Bangalore: Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp plans to hire aggressively through the year as it sees an upswing in demand and the war for talent heats up. The IT services provider’s India-based rivals Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro have revived hiring after a lackluster 2009.
The company also competes for talent with the likes of Accenture, IBM and Hewlett-Packard.
“Given that we’ve revised our guidance, my anticipation is that we’ll clearly continue to hire throughout the rest of this year,” chief executive Francisco D’Souza said in an interview with Reuters.
Cognizant’s solid first-quarter results prompted the company to project revenue growth of at least 25% for the year.
“We’ve done a lot of hiring in the fourth quarter and the first quarter,” D’Souza, 41, said. “We hired 10,000 people in the fourth quarter. We hired about 7,000 people in the first quarter.” He added that these were net additions and that the actual hiring was a little higher.
On the flip side, the battle for staff is resulting in greater attrition, as employees are finding it easier to switch jobs with the IT industry recovering.
Attrition on a trailing 12-month basis was 12.4%, chief financial officer Gordon Coburn said on a conference call with analysts.
“Similar to others in the industry, we experienced an increase in attrition during the first quarter,” Coburn said. “This attrition was primarily at the junior levels.”
Cognizant has been growing faster than its competitors in the industry.
“In the first quarter, on both a sequential and year-over-year basis, we grew faster than all our key competitors. The implication there is that we took share from them or rather expanded our share faster than competition,” CEO D’Souza said.
The company’s strategy has been to reinvest extra dollars into the business to grow the company by maintaining adjusted operating margins within the target range of 19% to 20%. The CEO said they expect to maintain margins at the same level.
Cognizant shares, which have more than doubled over the past 52 weeks, were trading at $51.91 Tuesday on Nasdaq.