IT services major Cognizant plans to hire 28,000 freshers in 2021 in India in comparison to the 17,000 hired in 2020. The plans are in line to address a steep rise in voluntary attrition in Q1 of CY21 to 18%.
Brian Humphries, CEO, Cognizant stated in an earnings call that the company is doing the right thing to address attrition and is also working to manage “the salary inflationary elements of this.”
Humphries added that the company will see sequential increases in attrition based on the resignations in the last few months as the IT major follows a two-month notice period in India.
“So we have a strong understanding as to what attrition will be in Q2. But that’s been factored into our model and into our guidance. And in the meantime, we’ve been hiring at record pace given the extra recruiters we’ve put to work,” he said.
To address retention, he revealed that the company has been executing a multi-part plan which comprises of stepping up internal engagement efforts and increasing investments in people through training and job rotations, shifting to a quarterly promotion cycle for billable associates, and implementing further salary increases and promotions for high-demand skills and critical positions.
Cognizant has a headcount of 2,96,500, and more than two lakh employees are based in India. Recently, it also announced a Returnship Program In India which aims to offer a 12-week paid experience for technology professionals looking at restarting their careers after a break. The program is aimed at getting diverse talent in the door, irrespective of when their last professional role was.