Recruiting like crazy

As Indian software companies continue to recruit like there’s no tomorrow, salaries are rising (Ref: Satyam hikes salaries), job sites and?job sections in newspapers are flooded with IT job ads. So is all this good news for India and its IT talent or is there a darker side to it??

Most believe that these are good days for IT in India and?almost all companies are recruiting on a massive scale. Recruitments are happening across the board for all kinds of skill sets, including J2EE.

Only yesterday, a friend told me that his company is having a Diwali Dhamaka recruitment drive so that those who refer new employees at the time of the Diwali festival get some additional gifts apart from the standard amount one gets when a referral actually joins the company and stays with it for a few months.

I then had a look at the current Business World magazine and say these amazing statistics. Infosys, TCS and Wipro together added a whopping 14,530 new employees in just 3 months (July-Sep 04) !!! These three together have 110,960 employees! And these are just three of the many IT companies in India. So if you consider the recruitments happening at IBM, Oracle, HSBC, Cognizant, i-flex…..the figures would be startling to say the least!

Source: Business World

Sounds good ??? I am not so sure.?

What worries me are the conclusions one can draw from these figures:

  1. The idea of “knowledge workers” is a big sham. IT professionals are glorified in India and elsewhere as smart people doing highly intellectual tasks. I think that is very far away from the truth. I refuse to believe that TCS, Infosys and Wipro have intellectual work for 110,960 people.
  2. So obviously most work happening here is mundane and repetitive. Companies seem to think that the solution for every problem comes when you throw more employees at it. So you are essentially paying smart men and women big salaries to handle stupid tasks. BPO is the best example of this. Have a look at Brain Paralysing Outfits?by Mahesh Murthy.
  3. The mantra today is “The more the employees, the bigger and better the company” when it actually should be the “The more innovation, the more the creation of intellectual property, the bigger the international presence, the better the company”. When was the last time you heard of a ingenious new software coming from any of these giant Indian companies?
  4. Perhaps the most worrying factor is that, as with all good things, this phase will not last forever. A few years back some companies laid off 50-100 employees and there was a major hue and cry about it. However this time round the layoff would not be in the single or double digits. It would be on a scale that India has never seen before. There are no employee bodies to protect employee interests and so I wonder who can possibly stop this day from coming. Having said that, IT employees don’t even seem willing to recognize this possibility.? Consumerism has swept India and most IT professionals are between 20-40 and are carrying loans of a million rupees and more!
  5. The value of an individual is negligible or zero. You are no more than an EmployeeId. So if you are a fresh graduate with dreams of changing the world, a small 10 person company might be a better option than being just Another Brick in The Wall!

Although I risk being termed a?pessimist, I hope I have at least provided a different point of view and some food for thought. I am looking forward to reading your comments on the subject.?

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70 thoughts on “Recruiting like crazy

  • November 14, 2005 at 3:23 am
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    How can u tell Civil Engineers/BA will not have the following ‘Quality’ I mean – a person who is really into ‘Computers’, who knows what his future and aim is. i have seen lot of people who are not BEs and MCAs they are doing realy good job than BEs and MCAs

  • November 14, 2005 at 1:53 am
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    I totally agree with what Harshad has to say but i beg to differ on one point. I think there should be trade unions or the companies will suck the life out of the employees. 🙂

  • October 20, 2005 at 2:09 pm
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    I think the main reason of the author for starting this conversation is getting more hits on the site. what say???
    But still I will try to talk about a few points mentioned by the author and provide one more point of view.

    If I understand right Tomorrow(near/far future) big cos are going to layoff thousands of employees and that is one of the reasons for choosing a smaller co rather than a bigger co.
    But is it not that when market goes down smaller 10-15 person co are the first to go bust.?

    Also about the quality of work. I am sure if quality of work is any better in smaller co. On the contrary smaller co tend to get more repetative and less critical projects as no major clients will entrust them with business critical projects.

    about global presence – I think ppl to should start visiting site like econonictimes. every alternate days there are news of new takeovers by indian Software co around the world. Although new in the game Indian IT co are fast picking up.

  • July 21, 2005 at 3:03 pm
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    What abt Subex it isnt going srazy like CTS??????????

  • June 24, 2005 at 9:00 pm
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    Its actually pathetic to see that people in India take the job of IT/SW to be clerical. Maybe the person who wrote that comment has himself only used MS-Word and Copy-Paste functions, and can thus comment on IT jobs being clerical.

    IT jobs demand good coding skills, and not only Copying and Pasting. Its true that people from all backgrounds are recruited in the IT industry, but ultimately what matters is the result. If the end product is good and fresh grads are making money, who the hell is complaining?

  • June 16, 2005 at 3:28 pm
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    hey the article just really hits on my question too!
    i m a fresher jus waiting for 8th sem result BE(INFT). with my 55% agg. Well seeing all my friends being placed the way stated is asking me also to join the party.
    but for how long will this take is also a question,

    plz guide me as to what points i should consider before picking up a job.. tech-wise, size of company, a possible stand for me in company after a few yrs….

    as to most of guidence i get is u can try for x company take it if u get there. no other orientation or vision is what inspires me to do that. i think that would mean simply following crowd.

    n wat all do i need to build upon as a software engineer? a wholesome exp in any one field aka language(technology) or what n how ?

    please sent any suggestions or a piece of advice at schands@rediffmail.com,chand_wins@yahoo.co.in

    also we hear as java no no now go for .net that is in… how to deal with this myth

    thankyou waiting for a direction

    😕

  • May 27, 2005 at 10:22 am
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    Dear Mr.Harshad!
    ur article on this massive recruit by the indian IT companies is really thought-provoking. the indian IT trend now provides the job opportunities for many of the youngsters. but in the long run, their future is unsafe, i agree this. but the solution is not stopping this massive recruitements. the real solution should start from the people- they should understand the burden of being an IT professional and they should also have atleast a little thought of the other opportunities outside IT. this can even start right from the time when a guy chooses his graduation programme. right???

  • April 21, 2005 at 7:17 pm
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    I feel recuitement Drive in IT industry is more genuine and involved much more intelligent thinking on the part of hired resource.
    It is also result of paradigm shift towards the offshore develoment process. Initially, Software development companoies were sceptical towards this model. But this has been widely accespted as one of the tested and proven methodologies across the globe. Thus there are more jobs to do now, hence we need more ppl to work on the same.
    I cant see any point on how TCS / Infy / Wipro will hire a post graduate in Computer application to perform a mundane and routine tasks. They can get a graduate in 1/10th of salary. 🙂

  • April 17, 2005 at 11:22 pm
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    This is exactly why smaller companies [URL=http://www.connectivasystems.com]like us[/URL] cannot get good graduates. We do some cutting work on Telecom Billing and EAI, and yet, we difficulties attracting the right talent. Freshers are more inclined to join to these big shops, simply because of peer and family pressure.

    I took a decision early on in my career, to join a 10 man start up outfit. I had just 6 months of experience back then.

    Four years later, this [URL=http://www.connectivasystems.com]company[/URL] has gone on to become a 60 strong outfit, and will add another at least 50 people by the year end. We are today competing and winning against likes of Subex Systems and Connexion. It feels proud to be a part of this success.

    It takes guts to decline offers from big shops, but unfortunately most graduates, don’t seem to have any of it.

  • March 19, 2005 at 11:56 pm
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    Iam presently learning java/j2EE and want to enter the industry. But my friends say that presently .net has snatched away all the jobs of java. Also that present java jobs are all of maintainence type and no further devt kind of jobs.

    Kindly clarify

  • November 26, 2004 at 5:36 pm
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    This entire article, as the author himself has pointed out, is very negative.
    First of all, Software development is NOT repetitive OR clerical. I have been in this industry for 8 years and in 4 different companies. I know.
    Secondly, it is implicitly assumed that since they are hiring like crazy today, they will layoff in the same way. Not necessarily. And even if they do, we will use our own brains and build products that will beat the top s/w products of today. Be it Oracle database or Windows OS.
    The boom today is because of outsourcing to India. If that stops, there is always product development. Nobody can beat innovation and creativity.
    Don’t under estimate the power of intelligence.
    The laidoff s/w engineer of today might become the product developer of tomorrow.

  • November 16, 2004 at 2:12 pm
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    There seems to be some mis-conception or confusion here.
    I work for a company that is building J2EE based product. Although not architected in India, the complete work involves a great load of understanding and implementation of best practices. If it had been a clerical stuff, I had been copying and pasting some existing servlet/jsp, ejb and jdbc code into the project. I or my team hardly does that. Not sure of Infy/Wipro etc. but the kind of work our guys in most of the companies do (esp. in J2EE) is surely adding a lot to their knowledge and career. Ask them if they knew what a connection pooling is a year ago. Now they will tell you 10 existing solutions and 1 built by their own intelligence for a custom and proprietary requirement.
    Same way, for a senior software engineer or tech lead, the concepts have gone till the level of design patterns and they too are all set to go for architecting some product/solution in the near future.

    Lets not discourage the very possibility of India being the tech. destination of the globe. Our guys are surely competitive enough, they just need opportunity and direction.

    I have to say one thing. If you are a programmer/developer/software engineer, trust me, nothing can take you away from earning your bread and butter if you make yourself dedicated to a technology and learn to see where it is going. You may lose out the weekend pub parties and Arrow shirts, but you sure would live without them for a while 🙂

  • November 15, 2004 at 7:12 pm
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    [URL=http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/922854.cms]Ness Tech to up India staff to 2,700[/URL]

    [URL=http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/923106.cms]MS to hire hundreds more in India[/URL][*]null

  • November 10, 2004 at 3:30 pm
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    Hey Guys ,

    just stop this word ‘knowledege workers’ Its absloutely pathetic terminology .Information is not knowledge.IT has nothing to do with knowledge per se.This is sick .
    The media ,fat salary ,consumerism are trying to just create a myth that we are creating a KNOWLEDGE BASED industry.ITs job is clerical .
    and IT professioanls are trying to make clerks more efficient .PERIOD.

  • November 4, 2004 at 11:19 pm
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    I think India is getting there. Many US giants such as Oracle, IBM, Microsoft are setting up R & D stations in India and am sure those jobs are not like your average BPO job.

    One just has to find the right job for himself/herself. Not everybody is destined to innovate. We don’t want million Indian programmers innovating and not writing software
    that can be used today for daily business.

    Not every US IT job is about innovation either and to discount what an average Indian IT person does for a living as ‘not so smart’ is kinda sweeping.

    Should IIT grads be writing the next OS? Thats a tough one. Writing truly ground breaking technology requires skills as well as
    intentions.

    How many parents would be happy with their IIT grad son not having a job but ‘innovating’ in the house. So it is very much cultural too..

    So there…

  • November 3, 2004 at 3:02 pm
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    The rate at which offshore companies are recruiting is alarming.The days of arguing on whether to use bubble sort or insertion sort in a code are gone.Partially Software Industry overall too is responsible for this.25 years back,if you can not tell the difference between tree and trie then you can not be in software writing.Now business model has changed.(Things have changed in last 20 years–Bill Gates).From Indian persepctive,things seem to be good now but can change any time once cheaper global destination is found.

  • October 29, 2004 at 2:17 pm
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    Any person doing any run-of-the-mill job is certainly not a knowledge worker. And the institution for which he works for can’t claim to be a part of the knowledge-based industry. How can a person with a metallurgy background, with 4 weeks of training in computer science be classified as a knowledge worker? Charles Simonyi , David Kruglinski, Linus Torvald, Charles Petzold, Brian Kernighan, Dennis Ritchie etc. these are knowledge workers. As for these so called programming experts working for the MNC?s, if you asked a person working in VC++ how the windows directories and messages are handled internally, he will most probably start browsing through the BSNL telephone directory. I personally know a few ‘core’ C/VC++ programmers (wonder if there is an synonym for ‘core’ that I still don’t know of) who still think that the only difference between Win 98 and 2000 is that Win 2000 has a better GUI.

  • October 29, 2004 at 11:20 am
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    The most important point discussed in this article is absence of some body who will fight for employees rights. I haven?t heard till date that a trade union is formed in any of these IT majors. I agree that there are disadvantages of trade union. But I strongly feel that in each and every organization there should be some governing body. And a bad thing is that this is not happening in software industry. And the most of sad thing that even not a single ?knowledge worker? feels that there is a need of governing body. All these people are living in comfort zone. So all these so called IT majors just recruit really like crazy and when the slowdown starts at the same speed they start the lay offs. From my point of view all these 110,960 people are orphans. The only backing to these people is just of a fat pay packages.

  • October 29, 2004 at 10:34 am
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    There is only one industry all over the world that recruits with irrelevent background – may it be Civil engineer or a BA and thats the Software Industry. The reason being simple – get a person into the organissation, train him/her and put him to work. The current trend of recruitment is only worried about the number of employees they can hire so as to increase their respective revenues. If all are aware, most of the service based companies are being paid in 3-digit dollards per day per employee irrespective of the designation of the employee. So the aim is to increase the number. I will say that out of the whole recruitment process, only 5 – 10% recruitment is of the ‘Quality’ people. By the term ‘Quality’ I mean – a person who is really into ‘Computers’, who knows what his future and aim is. But anyway I wont blame the companies for such kind of recruitments. I believe that if someone is leaving a manufacturing industry and joining a S/W just for money, its really a short-term thinking. And due to the ‘high’ pay factor in the S/W, there are tonnes of such individuals who are willing to do any kind of a job in a S/W organisation. I met a friend of mine who has a well-to-do job in statistics, and to my amazement, he too was desperate getting into a S/W industry. What these people are looking at is a future for say 2-3 years. But waht after that?

  • October 28, 2004 at 5:58 pm
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    Check this interview: [URL=http://www.computerworld.com/managementtopics/outsourcing/story/0,10801,83309,00.html]Q&A: Cognizant CEO says, ‘We’re recruiting like crazy'[/URL]

  • October 28, 2004 at 5:19 pm
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    I totally agree with the view expressed in the article. I personally believe that indian IT giants are not having any right to say that they are the best and all. They are just a software services companies as other exist. As mentioned in the article none of these IT giants have delivered a product which is a competition to MS-office, winzip etc. I think these companies are just in hurry to get equal with Indian Railways. As per my knowledge Indian Railway’s strength is around 10 Lakh people.

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