Indian IT firms battle to attract talent: survey

Indian IT firms battle to attract talent: survey
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First Published: Wed, Aug 29 2007. 01 18 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Aug 29 2007. 01 18 PM IST
By Anil Penna/AFP
Bangalore: IT professionals are choosing multinationals over local firms, a survey shows, in a blow to the multi-billion dollar Indian industry already battling to recruit fresh talent.
Almost 3,000 IT professionals in India were asked to rank their top 20 employers for the survey which is closely scrutinised by the industry, recruitment centres and job seekers.
Overseas firms with offices in India, such as giant IBM, comprised half of the top 20, while India’s third-largest information technology company, software maker Wipro, failed to make it onto the list.
The survey released this week is bad news for Indian firms competing with global rivals to hire and retain talent amid a shortage of skilled workers.
“Multinational IT employers IBM, Capgemini, Sun Microsystems and CSC have mastered the art of managing Indian employees,” said Pradeep Gupta, whose company Cybermedia was responsible for Tuesday’s survey.
India’s biggest software maker, Tata Consultancy, which has 90,000 employees, retained its spot as the best employer to work for, followed by local rival HCL Infosystems.
But number two Indian software maker Infosys slipped four places to eight. And seven of the overseas firms were included on the list for the first time.
“Many India-based IT employers will need to balance aggressive recruitment with the warm and personal touch they used so effectively thus far, to retain people,” Gupta said.
Some 2,844 computer software, hardware and marketing professionals from 33 firms were questioned for the survey conducted by market-research firm IDC India for industry publication Dataquest.
Employees cited career development opportunities, work-life balance, organisational culture, job security and technology as the top factors that provided them work satisfaction. Pay ranked seventh.
“We take the feedback seriously,” said Pratik Kumar, executive vice president for human resources at Wipro which has 72,000 workers. “We will try and understand the feedback and take appropriate actions.”
The survey comes as Infosys and Wipro, which are based in India’s software capital Bangalore, are scaling up with larger revenues and headcounts.
“Employees joining now might be expecting the same informal atmosphere which these companies have been known for. But the personal touch seems to have been lost in the numbers game,” the survey said.
“The Bangalore tigers need to get their act together,” it said.
IBM, which wasn’t included in the rankings last year, placed joint sixth with Capgemini because of a strong brand image and “high standards of corporate governance,” training and development.
Other overseas firms that made it to the list were iGate at third, Synechron at sixth, Tavant Technologies at ninth and Sun at 10th.
Local companies that found a place included RMSI at fourth, Hexaware at 13th, Cybage at 17th, AztecSoft at 18th, Aricent at 19th and Geometric Software at 20th.
Indian IT companies often complain of a talent crunch facing the 50 billion dollar industry, which is also grappling with wages rising at an annual pace of 15 to 20 percent.
Dun and Bradstreet, a US-based provider of financial information, has said that the industry would face a shortage of 500,000 skilled workers by 2009.
IT companies dangle perks to hire and keep employees ranging from average annual pay raises of 20 percent and overseas travel to casual work clothes, in-house gymnasiums, free meal vouchers and creches.
“The feel-good has reached its limit,” said Shyamanuja Das, executive editor of Dataquest, told AFP.
“Now people are thinking about work-related stress, issues like corporate image and governance.”
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First Published: Wed, Aug 29 2007. 01 18 PM IST