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IT's raining jobs on campuses like never before

V. Rishi Kumar

Hyderabad , Feb. 8

CAMPUS recruits in the technology sector never had it this good. With an estimated 25,000 recruits on lateral engagements by top 10 hirers, the year 2004 promises to be unique.

The trends indicate that both domestic global service providers and large MNCs appear to be bullish on recruitments and growth, according to HR experts.

The Senior Vice-President, Human Resources, Satyam Computer Services, Mr T. Hari, told Business Line that the recruitment continues at a feverish pitch both at the campus stage and in the lateral positions.

In large corporations, the ratio is 55:45 in terms of campus and lateral recruits. Most of the companies are expanding their operations and are preparing for the times ahead.

The Director of HR, Cognizant Technology, Mr Pramod Sadarjoshi, said that the company had drawn up plans to expand at least by about 40-50 per cent this year, from the current 9,000 to about 14,000. Out of the additional 5,000 inductions, a major chunk could come from campus recruitment .

This time around, the campus recruits are geared for a specific area of interest and this advanced hiring helps them fine-tune their skills when they actually get on to the rolls of companies in March next.

The Chief Executive Officer of TVA Infotech, an IT staffing company, Mr Gautam Sinha, said recruits never had it this good. This is a good year for the technology sector, which is expected to grow at a much faster pace compared to the last 2-3 years. Most of the companies have announced big recruitment plans, which they cannot fully meet by lateral additions alone.

"The hiring at campus is a direct fallout of higher lateral recruitment as project leaders. Unlike the hiring of the late 90s, which was predominantly for body-shopping requirements, this time, it is aimed at meeting the growing demands for the services sector'', Mr Sinha said

The General Manager of Virtusa India, Mr Santanu Paul, said, "historically, Virtusa's growth has been fuelled predominantly by lateral recruiting of experienced professionals. However, in the coming year, more than 60 per cent of new recruiting will happen in college campuses, or via off-campus interviews of fresh graduates. They are adaptable and flexible, and grow very quickly once they join Virtusa. As a result, we are investing in long-term relationships with specific campuses.''

For instance, Satyam recruited over 2,500 people in the first three quarters of this fiscal and has projected plans to induct at least 800 people this quarter.

It may be interesting to note that the technology sector has 70 per cent of the people in the younger age group having about 3-4 years experience.

"With a larger number of colleges and companies now eyeing tier 2 and 3 colleges, the hit rate could vary from 1:5 to 1:10. The recruitment is also aimed to cope with attrition to some extent. The current trends indicate that the recruitment pace has outpaced the pre-2000 boom days," Mr Hari explained.

Mr Sadarjoshi said "Apart from engineering colleges, we have selected people from B-schools like the Indian School of Business. The significant aspect is that Cognizant had access to them on day one along with the likes of GE and Coke."

With large MNCs such as Intel, Deloitte, Computer Associates, Intel, Convergys, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Intergraph, Dell, ADP Wilco among others calling for recruitments, a potential recruit has multiple options to choose from now.

Significantly, each of these corporations has lined up attractive advertisements, seeking to woo the best.

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