Information technology (IT), the largest employer by sector until recently, appears to have caught a cold as the global economic downturn freezes deal flows and competition erodes the margins.
Top IT companies TCS and Infosys have significantly scaled down their campus recruitments this season to 25,000 and 6,000 from 43,000 and 19,000, respectively, planned last year.
Smaller players aren’t particularly upbeat either. “We do not have any specific hiring plan in mind,” says Prithvi Shergill, chief human resources officer, HCL Technologies.
Typically, multinationals go slow on recruitments as they approach December, while Indian players slow their hirings in the January-March quarter pending finalisation of budgets in the opening quarter of the next financial calendar, says Kris Lakshmikanth, managing director of search firm HeadHunters India.
This year, the freeze has come a few quarters too early. “Even insurance firms and investment banks are going slow,” says Lakshmikanth.
So where do jobseekers, particularly freshers, geared for a career in IT, go?
Look at opportunities in retail, hospitality, public sector banking, infrastructure, healthcare and education spaces, say job consultants.
The State Bank of India, India’s biggest lender, for instance, plans to hire as many as 20,000 this year, across officer and clerical cadres.