IT majors in India-
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), 
Cognizant, Infosys, 
Wipro and
 HCL Technologies 
Recruit 1,14,038 Associates during 2010

The hiring numbers of IT majors leave nothing to doubt about how far the companies have left behind the recession. From the quarter ended March 31, 2010 to the one ended December 31, 2010, the top 5 IT majors in India-Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Cognizant, Infosys, Wipro and HCL Technologies-together clocked a staggering figure of 1,14,038 net additions in terms of headcount. This stands in sharp contrast to the net addition figure of 47,462 in the corresponding year ago period.
Net addition subtracts the number of people leaving the company from the gross additions, and, therefore, is a better indicator of the actual increase in staff numbers.
"It reflects the buoyancy in the market. 2009 numbers show the uncertainty and the low sentiments prevailing at that point. Companies are feeling a lot more confident now and can afford some redundancy in anticipation of big projects which wasn’t the case earlier," said E Balaji, MD and CEO, MaFoi Randstad, a HR consulting firm.
The numbers have shown a marked increase for each of the big IT companies. The net addition of TCS for the period from March quarter to the December quarter in 2010 was 37,260 which is almost double the figure of 19,311 clocked in the year ago.
Cognizant’s net addition numbers increased from 16,700 in 2009 to 25,557 in 2010. Much bigger increases were seen for the other 3 IT majors-Infosys, Wipro and HCL Technologies. The same numbers for Wipro for instance, increased from 3,977 in 2009 to 16,745 in 2010; for HCL Tech, the number rose from 670 to 16,579; and for Infosys, from 6,804 to 17,897.
"During recession, companies weren’t recruiting freshers. So there was a deficit, especially at lower levels. So what is happening now is that companies are replenishing the stock, with freshers accounting for a big part of it. The higher attrition in the current buoyant mood in the market is also playing a role in increasing these hiring numbers," said Amitabh Das, CEO of Vati Consulting, a recruitment firm.
Not only are the companies compensating for the lull in hiring, they also anticipate bigger and more valuable projects in the coming times. They are building up bench strengths to handle the bigger size and variety of projects they expect to come their way. "Companies are bullish on future. Such an outlook is not totally off the mark given the kind of growth we are seeing," said James Agrawal, consulting director and business head at BTI consultants India, an executive hiring firm.
The current optimism has a lot to do with the increasing confidence in the western markets which constitute the major markets for most Indian IT companies. "Tech is more of a support industry, an enabler. So if sectors like telecom, pharma, banking etc are booming or experiencing a slowdown, the same is reflected in the numbers of IT companies too. With the global outlook much more positive, things are looking up in a big way for IT companies," said Sunil Goel, director at Golbal-Hunt, an executive search firm.
Picking up from the December 2009 quarter, the net addition numbers have remained strong in every quarter of 2010 signaling solid growth. Recruiters expect this trend to sustain in the coming years. "Globally, jobs might be shrinking but that’s certainly not the case in India. In fact, increasing attrition today is itself indicator of the fact that the overall number of jobs in the economy is increasing," said Goel. "I expect the strong hiring trend to sustain at least for next 2-3 years."
"We have begun 2011 in an economy that is considerably more stable than it was at this time in 2010. After recession, it’s clear that our industry is again at an inflection point," said Shankar Srinivasan, chief people officer at Cognizant.

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