HCL Technologies try to arrest attrition with 'hire to retire' platform
HCL Technologies is revamping its internal technology interface to gauge employee sentiment better and provide an advanced tool for onboarding or training, to stem soaring attrition rates at India’s third largest software services firm by revenue.
The Noida-based IT firm is using techniques such as gamification as well as AI/ML tools to track and address dissatisfaction levels related to work. It is also set to enhance the overall employee experience with respect to training and onboarding.
The new interface will be implemented by consulting firm EY, HR chief VV Apparao told. Last year, the company spent $20 million on employee welfare services like vaccinations and hospital tie-ups, he added.
HCL Technologies’ attrition rate touched 20% in the October-December quarter, and the company is rolling out a series of measures to stop talent from leaving.
“We are revamping all of our IT landscape because the existing ones have been developed incrementally over the past 30 years…we feel from an employee experience perspective they are not great,” Apparao said. There is a need to leverage new technologies better, he added.
During the fiscal third quarter, HCL Technologies reported an attrition rate of 19.8%, up from 15.7% in the previous three-month period, due to the massive demand for tech resources.
The “Hire to Retire” platform aims to improve the entire employee lifecycle from recruitment, onboarding and training and right up to retirement.
“The biggest challenge for us is that we don’t know what they are thinking until they resign, which is a reactive approach. We have introduced a gamified approach where they take about two minutes to answer these queries which gives us an insight into how comfortable they are,” he added.
To further contain attrition, the company is also planning to double its hiring of freshers for the next fiscal. It will be hiring around 20,000 freshers by the end of the ongoing financial year. As of the fiscal second quarter, the company had onboarded 15,787 freshers out of the planned number. HCL Technologies is providing freshers compensation visibility for five years. It also plans to hire over 2,000 US graduates over the next 2-3 years where it has already achieved almost 72% of the local recruitment target.
The global talent demand that we see is for new age skills in cloud, IoT (Internet of Things) or cybersecurity among others, which requires freshers. The success factor lies in how soon we can hire, train and deploy freshers,” Apparao said.
HCL Technologies has also carved out a comprehensive programme to develop future leaders within a bucket of 600-odd employees in the age group of 35-45 years.
“They are provided coaches, mentors and management skills from B-schools like Wharton or ISB. We try to understand the gaps that these people have and train them by rotating them through different roles over a period of four to five years,” he said.
Though the attrition rate has stabilised in the last quarter, companies are learning to live with high attrition numbers. “We have learned how to deliver even with 20-30% attrition; honestly, nobody is failing in delivering to customers today. And this is a global phenomenon, it is not just in India,” he said.
Indian IT firms have been reporting their highest attrition rates in three years as they see employees being snapped up rivals as well as global companies and startups that are benefitting from a rise in technology spending worldwide.
While Bengaluru-based Infosys saw its attrition rate shoot up to 25.5% in the December quarter, crosstown rival Wipro reported a spike in attrition to 22.7%. At 15.3%, the number was relatively lower for TCS.