IT Bust
Nearly 2-3% of the workforce may lose their jobs for being relatively under performers and for skill mismatch.

At a time when the IT industry is facing a threat of job losses due to automation, media reports state that US-listed IT firm Cognizant may lay off over 6,000 employees this year. This is 2-3% of the company’s workforce, which may lose their jobs for being relatively under performers and for skill mismatch, the report states.

As per Business Standard, around the time of appraisal, it is a common practice across IT firms where the bottom 1% of the workforce is let go for non-performance. In the case of Cognizant, as the company shifts its focus from traditional IT services to digital, it is doing away with redundant roles.

As on the third quarter of this financial year, Cognizant has a total of 2.6 lakh employees globally. Of this, over 75% are based in India.

The exact numbers will be clear only when the appraisal process gets completed by the end of this month.

A Cognizant spokesperson told Hindu Business Line that conducting regular performance reviews is a part of the workforce management strategy. This is to ensure that is has the right employee skill sets necessary to meet client needs and achieve business goals.

“Any actions as the result of this process are performance-based and generally consistent with those we have made in previous years. In any given year, the numbers may bounce a percentage here or there, but this is part of our standard practice. At the same time, we continue to enhance our capabilities and hire for roles across all our practice areas in the company,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

However, as per a report by IANS the number may not vastly differ this year from its regular annual lay off numbers post appraisals.

In a statement to the media, the company said, "As part of our workforce management strategy, we conduct regular performance reviews to ensure we have the right employee skill sets necessary to meet client needs and achieve our business goals. This process results in changes, including some employees transitioning out of the company. Any actions as the result of this process are performance-based and generally consistent with those we’ve made in previous years. In any given year, the numbers may bounce a percentage here or there, but this is part of our standard practice. At the same time, we continue to enhance our capabilities and hire for roles across all our practice areas in the company."

The IT industry, as a whole, is undergoing a major transition into digital. At the recently held NASSCOMM leadership summit, several industry leaders spoke of the transition and a need for reskilling in the IT Industry with digital being the future of IT. 

In January this year, Infosys let go off around 9,000 employees – mainly in the lower end - on account of automation.