Sruthi Krishnan

CHENNAI: With jobs fast disappearing from the market, those without an employee number are facing an uncertain future.

Many engineering students of the 2008 batch holding offer letters from information technology companies are waiting to join, and they feel time is running out. “In a few months, when the 2009 batch comes out, we won’t be called ‘freshers’ anymore,” says Manju (name changed), who holds an offer letter from Satyam. Recruited in a campus interview, Manju and her friends, who landed early job offers, were not allowed to sit for any other placement. Nor did they want to. “We were very happy to have got a job,” she says. What followed was a series of postponements. From June 2008, their joining date was postponed to the third or fourth quarter of 2008. In the meantime, the scam at Satyam came to light.

A group of these recruits met a Satyam official on January 28, 2009. They were promised that within four weeks of a new CEO being appointed, they would receive information about the joining date. If there was no response from Satyam by March 5, a group of recruits plan to go to the company headquarters on March 9, says Manju. In view of the possible re-branding of Satyam, and the other companies expressing interest in acquiring the firm, she and her friends are concerned about their future.

A Satyam spokesperson says, “Given the economic climate and our priority to utilise available resources, we currently don’t plan to on–board entry-level talents in the month of March. We plan to communicate appropriately as soon as we finalise our plans in the future.”

In some companies, employees on the bench are being asked to leave. Recently, Syntel, an IT services and KPO organisation, fired around 80 employees working in Chennai, according to an employee.