End Of H1B Visa? TCS, Infosys, Wipro Focus Hard On Localised Hiring In US, Europe
Thanks to pandemic travel limitations and localised hiring picking up speed, dependence on foreign workers serving IT firms is expected to dwindle in the next 2-3 years.
Although American President Biden has invited employers to register their employees online for H1-B and L1 visas, the industry is looking inwards for talent.
Tata Consultancy Services Hiring
TCS has a 7 year history of hiring home grown talent. Between April 2020 and Jan 2021 it has overseen onshore hiring of 10,938 trainees and experienced workers alike.
Almost 3000 of the hires were in the Oct-Dec period alone, making it the highest quarter hiring figures for the company.
Subcontractors were brought on board for short-term projects.
Milind Lakkad, Chief HR Officer at TCS, was optimistic and said the dependence on work visas is at an all time low which has contributed significantly to “de-risking” their business.
Travel and co-location will no longer be major concerns for the future due to “virtualisation” of business activities with SBWS (Secure Borderless Workplaces).
Nandan Nilekani of Infosys said that given the rise of protectionist measures, companies needed to rise up to the challenge by being active in every market. His firm increased hiring commitment in the US with plans to onboard 12,000 people over 5 years, bringing the total number of American workers to 25,000.
Why Hiring Approach Has Changed
An industry expert Peter Schumacher of Value Leadership Group said that the hiring plans do not simply reflect the companies’ adaptive measures to pandemic-reinforced restrictions and travel limitations.
Bringing staff closer to customers will allow Indian firms to “ sharpen their customer focus, understand their customers better, and gain the ability to act faster in response to or in anticipation of changes in the customer situation”, explains Schumacher.
Pareekh Jain, founder and lead analyst, EIIRTrend, chimed in by saying these hiring strategies are connected to margins. Owing to the pandemic customers have learned that work can be done from anywhere in the world. “We have seen contracts where the onshore-offshore ratio has moved from 25-30:70 to 10-15 per cent onsite,” added Jain.
Nilanjan Roy, Infosys CFO, reports that clients have warmed up to the idea of offshoring as a lesson learned from the virus crisis. ‘Seventy-five per cent of employee cost is onsite whereas only 25 per cent of the headcount sits there; and therefore, if you do not address the onsite pyramid you really have a battle up your hand,’ Roy added.
The Funda for Successful Customer Relationships
Schumacher cited 3 key points of improvement. The ability to envision scope for added value beyond the original project or engagement is one.
The second is the ability to manage momentum for change and advancement of client agenda.
The potential for local employees to add unique local perspectives, their experience and judgment to recognize future issues and its solutions that might crop up is the final one.
Given the growing number of transformational initiatives many Indian cos are undertaking, these areas of competency are vital and cannot be ignored.