Large-scale recruitment by Indian IT services companies is clearly a thing of the past if numbers are anything to go by. With global headwinds such as weak economic growth and increasing protectionism displayed by the US under President Donald Trump such as tightening of H1-B visa norms, the situation could get tougher for aspiring IT job-seekers.
Full-year and Q4 results declared by India's second-largest IT software services exporter Infosys show that company's net employee addition in 2016-17 was 6,320, down 64.6 percent from 17,857 in 2015-16 and 15,782 in 2014-15. The four-year low was 3,717, in 2013-14.
At a gross level, Infosys added 44,325 employees in comparison to 52,545 in 2015-16, including a fall in lateral recruitment to 18,979 employees in 2016-17 from 24,719 in the preceding fiscal.
The company's utilisation, in contrast, saw a new high, according to the management. "Attrition declined during the quarter reflecting our focus on better employee engagement. Utilization during Q4 reached 82% which is the highest in Q4 over the past several years", U B Pravin Rao, COO, said in a statement.
Infosys declared its Q4 and FY2017 results on Thursday.
It is worth recalling that the slowdown in recruitment by IT companies was evident in the December 2016 (Q3) quarter also, with net hiring coming in at 13,100 employees for four companies — Infosys, TCS, Wipro and HCL Technologies.
The net addition for TCS and Wipro was 6,978 and 4,891 employees, respectively, while Infosys reported a fall of 66, heralding a new trend characterised by increasing job automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and possible restrictions on H-1B visas by the Donald Trump-led US administration. HCL Technologies saw its employee headcount go up by 1,297 in December quarter.
A few weeks ago, it was reported that Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTS) was planning to lay off as many as 10,000 employees, though the reasons were not specified.
The company had an employee strength of 2,44,300 employees worldwide, including 1,55,000 in India, where it has development centres spread across Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Kerala, Kolkata and Pune.
Here is the data showing employee utilisation in Infosys: