year. The top 20 IT companies account for over 60% of these offers. This year, TCS has campus hired 40,000 students, Infosys 30,000, Cognizant 28,000, Wipro 20,000 and HCL 8,000.
The campus hiring requirement is decided based on the expected attrition rate and the flow of new projects. But both these calculations could have gone wrong for many companies. The average industry attrition has come down to 15% from 25% in the last couple of quarters. The deal pipeline is also not very encouraging as companies are not able to bag large deals of $100 million or more.
“Some 50% of the engineering graduates who passed out this year might get placed only by September 2012,” said Kris Lakshmikanth , founder & CEO, Head Hunters India. “ Lateral hiring has almost stopped, small and medium companies are badly affected,” he said.
B S Murthy, head of LeadershipCapital , said HR heads are concerned that they are not able to onboard everybody. Some candidates, he said, would get delayed joining dates, some may not get them at all.
Reva Engineering College principal R P Reddy said TCS, Wipro, Satyam and Tech Mahindra had hired from the college , but many of these hires are yet to receive the joining letters. “These students are looking at alternatives,” he said. CMRIT college said TCS and HCL had hired big numbers , but many are yet to receive joining letters.
A Bangalore college hire who was offered a job by Accenture said the company has told him and all others from his college who have been hired by the company that they could expect a joining date between October and December . “We are all quite nervous ,” he said. He completed his course in June.
When contacted, Accenture said it had not changed its timeframe for onboarding graduates and that the onboarding of their new hires started in June as per plan. “Most of them have already been onboarded and we have maintained contact with graduates to whom we made job offers. As always, client demand drives our hiring needs. We regularly review projects and recalibrate resource planning, as appropriate, to meet our clients’ needs,” a company spokesperson said.
A Wipro spokesperson, when asked about some candidates not having received joining letters, also said their onboarding is going as per plan.
Bhanushree, CEO of Talent Management Group, said the software sector is fretting over eroding margins and global economic pressure, and therefore large and medium players are likely to defer their campus hire onboarding during the current fiscal.