In what will be the first such comprehensive exercise in the IT industry, all the 91,000-odd employees of India's second-largest IT services provider, Infosys Technologies, will now have to pass certification programmes to get promoted.

The certification programme, conducted every March, is now being extended across the board and will test the employees' domain expertise, and grade them accordingly to be eligible for promotion.

Nandita Gurjar, V-P and group head (HRD), Infosys, said: "We took a re-look at our performance structure, and decided that this year onwards, we will have various training certifications for our employees. Those who qualify for these certification benchmarks will be considered for higher and complex jobs."

The Bangalore-based IT firm also has a bottom performance plan, according to which the poor performers are given a chance to improve their skills. "But if we see no improvement, despite all measures, we will let go of the employees," said Gurjar.

She confirmed that some employees were asked to leave on these grounds, but declined to put a figure to it.

Incidentally, this calendar year, there were reports of IBM laying off 500 to 600 freshers, and working on ways to certify the skill levels of its employees.

Besides, 500 people were asked to resign from India's largest IT services provider, TCS. Yahoo! India, too, reportedly told 45 full-time employees across all levels to quit on these grounds. All these IT firms said it was part of a routine annual 'trimming' process.

Meanwhile, the perceived slowdown in the US economy has hit Infosys Technologies' hiring plans this year, as it did with those of most IT firms. Gurjar reiterated that the IT bellwether is expected to hire 25,000 people in FY09 -- 7,000 less than what it did last year -- but is keen on utilising its existing manpower resources by its employee performance management system.

She added, though, "if the US economy shows signs of revival and thereby if there are projects in hand, we might look at hiring more."

Of the 25,000-strong recruitment planned, 18,000 offers have already been made to engineering campuses. Typically, 70 to 75 per cent of the offers convert into recruitment. About 3,500 candidates are currently undergoing training at Mysore, where the company's training institute is headquartered, and will come into delivery in the first quarter of the current fiscal.

The company is already investing about Rs 700 crore each year towards training its employees. TV Mohandas Pai, member of the board, Infosys says: "This year, there might be a 20 per cent rise in investment in educating and training employees."

The company is also hiring 145 employees from US college campuses and about 25 from UK campuses. "We have already started training of foreign recruits and are talking with several universities in the UK where we will work with faculty and design curriculum suitable for the IT industry," confirmed Pai. Infosys has an attrition rate of 13.4 per cent.

Infosys has recruited 15 Indian Institute of Management (IIM) graduates this financial year compared to 20 last year. The salaries range between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 17 lakh a year.

However, to prevent the poaching of IIM graduates by banks and financial institutions, these recruits will be primarily asked to handle sales where they are likely to get onsite placements and incentives like performance bonuses. Earlier, IIM graduates at Infosys were allocated functions like management, marketing and technology services.

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2 reactions, what do you say?

  1. Anonymous  

    hey..tht is not so good news yaar..well its clear thar we hv to clear the certification for promotion but wht will happen if smbody don't clear it????whther he will b in the same post or company will show him the doors????

  2. Chintan Patel  

    the answer is in the article itself ... anyways, they give us a chance to improve but if we dont show any improvement, they throw us out...

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