TCS to change campus hiring program from this year; make it ‘agile’

Tata Consultancy Services, the country’s largest private sector employer, said it plans to make some changes to its methodology used to hire fresh graduates from campuses from this year.

Speaking to BTVI, HR head Ajoyendra Mukherjee said campus hiring for the next financial year (2019-20) will start in August or September.

“More and more, even that process, we are changing a bit so that it becomes more and more agile, so that we can do in one shot, the entire testing across the country and get people in,” Mukherjee said, without going into details.

“There will be some changes in that process as we go forward, from a campus hiring side,” he added.

Companies like TCS and Infosys are investing heavily into automation and artificial intelligence to reduce their dependence on human labor.

A handful of large IT companies employ around 1 mln people in India, comprising overwhelmingly of engineering graduates.

Students and young people in the country are looking on keenly to see if the advances made by these companies in developing artificial intelligence will impact hiring numbers, and their employment prospects.

Already, a company like TCS has seen a sharp decline in the number of employees it is adding. The company, which two years ago was adding nearly 37,000 employees per year, is now adding only 15,000 employees per year.

TCS crossed the 4 lakh employee mark last month – more than four years after it crossed the 3-lakh employee mark.

The executive vice president did not give any estimate about the number of people who are likely to be added to TCS’ rolls in the next year.

As for the current financial year, he pointed out, the offer letters have already been given out as part of the campus placement effort conducted in the second half of 2017.

Mukherjee said demand is coming from newer technologies, and existing employees are being retrained at a massive scale to work on these new areas.

“(It is) digital and agile that is resonating with all the clients,” Mukherjee said.

“We have to groom the talent internally, develop the capability. There has been a lot of investment in developing the platforms that we use for giving that kind of opportunity to our people so that they can learn and gain that kind of opportunity.”

Company officials said the nature of competition in the market has also changed dramatically. While earlier, TCS’ competition used to come from rivals like Infosys and IBM, it can just as easily come from small startups that are working on artificial intelligence and automation.

Mukherjee said the company has already trained 2.6 lakh of its employees in digital technologies, such as cloud computing, social media marketing, analytics and so on.

In addition, said Mukherjee, more than 2.4 lakh employees have been trained in the agile way. Agile refers to a set of principles that intend to make software development faster and more client-focused.

He said TCS has been able to bring down attrition — or loss of employees — to around 10% per year due to its retraining and reskilling programs. “That is what is giving the opportunities to our employees,” he said.