Young recruits left in the lurch as IT firms revoke offer letters

Offer letters given to young engineering graduates were revoked this year by IT giants, without providing valid reasons.

Charan (name changed), a young mechanical engineering graduate from Visakhapatnam, was all set to join his first ever job on September 28, to work for the IT giant Wipro. He had been given the promise of being onboarded when, out of the blue on September 14, he received communication from Wipro that they were revoking the job offer as he did not meet their assessment guidelines. This email shocked Charan, as it came almost a year after the hiring process began. 

Charan had taken an assessment test conducted by Wipro as early as September 2021, followed by an interview, both of which he successfully cleared. He had also been selected by two other companies — Infosys and TCS — but he declined their offers to join Wipro and started attending their training course in March 2022. During the training that lasted till June 2022, the company conducted two assessments, in which Charan scored 98% and 92%. It is to be noted that no stipend or any other form of payment was made during this period. Upon completion of training, Charan was informed that he would be onboarded to the company on August 3, with Hyderabad as his chosen location. In the meantime, he was asked to upload the necessary documents and they were successfully verified. 

However, a week or so before the onboarding date, he was informed that it would be postponed till September. As per the new dates, the virtual onboarding process would begin on September 22, and the date of joining would be September 28. Charan was eagerly awaiting the day, but received a blow when two weeks before September 22, Wipro revoked the offer letter. 

Charan’s story is not an isolated one, but part of a larger trend that has affected young engineering graduates in the thousands across the country, said Praveen Chandrahas, general secretary of Forum of IT Professionals (ForIT). ForIT is an association of IT professionals formed in 2007. It had, on October 4, released a press statement condemning the move, saying it was practiced by big companies including Wipro, Infosys, Accenture and TechMahindra. The statement demanded immediate response from the companies clarifying the issue. They also wrote to Union Minister for IT Aswini Vaishnav requesting him to demand a response from the companies. According to ForIT president Kiran Chandra, this issue has affected aspiring professionals all over India, and that the Union government should intervene and safeguard the interests of the affected. “No company has responsibly responded yet,” Kiran Chandra said. Most graduates have not been shown sufficient reason for the termination, he added. 

For instance, all of Charan’s queries after the revoking email of September 14 have been answered with automated emails from Wipro. When he took this up with the manager who was his point of contact with the company, he was told that the issue had been brought to the notice of higher authorities and that he would be contacted upon receiving their response. He is yet to receive any. Charan even expressed his willingness to appear for the assessment once again at Hyderabad.  

“Tantamount to destroying futures” 

ForIT said in its statement, “No offer letter, once rolled out, should be revoked. Giving vague responses and revoking the offer letters is tantamount to destroying the future of the young engineers.” Charan agreed with this, saying he knew graduates whose families’ hopes were pinned on this job. He added that finding jobs through off-campus recruitment is very difficult. Charan has applied to 40 multinational companies ever since, but hasn't heard back from any of them. 

ForIt will chalk out the next step based on the government’s response, Kiran said. Praveen added that if an amicable solution is not arrived at soon, ForIT will proceed against the companies in court. 

The companies are allegedly revoking appointees’ offer letters to relieve the pressure on the profit margins that the appointments would make. However, Praveen disagrees with the idea that the cost of hiring freshers would affect companies’ revenues. “Wipro’s revenues have actually increased in the last quarter. The appointment of freshers will not affect their profits. It could affect the rate of growth of profit, given that there is talk of a recession. However, this has nothing to do with revoking the offer letters,” he said. He also added that Wipro had laid off several of its employees earlier this year, citing issues of moonlighting.

In Kiran’s opinion, the act is unjust, no matter what the reason behind it is. “As interviewed persons chose Wipro over other companies to work in, they have been deceived. They could have attended other interviews during campus placements, if Wipro had not selected them,” he said. Kiran further added that this is not the first time that such incidents were reported from IT companies. “Once the global financial crisis broke out in 2008-9, they had delayed the hiring process. In 2012 affected employees came on to the streets and protested,” he said. 

Some of the graduates whose job offers were earlier revoked by Wipro were informed last week that the company is reconsidering the revocation. However, Charan said, these declarations were made on call, and no email or letter has been sent in this regard by Wipro. 

Watch: Moonlighting in IT industry- Why it happens and why companies are against it

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