With na­tional test, TCS re-imag­ines hir­ing, picks bet­ter tal­ent

The Hindu Business Line - - IT & TELECOM - VARUN AG­GAR­WAL

At a time when most IT ser­vices com­pa­nies are trim­ming their work­force, TCS has hired over 10,000 and con­tin­ues to add to its team ag­gres­sively.

The big­gest source of these hires has so far been cam­pus place­ments. TCS vis­its 350-400 ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions to hire top tal­ent. How­ever, with the busi­ness grow­ing based on spo­radic in­crease in de­mand, hir­ing needs to be done in a way to en­sure ac­cess to tal­ent with­out hir­ing and putting them on bench.

“We de­cided to re-imag­ine the en­tire hir­ing process and de­cided to do a na­tional test so that any­one, any­where can come in as long as they meet our ba­sic el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria,” Ajoy Mukher­jee, Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent and Global Head, Hu­man Re­sources, told Busi­nessLine.

TCS Na­tional Qual­i­fier Test, the first of which was con­ducted in Septem­ber, at­tracted nearly 2.2 lakh can­di­dates. The com­pany plans to give job of­fers to as many as 28,000.

“We will use the sup­ply chain in a way that to­day what I need I'm hir­ing but to­mor­row, if my busi­ness need is more, I’ll have pre- tested, pre-se­lected in­di­vid­u­als who are in that data­base, ready to be hired,” Mukher­jee said.

The com­mon test, as against tests con­ducted at var­i­ous in­sti­tutes, has re­duced the fresher hir­ing time to six weeks from four months ear­lier. The na­tional test also means that TCS gets ac­cess to smart peo­ple who for some rea­son did not get en­try into top in­sti­tutes.

They don’t have to wait for off cam­pus hir­ing,” Mukher­jee said.

The test re­quires ad­vanced com­puter sci­ence knowl­edge, cre­ativ­ity among other things. If qual­i­fied, the can­di­dates end up get­ting salary pack­ages al­most dou­ble of what other can­di­dates get.

TCS is us­ing this to cater to the grow­ing de­mand for dig­i­tal tal­ent, which is ex­pen­sive to hire lat­er­ally and tough to search. The com­pany has al­ready re­trained about 2.78 lakh of its work­force on dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies. Levers such as these are still re­quired to com­pete ag­gres­sively in the mar­ket.

In the sec­ond quar­ter, TCS added 10,227 net new em­ploy­ees to its work­force. That’s twice of what it hired in the first quar­ter. “Hir­ing for us this year has been about 16,000 net as com­pared to last year when we did 7,700 for the full year. Net hir­ing is go­ing up and is also re­flected in our busi­ness growth. It re­flects the de­mand that’s there and the kind of peo­ple that we need,” Mukher­jee said.

The com­pany signed deals worth $4.9 bil­lion in the quar­ter while grow­ing its rev­enues faster than it has done in the last eight quar­ters. The re­vival in de­mand came from bank­ing and re­tail ver­ti­cals, which had been weak for a long time.

Mukher­jee said that these hir­ing will con­tinue to grow de­spite the com­pany spend­ing heav­ily on au­toma­tion.

“We are talk­ing about ma­chine-first de­liv­ery model at one end and on the other end we are hir­ing more. That’s be­cause ma­chine-first model doesn’t mean we don’t need peo­ple. It just means that there are some tasks that need to be au­to­mated and are get­ting au­to­mated. There are cer­tain tasks for which you need in­tu­itive, con­tex­ual knowl­edge and deeper do­main and tech­nol­ogy knowl­edge. Those things will re­main with hu­mans,” Mukher­jee said.

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