For the past two years, Cognizant Technology Solutions and Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), Tamil Nadu, have been figuring in the Limca Book of Records for the highest placements done by a company on a single day. Cognizant had given 1,820 job offers in 2012 and 1,643 in 2011 to students at VIT. No longer. This year, Cognizant offered only 803 jobs at VIT, less than half of what it did last year. Accenture and Wipro, however, filled the void by offering 1,492 and 1,308 jobs, respectively.
"The scenario is that of a big recession. Every company wants to cut recruitment by 50 per cent and several institutions are feeling the heat. The European slowdown is having its impact on the placement initiatives of big companies," said VIT University Vice-President G V Sampath.
IT companies, which most engineering institutes bank on, are cutting recruitment. Infosys, which declared its second-quarter numbers last week, painted a gloomy picture for engineering aspirants planning to join the industry. The company has said it would hire 6,000 students this year, a sharp drop from 19,000 last year. Infosys has also decided to reduce the number of colleges it visits for campus hiring. "If needed, more hiring will be done off-campus," said Nandita Gurjar, head, human resources.
Sangeeta Lala, senior vice-president TeamLease Services, agrees. "Attrition at IT companies is down substantially. Companies are looking at hiring off-campus," says Lala. She says companies are realising hiring from the market provides them a candidate fitter for the job.
Even for VIT's counterpart, SRM University in Chennai, the situation is not so bright this year. According to
S Ganapathy, dean, placement cell, SRM University, this year, TCS has completed 858 recruitments and Wipro 305. TCS gave 1,214 job offers and Wipro 273 at the institution last year. Accenture had offered 849 positions last year. Other engineering institutes from Chennai said IT companies had said their recruitment would be almost 50 per cent less than usual.
Pay packages, however, have not taken a dip. Bulk recruiters, including IT companies, have sustained the entry-level yearly salary of Rs 3 lakh. Some IT majors are offering Rs 9-11 lakh per annum.