With national test, TCS speeds up hiring, gains better access to talent

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.

Source: The Hindu