Sunday, April 06, 2008



The Mega-Hirers
Tara Weiss, 04.03.08, 6:10 PM ET

Dell: 8,800 jobs. Chrysler: 12,000 jobs. Bristol-Myers: 4,300 jobs

Companies are slashing payrolls left and right. But over at Accenture (nyse: ACN - news - people ), an international consulting, technology and outsourcing company, managers plan to hire 60,000 new employees this year. That's a 34% increase in its staff. The outlook is similar at the Indian technology services company Infosys, which is looking for 31,000 employees internationally, a 35% growth in its workforce.

When an employer brings in so many new hires--Infosys welcomed 1,000 people one day in June 2006--getting them integrated into the company and its culture is a massive operation. It's especially important for global companies, since operations should be the same if you're in Bangalore or London.

In Pictures: Who's Hiring?

The first problem: Finding that many qualified people. Infosys received 1.3 million résumés last year. "In peak seasons we receive around 6,000-10,000 resumes in a day," says Nandita Gurjar, vice president of human resources development at Infosys.

Despite that magnitude, managers say the percentage of qualified candidates is disappointing. The story is the same at German software company SAP (nyse: SAP - news - people ), which needs to find 4,000 new employees for positions in programming, development, solution management, engineering and sales.

"In the last 16 quarters we reported double-digit growth and, as a result, we need to hire," says Claus Heinrich, SAP’s head of global human resources. "But it's a challenge to find qualified people".

Infosys took matters into its own hands. The company created Campus Connect, a partnership with top Indian engineering schools to educate students according to company standards. "We needed to meet our growing demand for 'industry-ready' professionals," says Infosys' Gurjar. Infosys trains professors to teach industry-specific courses, offers seminars taught by Infosys employees, and sponsors events at tech competitions.

In developing countries, human resources is a hot field, since growth is occurring so rapidly. But the supply of candidates isn't keeping up with demand. So Accenture started HR Academy to boost the candidate pool. The company partnered with XLRI, a prominent Indian business school, to create classes that will produce a quality talent pool, which will then work for Accenture. The company is looking to replicate the program in other countries.

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