TCS’ talent acquisition strategy has maintained a balance in competencies - be these in the form of lateral hires or trainees. In a move geared at reimagining the process to access and acquire new talent, the enterprise defined a path-breaking, digital-first approach to entry-level hiring and training. This process was re-thought at scale to introduce agility in hiring, create a faster time-to-market, and reduce cost.
The reimagined talent acquisition process includes the TCS National Qualifier Test (TNQT) and digital training programs that have enabled TCS access fresh talent in digital technology across India, going beyond traditional hiring terrain such as the college campus. This recruitment strategy -- of not confining the hiring program to classroom-based training, and moving to anytime, anywhere online digital skilling -- has been hugely instrumental in putting TCS on the path to accelerating the process of bringing on board new talent.
TCS as an enterprise realized that the traditional approach to hiring talent in the technology universe was no longer adequate to feed the global market need for digital transformation at scale.
In trying to find real-world solutions that display a Business 4.0™ application, the organization, therefore, looked at the traditional hiring roadmap to expand it in ways that would allow it to go as deep as it could go wide across India to access and acquire fresh talent. Business 4.0, a framework of business insights discovered by TCS, speaks of a new-era industry mindset -- one that is driven by an attitudinal shift in the way business is carried out. This shift includes the adoption or display of specific behaviors such as harnessing abundance and leveraging resource ecosystems such that the enterprise continually looks to enhance value from a broader, industrywide perspective.
With the demand for expertise in technology growing at an exponential pace, there was a critical need to rethink talent acquisition at scale and deploy new methods to recognize and retrain candidates who truly fit the bill. As part of its larger recruitment strategy, TCS, therefore, designed the National Qualifier Test – an entry-level exam in India that leverages a nationwide talent ecosystem by going beyond the college campus. TNQT is an online screening exam open to every engineering student across India, regardless of the college or sub-discipline they belong to. This test is held on TCS’ digital platform, TCS iON™. With this process, selection of candidates from over 300,000 prospects could be completed in just two days. Apart from a career in next-generation technologies, top performers in the TNQT also qualify for a differentiated, entry-level hiring process called TCS Digital, with an even more attractive compensation package compared to those offered to recruits that clear the selection process. Students who perform above a certain grade in the TNQT and display higher-order thinking in the talent stream are thus sieved via a separate selection process. Traditional talent acquisition techniques rarely account for such differentiation in compensation designed around a candidate’s level of digital acumen.
Drop in hiring time to four weeks from four months. Deployment time down to two months from a nine-month period. The Initial Learning Program having a 90-day duration, down to 5 days.
Leveraging its strong IT infrastructure, TCS incorporated video interviews into the entry-level hiring process, following the TNQT. This significantly reduced turnaround time and cost. A seamless integration of systems and processes has formed a robust technology ecosystem to conduct TNQT and hold online trainings. Web-based learning portals help new hires navigate the induction process while still in college and after joining the organization, ensuring deployment-ready talent.
The move to rethink talent acquisition at scale has helped TCS gain a first-mover advantage among private enterprises in democratizing campus hiring in the IT industry, and it has introduced an agility in the hiring process. The TNQT has induced industry-level disruption, with several other organizations looking to follow suit. The reimagined hiring process also saw TCS gain industry recognition; it was awarded the CIO Disruptive 100 Award and the CIO 100 Business Transformer Award, in India in 2019.
By tearing down limitations brought on due to distance and/or infrastructure, the TNQT has truly reimagined the hiring process. Aspirants now find themselves assessed based only on talent and skill, regardless of where they live or study in India. When viewed from a larger perspective, the TNQT has helped further the cause of equal opportunity and has reimagined the manner in which talent is accessed, assessed and shaped.
To read more interesting stories on how TCS is adopting Business 4.0, click here