Average rate of attrition last year was 10 per cent

K. Ramakrishna (26) is a Sun Certified Java professional and has cleared all certifications of a major banking product offered by an MNC. In a career spanning five years, he has changed three jobs with major companies. “It stands very true for IT employees, love your work, not your company because you never know when your company stops loving you,” he says.

Salary raise

Recently, top IT firms which have offices in the city, including Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys Technologies and Wipro Technologies, raised salaries to check attrition. Despite this, according to experts, the average attrition in 2010 was 10 per cent across Indian IT companies, a rate that may increase to 25 per cent in 2011-12 with improved salaries.

Higher attrition rates are expected to remain a concern for the industry, particularly considering that replacing experienced personnel with fresh graduates costs 8-10 per cent more on account of the training expenditure, says Narayan Sridhar, an IT consultant with many companies.

“It is not a problem being a job hopper here, you sense the right opportunities and make the correct move based on the job profile, preferred work location and mainly the salary increment,” says Arun Kumar.S, a senior software engineer with an IT major.

From the companies' perspective, while recruiting fresh candidates is relatively inexpensive to roping in lateral engineers who come with a different set of expectations, the attrition rate means the massive training expenditure on a lot of their employees goes wasted, say experts.

Hence most companies have started taking engagement with employees very seriously, says NASSCOM regional director K. Purushottaman.

The workforce that is an asset to the company is identified and kept satisfied, say experts.

From celebrating birthdays and granting frequent promotions to recognising their loyalty and efforts, companies adopt a variety of strategies to retain them. “MBA is a major temptation so companies offer to sponsor employees' education after they have worked there for a minimum four years,” says Mr. Sridhar.

Company shares

Another visible trend adopted recently by many companies to retain employees, says Kala Madhavan, IT- HR consultant, is offering company shares to employees with a certain lock-in period.

Increasing the retention bonus, change in appraisal policies, heeding to employee concerns through internal portals, facilitating interactions with management are what companies are doing, she says.

Companies are also increasing the notice period to make the process of resigning difficult for the employees, especially if he/she is valuable, she adds.

Role of colleges

Colleges, however, cannot do anything to train the individuals to stick to a company that recruited him/her, says S. Selvam, Director, Centre for University- Industry Collaboration, Anna University.

“The nature of work, the shift hours and the stress involved in terms of project deadlines work differently on people,” he says.

Experts also say that the peer group environment influences an employee's career decisions, so does the need to be with family. Inter-personnel relationships, ego hassles with bosses and the desire to work on a specific platform also prompt them to leave jobs. “IT jobs are easily available, and for individuals with an experience of more than three years, there are many takers,” says Ramakrishna.

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Vasudha VenugopalJune 28, 2012