IT services major Cognizant plans to hire 28,000 freshers in 2021 in India compared to 17,000 hired in 2020 to tackle a steep rise in voluntary attrition in Q1 of CY21 to 18%. Cognizant has a headcount of 2,96,500, and more than two lakh employees are based in India.
Brian Humphries, CEO, Cognizant told an earnings call that the company is doing the right thing to address attrition. “And of course, in the meantime, we’re working to manage the salary inflationary elements of this.”
He said the company will see sequential increases in attrition based on the resignations in the last few months because there was a two-month notice period in India. “So we have a strong understanding as to what attrition will be in Q2. But that’s been factored into our model and into our guidance. And in the meantime, we’ve been hiring at record pace given the extra recruiters we’ve put to work,” he said.
To address retention challenges, he said, the company has been executing a multi-part plan that includes stepping up internal engagement efforts and increasing investments in people through training and job rotations to provide opportunities for career growth, shifting to a quarterly promotion cycle for billable associates and implementing further salary increases and promotions for high-demand skills and critical positions.