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TCS hired 40,000 graduates from campuses last year. (HT)
TCS hired 40,000 graduates from campuses last year. (HT)

TCS stays bullish on campus hiring

  • The TCS National Qualifier Test (TNQT), is among the most sought after, as it covers over 1,800 technical institutions
  • Most of the hiring is expected to be completed by December.

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), the country’s largest campus recruiter, is starting its placement drives later than usual after exams were delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, but the hiring strategy will remain the same as last year, said a senior executive.

The IT major’s campus recruitment test, the TCS National Qualifier Test (TNQT), is among the most sought after, as it covers over 1,800 technical institutions. Around 40,000 candidates were hired last year.

Hiring sentiment has been strong in the second quarter because of substantial business requirements, Milind Lakkad, chief human resource officer at TCS, said in an interview.

While normally a part of the TNQT process is conducted across institutes and TCS iONcentres, this time it will be virtual. The TCS iON examination platform for recruitment has been updated with tools for digital proctoring and plagiarism checks, among others. Most of the hiring is expected to be completed by December.

By December, Lakkad expects 17,000-20,000 freshers to join TCS from 2019-20 batches with the remaining joining over Q4FY21 and Q1FY22.

The company has already initiated the virtual onboarding processes for those joining this year. “TNQT this year will start in October (instead of September), and the volume will be similar to last year. We don’t see any change in the requirement. The delay this year has largely been due to exams across the country being held up," said Lakkad.

The company has seen strong demand on the lateral hiring front as well, which was briefly suspended during Q4 FY20 due to the pandemic.

Globally, tech companies, including IBM, Salesforce, Accenture and Dell Technologies, have started or reported plans for “right-sizing" the employee base in order to manage cost and performance during the pandemic.

Worldwide, IT spending is projected to be $3.5 trillion in 2020, a decline of 7.3% from 2019, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc.

TCS, however, has noted a massive demand for resources, even during these times.

“We have seen better hiring requirements come in this quarter, compared to the last few quarters. So, the business requirement has been very strong. This is in addition to our existing talent development initiatives through which we have upskilled around 15,000 people over two quarters," said Lakkad.

These business requirements are global and not limited to any region, he said.

As for the visa situation in the US, TCS continues to be confident about its local hiring strategy in that country. “We have significant campus hiring across the US and have hired close to 1,000 trainees already this year. So, we are not concerned about the visa issue as our local campus hiring programmes are achieving a larger scale now," he added.

In addition, TCS been working on a policy that will let it use talent on any given project irrespective of where they are working from, called Talent Cloud. Associates can develop expertise in specific areas and cater to multiple projects across countries, with full transparency to the clients.

“If people can offer value-added expertise, their pricing should be geography agnostic. These models were already there, but the past few months have allowed us to accelerate adoption. However, we also set the bar high for such associates in terms of linking learning and career plans," said Lakkad.

TCS has announced plans to have only 25% of their workforce back in offices in the long term as they intend to continue the global work from home model. But keeping up the motivation level up for almost 450,000 employees working remotely is not an easy task. “In addition to extra-curricular and emotional support initiatives for employees, we have also arranged well-equipped Covid-19 isolation centres for them across all TCS locations, for employees who feel the need to quarantine but cannot, because they live in close proximity with multiple people," Lakkad added.

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