Top IT companies TCS and Infosys have significantly scaled down their campus recruitment this season to 25,000 and 6,000 from 43,000 and 19,000, respectively, planned last year.
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.
Aditya Narayan Mishra, president staffing, Randstad India, advises jobseekers to look away from traditional areas.
Even a sector like retail needs people as technicians and to man back-end, front-end, operations, supply chain, warehouses, business development and call centres.
Non-IT sectors may offer starting salaries of `1.2-2.5 lakh, less than the `3-3.5-lakh doled out by top IT firms, but the work experience and opportunities which come with these jobs are just as valuable, say experts.
Incidentally, while the overall IT/information technology-enabled services job market has frozen, niche areas like e-commerce and healthcare BPOs are still hiring.
“E-commerce space is growing at 30-35% annually and same is the growth rate seen in jobs. We also need a lot of engineers, people to work in operations and business development,” says Tej Kapoor, vice-president at e-commerce firm Tradus.
Gopi Natarajan, CEO of healthcare BPO Omega Healthcare, agrees. “We are also seeing a 30-35% growth every year. We look to add 150-180 people each month to our current headcount of 4,000.”