TCS to make mostly lateral hiring in overseas markets during FY 2015: Global HR head

Written by Nitin Shrivastava | Rhik Kundu | Updated: Apr 17 2014, 23:21pm hrs
TCSAjoy Mukherjee, Executive Vice President, Head, Global Human Resources - Tata Consultancy Services.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) visited over 370 Indian engineering colleges, during the last couple of months, to recruit 25,000 trainees of 55,000 people the company plans to hire during FY 2015 who will be inducted into the company from June 1 onwards. The company's Executive Vice President, Global Head- Human Resources, Ajoyendra Mukherjee, tells fe that the remaining 30,000 heads that the company plans to hire will consist of lateral, overseas and domestic hiring respectively, while overseas hiring for FY 2015 will mostly be lateral. An excerpt from the interview:

TCS had 3,00,464 employees at the end of Fiscal 2014, one of the largest among India Inc. How do you keep such a massive workforce motivated

There are multiple factors that come into play here. For one, TCS as an organization has been doing well. We also try to keep our workforce motivated with the kind of work we do, by creating a good work culture and environment and by compensating well. Our basic ideology, when it comes to hiring people, is to hire those who would stay with us for life. We even rotate people from one engagement to another, from country to country, and technology to technology to keep our staff motivated.

We conduct various activities to take care of stress level among our employees like adventure activities, music, yoga lasses and providing them access to counselors . There is a phenomenal effort we put in to meet aspiration of our staff.

On a last twelve months (LTM) basis your attrition rate stood at 11.3 %, one of the lowest in the industry.

We have multiple initiatives to retain our staff. People start leaving the organization when they get bored with their jobs. The main challenge for us is to be able to culturally integrate our whole workforce together, which is an arduous and time consuming affair. At present we are seeing higher attrition level abroad than in India as the company has tremendous brand value in India while abroad the same is lower. We are working on improving this. This has reflected in our on site hiring, which have gone up significantly during the recent quarters. As for our overseas hiring for FY 2015, we expect it to be on similar lines to the hiring figures of FY 2014.

How has the company's domain shifting exercise affected its staff productivity

Our staff usually shift from one project to another only after the completion of their existing project.

The people who shift projects are usually ones who are interested in acquiring additional skills. Some even join training in between projects to acquire extra skills. Also, domain shifting happens mostly at a junior level. After shifting two-three domains an employees is encouraged to narrow his/her area of expertise to one. A lot of people bring in good ideas from one domain to another which is a positive thing for the company

At a time when Indian IT players are ramping up their presence in the US, what are your overseas hiring plans Are you mostly opting for lateral hires (client-facing role) abroad

We have visited several universities in the US for campus recruitment. We anticipate about 250 American students to join us a trainees in the coming months. However, this time we will make more lateral hiring abroad. The overseas hiring this year will be similar to that of FY 2014 hiring.

We will hire trainees in places where we have delivery centers US, China , Latin America, and Hungary.

What are the challenges TCS face while hiring abroad

The challenges abroad is similar to what we face in India that is to attract the best talent. In India, however, our model of recruitment is industrialist. We now need to grow this model abroad.

How big difference will the US immigration bill make in your US hiring plans

We have to wait and see how it pans out. We have worked out different scenario. But based on the clauses on the bill we will work on it. The rejection rates for H1B visas have gone up in the last couple of years which has led us to hire more from on-site (overseas). We are also looking at different sourcing models. Meanwhile, we are also visiting more campuses on the US to recruit.

Any new initiatives for campus recruitment

Over 400,000 students, mostly engineering students, are today a part of our campus networking portal TCS Commune, which connects students with faculty members and company executives.

Today, the whole recruitment process, which is completely digitized, starts and heavily depends on the portal.