Disenchantment of the Decieved: HCL recruits express their thoughts

As many people would be aware, about 6500 campus recruits of HCL technologies from the batch of 2012 from all over India had not been given a firm date of joining more than one year after passing out of college, even though they all had LOIs (letters of intent or offer letters) from the company. HCL cited profitability concerns and lowered growth forecasts as the reason for the delays in issuing joining letters. Many of these recruits, who are graduated from good engineering colleges in India, had lost the chance of getting recruited through campus interviews of other companies because their respective colleges did not allow them to sit for other companies once they had got the offers from HCL. HCL also gave some of these recruits the offer to apply for a job in their sister company HCL Infrastructure, but at a reduced salary and different designation without the chance of moving to the post and company they originally had offers for.

To pressurize the company to provide fixed joining dates, the recruits started online petitions and held demonstrations outside the HCL campus in Bangalore. A few weeks later, in absence of any concrete response from HCL, the recruits staged a one day hunger strike in Bangalore on 30th March, 2013 and in other cities like Chennai the following week. This kind of hunger strike was unprecedented in the IT industry in India, and also received wide media coverage (see http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/hcl-recruits-resort-to-fas...). In this article, some of the recruits share their views and feelings on the situation.
We share the feeling of some of those recruits.

Recruit from Hyderabad

I still remember the day when my name was announced as selected in HCL.I was on cloud nine that day upon hearing this news. I did not have the slightest suspicion of how the company would treat us. Since July 2012, I was waiting for HCL to call me. I had spent many sleepless nights worrying about the future, but at the same time I could not show my face to my relatives and neighbours who were lampooning me. By December I experienced a huge amount of pressure and stress thinking about my career. Even my parents started worrying about my career. This resulted in an increase in blood pressure for my mother. A few times I had to face a scolding from my father as well. The pocket money I got from my parents was very tight, and I used to feel very embarrassed to ask money from my parents. I could not even face my friends who are working in other companies.

Recruit from Rohini, New Delhi

HCL is a 10 billion dollar company. It is also India's 4th largest company. We felt on top of the world when we got placed in it. But now we have realized it was our fate and bad luck.
HCL behaved in a very unethical way. They gave joining to some students in July and August 2012 and the rest were told to write an entry level exam (FRP) on 30 September. We were told that those who would clear this exam will get an early joining date. The results of this exam came on 28 October, 1311 had cleared it out of a total of approximately some 6000. On November 6, another promise was made(to be precise it was like a slap on our face) that we will get joining in a couple of weeks. In December they said joining is scheduled from January for those who had cleared the FRP exam. But again we got nothing like a joining date. Those couple of weeks ended on March 3 when a mail from HCL shattered our hopes and broke our trust with the company. The mail said that ‘joining for the 2012 batch will be after August 2013. Those who wanted to join immediately could opt for HCL Infrastructure, that too after 5 interview rounds and with a lesser package of Rupees 2.75 lakhs per annum (the original package was 3.25 lakhs). We all protested and fought for our rights but nothing happened. HCL officials were least bothered. From their point of view, it was sufficient to give 500 openings in HCL Infrastructure to 5000 people who were selected in HCL Technologies, that too only after clearing the exam. Also, we were offered such a kind of job. They say they did not have visibility of how many job openings they would have at the time when they made the offer, then who gave them the right to spoil and play with the careers of 5000 students. They do not have the right to waste our 1 year. All other companies have already given joining dates, and among them too those who gave joining dates in August to December this year had informed the students way back in June. They didn’t make any kind of false promises like HCL Tech. We can’t even try for other companies as all are hiring for the 2013 batch. Where should we go now? Whom do we complain to? No one can feel the pain of our spoiled career.

Recruit from Gulbarga, Karnataka

It was the happiest day for me when I heard my name mentioned in the list of selected students for HCL Technologies in the pool campus drive held in PDA College of Engineering Gulbarga. I was very happy to make my parents and family proud, but never knew it would turn something like this. After a month it will be a year of wait and disappointment of being jobless even after getting placed! Sometimes I feel I could have gone for masters but I believed that HCL would call us some day sooner rather than later. But now that day seems like horizon or an illusion, like a myth. Now everyday for me starts with checking my mail and ends with the same, with a hope of getting some news from them regarding our joining. My friends who were placed in other companies are already working. It’s saddening to have such an attitude from such a huge IT giant. Being a girl child my parents won’t give me much time for my career.

‘A victim of HCL’ from Tamil Nadu

I am a 2012 fresher, but I think I’m not a fresher anymore. Okay,I’ll put it this way: I am a 2012 pass out from SASTRA University in Tamil Nadu. I got placed in HCL during the campus drive. I thought my life got settled at last. But the company kept us waiting for the past 10 months. I’m from a middle class family; my family depends on me to provide their livelihood. We the 2012 pass outs across India who got placed in HCL, say about 5000 people, are all facing the same trouble. We want justice. We cannot pay for the mistakes that the company has done.
We are not against the company. What we need is justice.

Till then we will protest.

Recruit from Hosur

I asked some of my friends and they are saying that they are not able to pay even their interest for the loan they had taken for their first year college fees. So they opted for HCL Infrastructure to pay their interest. They are suffering a lot. Since it is going to be one year after the completion of the degree, banks have sent notices to the students who have taken loan and asked them to start paying their loan amount. Now they are under pressure to pay the amount. They are ready to join any kind of job to manage the situation. But still even to get any job nowadays we have to face a lot of competition. Some people are not even able to pay their rent for home.

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