Industry experts are of the opinion that the spurt in recruitment happened as IT services firms went aggressive on hiring in anticipation of a strong demand environment.
The Indian information technology (IT) industry added a record number of employees in the April-June quarter (first quarter, or Q1) of the ongoing financial year, with around 85,000 new hires.
This is the highest-ever net employee addition by the industry in a single quarter in six years, according to a recent report by equity research firm CLSA.
Industry experts are of the opinion that the spurt in recruitment happened as IT services firms went aggressive on hiring in anticipation of a strong demand environment. This was supplemented by healthy hiring in onsite locations, triggered by stricter H1B visa regulations.
According to CLSA, the Indian IT industry added around 50,000 people in Q1 of 2012-13, which came down to about 38,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013-14. This rose to touch around 70,000 levels in Q1 of 2015-16 on the back of strong demand, but slipped again to around 10,000 people in the March quarter of 2017-18.
Since then, hiring has seen a northward march, with a consistent addition of new employees in the last five quarters.
“The hiring trend of Indian IT firms moves in a crest-and-trough pattern. Most of the hiring done by domestic IT firms was in anticipation of demand, which these firms wanted to cash in,” said Pareekh Jain, an IT outsourcing advisor and founder of Pareekh Consulting, adding, “A significant addition in numbers has come from onsite hiring, as companies are building up employee pyramid in client geographies.”
In the quarter just ended, market leader Tata Consultancy Services added 12,356 employees -- the highest-ever employee addition by the Mumbai-headquartered firm in a quarter in the past five years. The company has also said it has issued joining letters to over 30,000 fresh graduates, of which 40 per cent have already joined the firm in Q1.
Similarly, Wipro added 3,425 employees in Q1, to take its total headcount count to 174,850, while Noida-based HCL Technologies hired 5,935 people on a net basis.
For Infosys, the net employee addition number stood at 908, even though the Bengaluru firm hired 8,000 people during the quarter, owing to its higher attrition rate.
“Presently, the IT industry is hiring employees with different kinds of skill sets suitable for pushing the share of digital services. I think, those kinds of hiring will continue,” said Kris Lakshmikanth, founder of HR consultancy firm, The Head Hunters India.
“This hiring trend is likely to pick up further in the coming quarters, as IT firms require more hands with digital skills, apart from adding more people in client geographies,” added Lakshmikanth.