Firm to prune domestic costs through initiatives such as voluntary separation
Cognizant Technology Solutions plans to sharply increase local hiring in the US this year with increased demand for co-innovation and on-site presence from clients. The Nasdaq-listed technology services major said it would look at talent across local community colleges to big management universities to man different projects in the US.
Last month, when the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services opened the window for applications,applied for “less than half” H1B visas compared with last year.
“We are evolving our workforce and delivery in the United States. Cognizant hired 4,000 US citizens in 2016, and in 2017 and beyond, we expect to significantly ramp up our US based workforce by hiring experienced professionals in the open market and by making more use of university programmes. We are shifting our workforce largely in response to clients’ increasing need for co-innovation. But we still seek visas for highly-specialised and skilled talent…We expect to further reduce our need for these visas going forward. As part of our shift, we continue to expand our US delivery centres,” Rajeev Mehta, President, Cognizant told analysts on Friday.
At the same time, the company has taken up initiatives such as the voluntary separation package, which was announced last week, for senior employees to optimise costs.
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“We are looking for opportunities to further optimise cost structures…We just launched earlier this week a voluntary separation package that programme will go till the end of Q2 and we will see the benefit of that in Q3,” said Karen McLoughlin, chief financial officer, Cognizant.
The company is the second software provider after Infosys to announce increase in local hiring in the US. Cognizant, however, has not disclosed any numbers. Beyond the business shift towards digital, Donald Trump-led US administration’s moves towards H1B visa restrictions have resulted in companies focusing on local hiring there.
Cognizant saw a 26 per cent growth in net profits to $557 million for the quarter ending March 31, 2017, while revenues grew by 10.7 per cent to $3.55 billion.