July 6, 2006

Tech rookies get fatter pay packets ;)

At Banglore,
IT freshers are in for a treat. Major IT companies have raised average base level salaries this year by 15-30 %, against the typical 3-5 % that has been the norm in the past five years.

Fresh campus recruits this year will get an annual package of something between Rs 2.40 lakh and Rs 2.80 lakh, up from the Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.2 lakh range. If they are lucky to get into an MNC, it could be as much as Rs 3 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh.

It also means that many who have joined this year would get salaries higher than those who joined a year ago in the same firm.

Cognizant is offering between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 3.4 lakh per annum for its campus recruits this year, against Rs 2.80 lakh last year. Infosys has raised starting salaries by nearly 30 per cent to Rs 2.7 lakh.

Industry’s starting salaries were in the Rs 1.2-Rs 1.5 lakh range during 1996-2000 ; this went up to about Rs 2 lakh during 2000-01 and continued roughly in that range till now.

Bikramjit Maitra, VP (head HR) of Infosys, says the company’s hikes are mainly targeted at attracting the best talent available.

But that may be only part of the reason. Anjan Dutta, CEO of IT recruiting firm Career Graph, says many Tier-I players this year have hiked salaries significantly to tackle issues like high attrition levels, acute shortage of quality talent and severe competition from peers. “Some companies are even promising bonus to freshers who are willing to stay longer,” he says.

Attrition is seen to be highest amongst employees with one to two years experience , and that’s one area where higher starting salaries could help.

“A hike in basic IT salaries was long overdue, especially when call centre pay packets have reached the Rs 1.80 lakh to Rs 2.40 lakh levels. This trend will trickle down to Tier-II IT players as well and some of them are already paying better salaries,’’ says B S Murthy , CEO of HumanCapital.