HCL, ITC, Cisco and others up their hiring during slowdown to get better talent at lower cost

As the economy shows signs of volatility, one company hopes to make the best of the opportunity and break with tradition for the second time in a row. Like it did during the previous slowdown, HCL Technologies plans to create more than 10,000 jobs globally and a few thousand more in India, even as most of its peers are going slow on hiring.
Comparatively, HCL Tech had a net hiring of 12,489 in 2011. During 2008-09, the country’s fourth largest software exporter made 15,000 new job offers, and was amply rewarded: it closed orders worth twice compared with the year before, and grew by 20% while others lost share. “Economic situations like these are an opportunity to hire the best of talent at a comparatively lower cost,” says HCL Technologies senior VP (HR) Ravi Shankar.
The company is not the only one to go against the current though. ITC, Cisco Systems, Lupin, Hyundai, Mercer Consulting, Edelweiss and are among those planning to significantly increase their hiring this year to either take advantage of low-cost hiring or to achieve business gains.
Shiv Agrawal, CEO of recruitment firm ABC Consultants, says hiring in sectors, especially the ones which are not export-dependent, are showing signs of insulation from external economic factors. “Companies have to infuse fresh talent if they want to continue their pace of growth. And the current situation can be a golden opportunity for some,” he says.