Indian IT companies should focus on fair hiring

Indian IT companies should focus on fair hiring

The bribe-for-jobs scandal at Tata Consultancy Services has come as a rude wake-up call for the Indian IT industry. The technology industry is...

The bribe-for-jobs scandal at Tata Consultancy Services has come as a rude wake-up call for the Indian IT industry. The technology industry is considered among the cleanest in its dealings and one which boasts of sound corporate governance practices. However, the scandal has shaken this perception to extreme levels. The alleged involvement of top management personnel in such activity has also raised many questions on the current hiring model. According to Nasscom, the IT industry collectively employs more than five million people directly in India. It is also one of those sectors with high gender diversity. So, when such a large mass of people is employed in any sector, the hiring practices should be clean and based on merit. Many staffing firms compete with each other to ensure selection of the best of talents that they recommend to their IT clients. A large firm usually has more than 100 empanelled staffing firms for providing them with the right set of candidates. The competition is intense given the fact that usually hundreds ofaspirants apply for a single vacancy in India. When a vacancy attracts myriad applications, the recruiters hope to fill the slot with their respective short-listed candidates. Such a rat race provides scope for manipulation by company executives, who are in-charge of the recruitment process. Sources in the know said that there are multiple instances wherein company officials have demanded bribes to facilitate the selection process. Although, it is an open secret, the industry has turned a Nelson’s Eye to the murky goings-on.

It is not just during the selection process but such allegations of corruption have surfaced even in campus recruitment drives. Industry watchers have contended that engineering colleges – especially tier-II and tier-III ones- regularly bribe officials of reputed IT firms to come to their campuses for selection. Though both these instances can’t be generalized saying that these are happening all the time, there are more than a handful in this dubious category. From this perspective, it is essential that IT firms streamline their recruitment process and ensure fair and equal opportunities to every budding talent. A solid whistleblower policy will go a long way in ensuring transparency in the whole process. It must be remembered that the TCS episode was exposed after a whistleblower’s allegations.

IT firms have to increase their vigil with regard to compliance to processes. Random audits can be helpful in weeding out such processes.Hearteningly, despite allegations of such practices, the Indian IT industry has sworn by merit-based selection. This is due to the fact that after a candidate is selected for an interview, multiple technical teams evaluate the same person across parameters. This assures a just scrutiny and one that can’t be influenced by any external agencies. The country’s IT industry is considered one of the important sectors for generation of wealth and jobs. Its functional corporate governance standards are of utmost importance. Every stakeholder- from the IT entity, staffing firms to candidates- should ensure that the process is fair and transparent and upholds the highest standards of merit. Any deviation from such high standards will prove detrimental to the credibility of the Indian IT industry.

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