Infotech attrition rate slides to single digits

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bengaluru, Oct 15: Remember the stories about technology professionals walking around with multiple job offers, bargaining with employers for club memberships and fancy cars, joining one company and then slipping out in a few months, often days, to join another at twice the salary? All that's history.

Employee attrition rates are today plunging. In Infosys Technologies, the attrition rate in the July-September quarter was just 8 per cent, against about 13 per cent in the corresponding quarter the previous year. Many in the IT industry had seen attrition rates as high as 20 per cent, and in BPOs, nearly 60 per cent. But analysts now say that rate in IT has dropped to single digits, and in BPOs to about 20 per cent.

Team Lease MD Manish Sabhrawal says the current market scenario has blunted salaries and has also ushered in sanity by bringing attrition levels to an all-time low. "Looks like a phase of hormonal imbalance is over," he says.

Recruitment in the banking and financial services vertical is almost dead, given the collapse of many financial institutions. Nearly 50 per cent of the business of many Tier I tech firms comes from this space. Employees in this vertical today have no option but to cling on to their jobs.

Even professionals in other verticals are seen to be wary of shifting to another company even if that job comes with a better offer. Some recruiters say it may not be advisable to move to a new job at this point. "Employers are always looking at ways of cutting cost. Talent accounts for over 60% of the total operational cost. So, no one wants to become the 'last in first out'. It's easy to fire new recruits and people on probation," says Amitabh Das, CEO of Vati Consulting, a recruitment process outsourcing firm.

Mohanlal Menon, MD of Sentient Consulting, also notes that employees have become extremely cautious about making any move to get out of existing jobs. On the other hand, companies are introducing additional processes and systems to make hiring more stringent and need-based.

"A wonderful combination of this employee-employer teamwork has changed the industry and made it more stable and real," says Menon.

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