Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has offered about 1,000 freshers with new-age digital skills almost double the salary it normally pays those coming out of campuses.
While the entry-level salary of Indian engineers + in the IT industry has been stuck at about Rs 3.5 lakh per annum for the past decade, TCS is offering those with digital skills a starting salary of about Rs 6.5 lakh.
The selection of these candidates was based on their clearing a test focused on new digital areas. From this year, candidates who perform exceedingly well in the company’s online National Qualifier Test (NQT), about which TOI reported recently, will also get an opportunity to take a shot at that digital skills-based examination.
TCS, one of the biggest recruiters from Indian engineering institutes, usually visits its accredited colleges to conduct a test followed by an interview. This process is going to be largely replaced by the NQT. “People who have done well in the NQT will get a chance to write another test for the digital talent pool, and if they clear and go through the interview, then they will get into the digital pool and their compensation will be differentiated,” Ajoy Mukherjee, executive VP and head of global human resources, told TOI in an interaction. The test involves programming with a higher degree of difficulty compared to the NQT.
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The test is longer and requires good coding skills. The move by TCS shows the lengths to which companies are ready to go to hire good talent. Employees armed with skills in the fields of machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and data analysis are getting better appraisals across levels. Such specialists are few and in much demand.
Companies often have to spend significantly on training employees to acquire such skills. TCS’s NQT, launched this year, has enabled it to reach out to a far larger student talent base, as also complete the recruitment process in three-four weeks compared to the three-four months it took under the traditional process.
Mukherjee would not comment on the number of people who would be hired this year as part of the digital pool, saying that the process is still on, but added that the numbers would be nearly the same or higher compared to the 1,000 it did in the last academic year.