IT firms dial down campus hiring, but GCCs are filling in

GCCs in India, once units of captive foreign companies, have turned to technology schools from the top Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to smaller colleges in tier 2 and 3 cities.

According to multiple placement officers and industry executives, these centers plan to hire 50-100% more freshers than last year, paying up to 30% more than domestic IT services firms. Companies such as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and HCL Technologies Ltd are expected to pay 3.5-4 lakh for engineering graduates with basic skills, while Wipro Ltd and Infosys Ltd will not be going to the campuses this year.

Higher membership wages and no delay in starting a company after an offer have prompted more students to accept offers from EPAs, placement executives said. “Last year (2023 batch), out of 947 companies that visited, more than 350 were GCCs. This year (2024 batch), out of 440 companies that visited so far, more than 200 companies were GCCs,” a said Samuel Rajkumar V., director of Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) career development centre.and many more GCCs are expected to come up for talent.

7,000 out of the 8,000 graduates from VIT’s four campuses last year were hired by IT services firms and GCCs, Rajkumar said. This year, consultancies and banks, including Deloitte, KPMG, EY, JPMorgan and Bank of America have emerged as the biggest recruiters, he said.

At least 4,500 engineers graduate from Chandigarh University every year, three-quarters of whom start with an IT services firm or GCC, a chief executive said.

“There has been an increase in the number of GCCs visiting the campus and the offers they have made,” said Himani Sood, senior vice-president at Chandigarh University. This decline is due to concern among students that IT services firms are cutting back on hiring,” Sood added.

While campus placements for engineering colleges have begun, some of the older IITs will begin their recruitment process in December, while the B-schools will begin in February.

To be sure, despite the doubling of GCC hiring, it may be more difficult for the class of 2024 to land a job than before because IT services firms have cut back on hiring, which are the biggest recruiters to date. Infosys and Wipro, which together hired more than 200,000 of the half a million engineering graduates hired by the top five IT firms in the past three years, have said they have no plans to go to the campuses this year.

“It (GCC hiring) might not offset the decline in IT services firm hiring, but it could help us reduce the impact of the slowdown,” said VIT’s Rajkumar. Service companies will be adversely affected if the companies stay away, he said.

The EPAs seem to have bucked the trend so far.

Shivendra Srivastava, head of people, Samsung Semiconductor India Research, said the company will ramp up hiring this year for design work in software and hardware, including “from the semiconductor industry and fresh talent from leading campuses like IITs, IISc (Indian Institute of Science) , NITs (National Institutes of Technology), IIITs (Indian Institutes of Information Technology) and BITS (Birla Institute of Technology and Science).

“We onboarded 100 freshers from engineering and B-schools in 2023, but this year, we aim to get 200 for roles ranging from voice roles to core developer roles,” said Vijayaraj Palaniraj, head of talent acquisition at Equiniti India , GCC of the UK-based share registrar.

Ditto for Thryve Digital Health, the EPA for a US-based healthcare company, which has 4,000 staff across Chennai and Hyderabad. “We plan to increase campus recruitment by 50%, covering engineering, business schools, nursing, pharmacy and various other colleges,” said Bala Sankaranarayanan, the company’s president and chief executive.

IT industry body Nasscom estimates that there are 1,580 GCCs in India, employing 1.6 million and generating about $46 billion in revenue at the end of March 2023. Unlike publicly traded IT services companies that share their earnings, firms do not disclose global GCCs run data for their local operations.

Nine of India’s top 10 software services firms, which together employ over 2 million engineers, have cut their workforces in the six months to September 30, the first time in more than 25 years, as clients in the United States and Europe cut spending amid the expansion. economic and geopolitical risks.

Palaniraj of Equiniti India said his firm will recruit from arts and engineering colleges in Coimbatore, Mysore, Chennai and Bengaluru, offering 4 lakh for IT profiles and 3 lakh for business process outsourcing services. In comparison, IT services companies 3.5-4 lakh for engineers.

Sankaranarayanan of Thryve said that GCCs are growing because they are helping their clients with cost-effective solutions compared to third-party service providers. They are hiring more because of the choice to keep discretionary spending in-house, and not lose talent to the market.

In a recent interview, Wipro’s chief human resources officer, Saurabh Govil, said, “There is a large number of tenures coming up in India, which is attracting a lot of talent from the services (IT) companies. That’s pushing up our compensation because these companies are outsourcing more and can afford to give employees higher raises.”

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