Accenture broke “gentleman’s agreement” on hiring, say Indian rivals

IT services giant Accenture has been accused by competing vendors of violating agreed practises on recruiting college students during the economic downturn.

Indian outsourcing firms TCS, Infosys, Wipro and Cognizant allege that US-based Accenture broke an agreement stating that vendors would wait until the final semester of the Indian college year to begin hiring graduates for work placements, according to the Times of India.

The arrangement had been implemented by software trade body Nasscom last year to help ensure the country’s IT industry did not over-hire in a difficult economic climate. The Indian companies have filed a complaint with Nasscom alleging that Accenture has already provided college students with offers for placements in advance.

“It was a gentleman’s agreement and they have broken it,” a spokesperson in charge of campus recruitment at one of the competing providers told the Times of India. “It is a clearly loss of face for the Indian IT industry.”

According to another expert familiar with India’s recruitment industry, recent improvements in economic circumstances suggest that such an agreement is no longer necessary to sustain business, and complainants in the matter could follow suit and start their own college hiring processes.

“There is better traction in hiring and this is indicated by higher attrition levels. The normal rules of truce will be forgotten in such an environment. So if one or two break the ranks, it is a free for all,” explained E Balaji, CEO of Indian HR consulting business Ma Foi Randstad.

A representative from Accenture was not immediately available for comment at time of publication.

Peter Done

Peter Done is managing director of Peninsula Business Services, the personnel and employment law consultancy he set up having already built a successful betting shop business.

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