Big IT guns zero-in on employee retention

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 29 October 2010, 07:10 Hrs
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Bangalore:As the economy is bouncing back big IT guns are trying to zero-in on retention of employees.The tradational tools such as wage hikes and stock options are still widely used, this year, IT companies are seeing the benefits of internal measures such as re-banding people based on roles and giving more frequent progression to employees.

Wipro's internal measures like group re-banding for people in the three- to seven-year experience band, salary hike (7-12 per cent) and a restricted stock option to managers and above levels have helped in curbing employee exits.

At Wipro, these internal measures have helped cap attrition levels in the second quarter, said Mr Pratik Kumar, Executive Vice-President, Human Resources, Wipro.

The initial flush of people going out when the economy started looking up in March has stabilised and so has attrition in the quarter, he pointed out.

While Infosys' re-banding exercise i-Race raised a huge outcry among employees in the last two quarters, Mr Mohandas Pai, member of the Board and Head, HRD and Education and Research, Infosys, said that now, the i-Race 'angst is over with employees seeing the benefits of the programme."

Mr Karthik Ananth, Director-Market Expansion, Zinnov Management Consulting, pointed out that as employees move up the career ladder, wage hikes and bonuses alone do not matter as they look for 'real' development in terms of role definition and domain growth. "Money becomes the third or fourth priority at this stage."

At Infosys too, though attrition was higher (at 17.1 per cent) in the second quarter of FY 2010-11 than the first quarter, (15.8 per cent), the company, like its peer Wipro, experienced a dip in the actual number of people quitting the company, (from 2000 people in July to 1200 in September). The Bangalore-based IT major is also in the process of giving promotions to 12,000 now compared to 8,000 in April this year. TCS said last week that from this quarter, it would give promotions for employees every quarter rather than every six months.

Revise hiring targets

Both TCS and Infosys have also revised their hiring targets for the year. While the former has said that it would hire 50,000 people for the whole year (as against 30,000 indicated earlier), the latter has changed its guidance to 40,000 from the earlier number of 36,000. While 90,000 jobs were added during last fiscal, this year the IT/ITeS sector would absorb around 200,000 people, according to Nasscom estimates. Companies have also indicated that almost 50-60 per cent of the new hires will come from campuses.

With market demand picking up, companies are building people capacity even if it means having a bigger bench, said Mr Rishi Das, CEO, Career Net, an IT recruitment firm.

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