Upskilling, reskilling, nimble structure: How TCS manages its mega workforce

The software giant has over 5 lakh employees, and plans to recruit 40,000 more freshers this fiscal; says its size is a 'living experiment'

TCS and other IT majors have been ramping up local hiring in the US, the UK, and European and Latin American countries.

Amid rampant job losses due to the pandemic, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has some good news. The Mumbai-based software services giant, whose current employee strength stands at about 5 lakh, plans to hire more than 40,000 freshers in India this financial year.

The company is not unduly worried about the sheer size of its workforce, as it is structured in such a way that it is nimble, according to top TCS executives.

Increased recruitment

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“Last year, we hired 40,000 associates from campuses in India. This year, the number may be even more, Milind Lakkad, Chief Human Resource Officer at TCS, told press persons at a briefing. “Similarly, in the US, we hired 2,000 employees from campuses in FY21 and the number is likely to be higher this year. The story will be the same for Latin America as well.”

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In the first quarter of FY 2021-22, TCS recruited 20,409 people, taking the total headcount to 509,058, said media reports.

Rajesh Gopinathan, the company’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, said having such a huge employee base was similar to going through a “living experiment”.

“We are continuously exploring what is the best we can do with this size of our workforce. The question is how we structure ourselves in a dynamic changing world. Typically, a professional’s life spans over 40 years, within which they have to be prepared to go through about 5-6 tech cycles. Having an organisation that thinks about their upskilling and reskilling is a very important aspect for a professional,” he added.

He said he was often asked if the organisation was too large, “but the way the company is structured keeps it nimble”.

Local hiring

TCS and other IT majors have been ramping up local hiring in the US, the UK, and European and Latin American countries to comply with those governments’ norms and to work around visa limits. This helped TCS during the pandemic, when travel restrictions were in place, said Lakkad.

“Despite travel restrictions during the pandemic, the company’s business was not affected,” he said.

A lot of planning goes into hiring from campuses, a PTI report quoted Lakkad as saying. ‘Just-in-time’ hiring when a business deal is signed up is not possible, he said, adding that it typically takes over three months before a resource gets on a project.

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