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Rising attrition: IT majors dole out more to retain talent



Top software employees under pressure of losing trained people to competitors are announcing wage increase and promotions to retain talent. Business from the US, the largest IT market, is picking up and companies can’t afford to lose their core talent.

Top three companies – Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro – have all announced wage increase and promotions recently. “After nearly two years, we are hearing good news. It looks like companies are desperate to retain talent,” said A Sriram, a software engineer who did not want to reveal his company’s name. Infosys reported the highest employee attrition level. Of the 18.7 per cent attrition level at Infosys, 17.5 per cent was voluntary.

Infy to give 7% hike

It gave compensation of 6-7 per cent for its offshore employees and 1-2 per cent for onsite employees effective April 1. Through this second round of compensation increase in the last nine months along with promotions, Infosys hopes to reduce attrition in coming quarters, said its CEO and Managing Director SD Shibulal.

“Attrition is an industry phenomenon because there is a serious shortage of qualified talent. The better you train, the better your people are and the better demand they are in,” he told analysts while discussing the company’s financial results.

The IT sector is relatively young and demand for talent continues to be high. Most companies provide a high number of similar job opportunities at various levels, offering little differentiation for employees. The current and prospective employees attach higher importance to compensation, said Moorthy K Uppaluri, CEO, Randstad India, a recruitment company.

Companies need to differentiate themselves to retain best talent. Job content and career progression opportunities need to supersede and influence employees to look beyond compensation, he said.

Wipro staff to get 8% increase

TK Kurien, CEO, Wipro, said, “There are certain skills where we see shortage. Where we have to pay more to get talent, we will get them. But we don’t see too much of pressure on absolute wages.” Wipro’s attrition was around 15 per cent last fiscal.

Effective June, Wipro will offer wage increases of 6-8 per cent to employees in offshore and 2-3 per cent for onsite staff, he told analysts.

The attrition level at TCS continues to be healthy - a little over 11 per cent overall, said its CEO and MD N Chandrasekaran.

10% hike from TCS

On the 10-per-cent-wage hike this year, he said, “It is just not only a factor of whether we can live with 8 per cent. The company has done incredibly well and profits have been very good, margins have been very good, and also we see the growth opportunity. We have a satisfied work force and we want to have an energetic work force, and reward them and keep them energetic.”

The IT industry has been struggling from last 2-3 years and good time is expected to come for employees and employers when opportunity will increase in market both in terms of business and jobs, said Sunil Goel, MD, GlobalHunt, a recruitment company. Competition always eyes core talent to get business and process information. Hence to keep competition out of race, companies do provide extra benefits to the core talent.