Excess hiring in the previous year and continued economic uncertainties are affecting campus recruitment by top information technology services players.
Infosys and Wipro, according to sources, are yet to hit the campus trail to give offers to students who graduate in the academic year 2023.
Three to four large engineering institutes popular among IT players told Business Standard that Infosys and Wipro were yet to visit their campus to hire students who would join in FY24.
Industry players said IT hiring was not as strong as it was in 2022. One reason is the high bench IT firms have due to earlier hiring.
"The campus placement season begins in August-September. But many Tier-I companies are yet to come for placement. Infosys generally comes by November-December, but it's February and it has not yet told us anything," said the director (placements) AT an engineering institute in the South.
He hopes Infosys will come by March.
Anshuman Das, CEO and co-founder of Careernet, said: "We are expecting CY23 hiring to be subdued. We see a dip of 50 per cent in terms of numbers over the previous year."
What institutes fear is that the students graduating this year may find themselves in a tight squeeze because many companies are yet to complete taking on board students from the 2022 batch.
"Large hiring or bulk hiring from engineering colleges is done by the top four IT firms, even though we have other companies and firms in other sectors coming to hire. They do not take in students in large numbers," said the director of another well-known engineering institute.
An e-mail was sent to Wipro and Infosys, seeking reasons for their not visiting the campuses yet and by when they planned to do so. The reasons they gave were different.
Wipro in a statement said: 'Our talent is our biggest asset. We remain committed to our strategy of hiring the best talent, and freshers are a key pillar of our talent and growth strategy. We have onboarded 17,000 freshers so far this fiscal year.'
Infosys stood by its management commentary after the Q3FY23 results.
To a question on hiring during the media briefing, Salil Parekh, CEO and managing director, had said: 'On FY24, we have no comments at this stage. We will absolutely look at it at the end of the quarter in Q4.'
'On hiring, we have the number of hiring based on what we saw on the demand, and we have also had very strong hiring for the full year in FY23 and also before that,' Parikh added. 'And we are making sure that all of that hiring goes through our various training and is ready for deployment.'
Industry experts, however, say for any meaningful placements to happen for this batch, the process has to be over before they begin for academic year 2024 students.
"The industry is expecting demand to pick up only in the second half (October-December) of CY23. That is the time when placements for students who will graduate in the academic year 2024 will begin," said Das.
"So companies may want to take students who are fresh out of the campus on board rather than those who have been waiting. Add to this many are yet to finish the 2022 on-boarding," added Das.
Softness in hiring has started to show in the Q3FY23 results.
TCS reported a reduction in headcount growth. The company saw a reduction of 2,197 employees quarter-on-quarter, taking its headcount to 613,974 for Q3 FY23 from the earlier 616,171.
This is the first time since Q1FY21 that the headcount has come down.
Infosys saw a soft addition. In Q3 it added 1,627 employees. Compared to Q3FY22, Infosys' net addition stood at 54,778 employees.
Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com