No matter what one does, attrition that the Indian IT services sector is witnessing will not come down as the demand-supply mismatch is very high, said Apparao V V, CHRO, HCL Technologies.
“Every company is sitting on deals that are three times what they see. Besides, the war of talent is for the people in the range of three-four years of experience, and again, that pool of people is finite. The only segment the numbers are infinite is in the 0-3 years’ experience. So everyone is ramping up recruitment from campus hiring,” said Apparao.
HCL Technologies too, has stated that they will hire 20,000-22,000 people from campuses for FY22. This is the highest ever hiring from campus that the company is doing. Apparao said that 5 years back the company would only hire 4,000-5,000 people on an average of from campuses.
For Q1FY22 the company saw its attrition touch 14.6 per cent on LTM basis. In Q1 it added 7,500 people to its headcount, of which 3,500 were from campuses. He also said that in Q2 and Q3 around 7,000-8,000 associates would join the company.
“Our retention measures are more focused towards top talent. And there the attrition is in single digits. Though we have announced salary hikes across the company as a part of bringing down attrition, it will vary according to the potential and talent of the individual,” he added.
With a large number of freshers joining the company, Apparao is also focusing on how soon those joining from campuses can be billable. “We want to increase our pool of colleges and also the backward integration with these colleges. In this, instead of students coming to us and then spending another 4-5 months on training, we make sure that in the last few months of their education they are trained in the skills that we require, so that they can get on projects fast,” explains Apparao. At present HCL Tech has tie-ups with about 8 universities.
Commenting on vaccination and getting people back to work, Apparao said that getting vaccines was not an issue for the company. Almost 74 per cent of employees are vaccinated with at least one dose and by the end of this quarter the company will be able to vaccinate all its employees. “The challenge we are facing other than vaccine hesitancy is reaching out to some of the employees who have returned to their native places, which are in remote areas,” he added.
As for back-to-office, Apparao said that the company had almost 13-14 per cent of its employees coming to office in January – February, but then the second wave of the Coronavirus (Civid-19) pandemic hit. “From the point of view of returning to office, we have mapped which segment of people are not required to come to office. However, there are areas where we need to bring people back to office,” he added.
Had the second wave of Covid-19 not struck, HCL Technologies would have got 40 per cent of its people back to work in June, but that appears to have been postponed for now. However, the company is looking at a September time-frame to get back a percentage of people back.
“A lot will also depend on the customer. Even they are yet to make their minds up on whether they want people to come back to office or whether they prefer the WFH model,” said Apparao.