Debashish Pattnayak, vice-president (enterprise solutions), in Bangalore-based iGate, is on a talent hunt. However, his search differs from the normal one. He has a mandate to hire former team members who were involved with him in earlier projects and then left the company.
In an attempt to stem attrition and improve productivity, Indian information technology companies are wooing former employees. Companies like Mastek, iGate, iFlex and even majors such as Wipro, Infosys and HCL Technologies are wooing mid-level managers who worked with them in the past.
Companies are targeting them subtly through their alumni networks, get-togethers and through email. Recently, Mastek, celebrating its 25 years in the business, threw a get-together in which former staff were invited along with the existing ones.
“We wanted to touch base with them and explore the opportunity of coming back and working with us,” said Ashank Desai, non-executive chairman, Mastek.
Pattnayak has a similar story and says even former employees are reaching out to their former employers. “I had a 50-strong team that was doing work on ERP and other software for enterprises and 40 of them had left,” he says.
“Many people who left my group a year ago want to come back and some have already done so,” he adds.
While other companies have not shared numbers on the number of former employees they are wooing, industry observers and human resources heads feel that this is a definite trend.
“Companies are looking at getting back former employees since it helps them to reduce training time and they also fit into the company’s culture quicker at a time when employers are constantly grappling with delivery of projects,” says Muralidhar Rao, CEO of NIS Sparta, a human resources consultancy.
Also, many employees change jobs for better pay and sometimes their roles are not well defined in the new organisations. “In an organisation where they have worked before they know the person who they are dealing with,” says Desai.
In the case of certain roles like ERP consultants, they generally flock together and there is a stronger bonding, unlike programmers who have to work on different projects with different teams, adds Pattnayak.