Has TCS found a way out of Indian IT’s growing attrition problem? 

Keep at it.
Keep at it.
Image: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui
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India’s largest IT services company is doing a better job of holding on to talent than its rivals.

Attrition at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) was 15.3% in the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2021, it disclosed in its earnings report today (Jan. 12). For two other tech behemoths, the share of employees voluntarily leaving the companies was way higher. Attrition rates at Infosys and Wipro, which also announced earnings today, were 25.5% and 22.7% respectively.

Moreover, TCS, which has over half a million employees, claimed that attrition levels were bottoming out. The $193 billion firm credited progressive workplace policies, a vibrant culture, and growing opportunities for talent for its ability to retain talent.

“By continuing to invest in our people, giving preference to internal candidates for the most exciting open positions, providing global deployment opportunities, fast track career paths linked to learning, and promotions to over 110,000 employees, we have been able to retain our best talent and overcome supply side challenges,” says chief HR officer Milind Lakkad. More than 32% of open positions within TCS were filled through up-skilling and cross-skilling.

Indian IT’s great resignation problem is good for jobseekers

Indian IT’s attrition rate reached all-time highs last year, doubling from 10% to 20% between 2020 and 2021. Despite doing better than competitors, TCS’s attrition problem has also grown over the last year.

As companies recover from the pandemic, most jobs are being created in advanced tech roles in cloud, big data, and artificial intelligence. For these niche skillsets, demand far outstrips supply, putting the ball in the jobseeker’s court. “Those who are in the job market have multiple job offers,” says Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder and executive vice president at HR firm TeamLease.

Plus, candidates are looking beyond job functions and salaries. Jobseekers increasingly value flexible hours, remote work, and other perks. And often, startups leave traditional tech companies in the dust when it comes to offering compelling salaries and benefits.