In Conversation with Saurabh Govil, President and CHRO, Wipro on War of Talent in 2022
Saurabh Govil is the President & Chief Human Resources Officer at Wipro Ltd and is also a member of the Management Team. In this role, he leads all Human Resources functions for Wipro.
Despite having over 3 decades of experience Saurabh still considers himself a newbie who constantly maintains a child-like curiosity to learn new things. Before joining Wipro he worked in organizations such as ITC and GE.
An alumnus of XLRI, Jamshedpur he completed his Masters in Human Resources. He is on the advisory board of SHRM India and also a regular speaker at NASSCOM’s HR summit. He also contributes to NHRDN’s journal as an author.
Q- How do you see the war for talent in 2022, especially with IT companies?
Rather than use the word War, I will say there is a demand for talent. India’s IT and business services market is projected to reach US$ 19.93 billion by 2025. According to Gartner estimates, IT spending in India is forecasted to be US$ 101.8 billion in 2022, a 24.31% YoY increase.
India is also a hotbed for Start-Ups. In all, there is a rising demand for skilled employees and a dearth of supply. When we reach a situation like this economics is likely to raise the prices levels thus making talent more expensive and competitive.
Every company, small or big has major hiring plans. At a fundamental level, unless there is a systemic change via academia and industry partnerships, the employability quotient of young graduates will not increase. Presently all companies are competing for the limited talent pool available.
Hence, we will see intense competition in the talent market. However, companies have taken cognisance of this and are working on alternate strategies such as reskilling. In my view, there will be a marked focus on ‘Build’ rather than ‘Buy’. That also explains the hiring plans of major IT companies.
Q- Attrition is rising every quarter, how do you see attrition in FY23?
IT attrition has traditionally been high. In the last year, the industry has seen good growth and with digital transformation featuring in every major company CEO’s strategy, there is bound to be stress in the talent market.
Last year was also witness to the Great Resignation or Reshuffle. However, companies have already made significant changes to move to more people-centric business models.
Indian IT companies have already elevated their fresher hiring for FY 23. We are looking at onboarding over 40k freshers. This will augment our current workforce significantly.
Companies have also been opening delivery centres in tier II and tier III cities while offering a hybrid working model to employees.
Companies have also started accessing non-traditional talent pools, reskilling/upskilling and redeploying existing talent, rebalancing the employee value proposition to attract new talent, and talent sharing
Having put these measures in place we do see attrition levels coming down. There are likely to spike in specific technology areas but that has always been the case.
Q- How do you see salary hike trends in IT Industry for FY23?
All major IT services companies have done compensation interventions throughout the last year for different groups. IT services have seen good growth and these companies are likely to give a salary hike of 11.6% in 2022 as against the actual 11.2% in 2021 according to the Salary Increase Survey by global professional services firm Aon.
At Wipro, we will continue to work with our Total Rewards philosophy in line with our High-Performance Culture.
Q- What are your hiring plans for this year?
We continue our focus on hiring diverse talent across levels. Our focus continues on hiring talented professionals in different geographies in line with our operating design.
We plan to onboard over 40k freshers during FY23. We have already started on the journey by ensuring the right team is in place with the right focus and competencies. In FY22 we onboarded ~20k freshers. We believe that this will help us build the right talent pipeline for future.
Q- What is your plan to call employees back to office?
At Wipro, we firmly believe that coming to office will enable building and reinforcing culture as well as social capital. Having said that flexibility will be a cornerstone of our working arrangements henceforth.
We have opened our India offices to fully vaccinated colleagues three days a week. It is completely voluntary though we do encourage employees to come and experience the office.
The significant number of people whom we have hired in the past 2 years have never stepped into Wipro offices! For them, it is a different and enjoyable experience to be with their colleagues in an office.
Outside India, we are following the local norms and guidelines.
Q- What are new emerging technologies that will shape the world of work?
The biggest shift in the employee technology landscape is the increased focus on delivering the best employee experience v/s having platforms to execute processes. Some of the emerging technologies that will help us enable employee experience are:
- Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning platforms that sit on the base of many core processes like:
- Hiring – to enable better search & match of candidates and jobs; enabling diversity hiring.
- Feedback and action platforms to enable personalized nudges and actions based on real-time feedback.
- Learning Experience systems (LXP) – to identify learning gaps and personalize learning recommendations.
- NLP-based chatbots that engage with employees in conversations beyond the standard predefined questions.
- Voice Recognition – The next wave of mobility that will enable people to do their work with voice commands.
- People Analytics tools focused on ONA (Organization Network Analytics) to enable productivity and experience analytics from the core platforms like email and teams.
At Wipro, we have been engaging with these new technologies. For instance, we have implemented RPA in some processes to enhance EX.
Q- Any concluding remarks?
All estimates show that IT industry is poised for growth. In the growth phase, we are bound to see some intense healthy competition which I firmly believe will be beneficial for the industry, employees, and India as well.
Personally, I am excited about the opportunities that are being presented to the industry. Talent challenges shall continue to exist however they are also responsible for bringing the best out of us all.