Students who have been recruited to IT major HCL Technologies, and who have been waiting for more than a year for their joining dates, may soon have to make alternative career decisions.

The company has now said it will start communicating the dates of joining to the recruited candidates only in August 2013.

HCL had earlier said that recruited candidates could apply for vacancies in its infrastructure wing, but those who did were asked to once again appear for a round of interviews, leaving them frustrated and angry.

“The company asked me to appear for over three rounds of interviews. Why should we appear for interviews after we have been selected?” asked a student, who applied for an HCL infrastructure job recently.

The students say these jobs are open to all engineering graduates, and not just to the HCL recruits. “Over 5,000 people will apply for these jobs. We have not being given any privilege over the rest of the graduates. It is like starting the recruitment process all over again and for a lesser salary,” said a student.

“The company officials reasoned with us, saying we would get only Rs. 4,000 a month less than those employed in engineering. But they have refused to promise students a shift from infrastructure to engineering development after few months,” said R. Narayanan, an engineering graduate.

“They told us we have to work in testing services for at least a year and a half. After that, we might not be eligible for development jobs even in other companies,” he added.

R. Nethra, an engineering graduate from a deemed university, who was recruited by HCL Technologies in August 2011, said, “I chose HCL over Cognizant and Aricent Technologies because the company had the most impressive pre-placement talk. The officials said we would get immediate joining dates and we could also choose our location and work profile.”

Over 6,000 students were campus-picked by the company in 2011. “We could have finished our postgraduation in these two years. Come May, we will neither be beginners, nor be experienced IT professional. We will just be unemployed engineers sitting at home,” said R. Rohith, another engineering graduate.

This week, students in Chennai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Noida protested in front of HCL offices in their cities demanding early joining dates.

HCL had asked its recruits to appear for a test in September last year to get immediate joining dates. The test was only cleared by 1,300 of the 6,500 candidates who took it.

“Not even the ones who have cleared the test have been called to join. Considering they will be called first, the others might be called only in 2014. And all this while, students had not joined other companies or even gone in for higher studies, as they were expecting a call from HCL,” said a placement officer at a city college.

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