Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Mid-tier IT firms hire ‘average’ numbers

Caution is the word

Lateral hiring would be on the lower side vis-À-vis last year: Patni

We have long-term projects and we need manpower: Tech Mahindra

The utilisation rate is already quite high; the scope for reducing hiring is limited: MindTree

Not looking to hire technical people till April next: Ramco Systems

Because of the general slowdown, hiring will come down: Mastek

The uncertainty due to the economic meltdown in the US, which is the largest market for the Indian IT industry, may not have prompted mid-tier Indian IT companies to revise hiring plans, but most showed no increase in hiring compared with the previous fiscal, while some said they would hire less than last year.

More freshers

Patni Computer Systems Ltd, which plans to hire about 2,000 freshers by the end of the fiscal as against 2,700 in the previous, said lateral hiring would also be on the lower side vis-À-vis last year, when it added 1,300 laterals.

The company did not put a number to its lateral hiring plans as it would depend on the demand environment.

“Lateral hiring will continue but we will be hiring more freshers. We are comfortable with our lateral numbers but feel the need to make more inductions at the base of the pyramid. This is also a small function of the current economic and demand environment,” said Mr Rajesh Padmanabhan, Executive Vice-President and Global Head of Human Resources, Patni.

Tech Mahindra Ltd, which has already offered 1,500 jobs at campus hirings, said for fiscal 2009, the number would be between 2,000 and 3,000.

This has been the average for the company over the last two-three years, although it is a big reduction compared with the 5,000 the company hired last fiscal.

“In the last year we needed more people and therefore we hired 5,000. For 2009, we have no major reduction plans: we have long-term projects and we need manpower,” said Mr L.K. Bhatia, Vice-President, Resource Management Group, Tech Mahindra.

He said about 500 laterals have been hired in the last two-three months.

High utilisation rate

For MindTree Ltd too, manpower addition for the current fiscal is in line with last year. The company has added about 1,000 people this year, of whom about 70 per cent are freshers.

“Right now we are not looking at dramatic changes. It is more or less aligned to our last year figures, which is between 1,000 and 1,200,” said Mr Puneet Jetli, Head, People Function, MindTree.

Mr Jetli said the utilisation had gone from 65 per cent to about 70 per cent at the end of the second quarter, which has helped the company.

However, because the utilisation rate is already quite high, the scope for reducing hiring by further improving utilisation is limited, he added.

Ramco Systems Ltd said it is not looking to hire any more technical people till about April of next year because its products and solutions have reached a certain level of maturity.

However, it would hire 50 to 80 business consultants who have domain expertise in aviation, logistics, manufacturing and finance, said Mr J.S. Shivakumar, General Manager, Human Resource, Ramco Systems.

Mr R.S. Desikan, Group CFO and Director of Finance, Mastek Ltd, said the company follows the non-linear model where the headcount is not proportionately linked to the targeted revenue figures.

He said, because of the general slowdown hiring will come down, but not in the same proportion as decline in revenues.

This year, about 300 freshers have joined, which is the same as last year. The company would not put anybody on deferred joining. There would also be no dip at all in lateral hiring, he said.

Emerging trend?

The uncertainty may have also pushed the demand for temporary employees. A Mumbai-based temporary staffing firm said the requirement for temporary employees has grown up by almost 15 per cent over the past three months.

Moreover, the turnaround time in finalising temporary employees has become shorter; it just takes around five to seven days now.

Generally, companies show their temporary staffing under marketing expenses and not as HR expenditure, according to the firm.

Source: TheHinduBusinessLine

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