Appraisal season trends: IT companies struggle to retain talent amidst high attrition

Come April, migration season starts — in the IT industry!

It is a time when IT professionals jump from one company to another against the backdrop of appraisals. This is a delight for the employees, but a nightmare for placement officers.

This time around, the placement officers in IT companies are panicking as this year could be worse than last year. “I am trying to keep my flock together, though tough,” said an IT company official. By some accounts, a staggering 82 per cent of respondents of a survey have expressed intentions to switch jobs.

Career aspirations, a leading jobs and professional networking platform, warns of a massive shift in career aspirations as 8 out of 10 professionals eye new career paths this appraisal season.

As appraisal season approaches, insights from the survey by, India’s leading jobs and professional networking platform, shed light on the shifting dynamics of career aspirations among professionals.

Nirmit Parikh, Founder & CEO of, said a significant proportion of professionals are actively seeking new career opportunities this appraisal season, driven by career advancement opportunities, work culture, and the desire for skill development.

In March 2024, surveyed over 10,000 professionals to delve into the evolving dynamics of the job market.

Talent retention

Kamal Karanth, who co-founded the Bengaluru-based Xpheno Specialist Staffing, says companies need to play 8-10 per cent to keep their key talent and not break the bank. The appraisal season has kicked off at a point when global macro indicators remain volatile. While green shoots of hiring were visible with March closing, the outlook for Q4 & FY closures remains muted for key talent sectors. “Overall, we have reason to believe that this would largely be a moderated appraisal season with inflation corrections and top performers retention in primary focus,” he said.

The end of March 2024 saw the first significant rise in active job counts with the numbers going past the 300,000 mark since February 2023. The IT Services cohort broke a 20-month negative trajectory and put out demand levels last seen in July-August 2022. Nearly 48,000 IT Service GenZ-ers have switched jobs at least once in the last year, which suggests people will change jobs if there are opportunities.

Hiring trends in the IT Services sector, if any, will continue to be driven by attrition refills rather than expansion hiring. Key talent consumers like IT Services Bellwethers have managed to bring voluntary attrition down to a record 12 per cent to 14 per cent range and are not engaging in talent wars in the market, he said.

The organic voluntary and involuntary attrition, even at its low point like the 12 per cent to 14 per cent will keep the talent moving up, down and across the funnel. In a weak outlook scenario, movements are primarily for security & sustainability, rather than for better prospects & higher rewards, he said.

C Sunil, Country Manager, Adecco India, said that for larger IT sector employers, the focus lies in striking a balance between growth and cost management within their 2024 appraisal strategies. Average salary increases fall within the range of 7 to 10 per cent, with some variance. The emphasis appears to be on stabilizing headcount and enhancing profitability. This also suggests implementing targeted incentives for critical skills and a potential shift towards performance-based rewards.

Mid-size players and GCCs are offering salary hikes ranging from 12 per cent to 18 per cent to retain their in-demand talent . Moreover, their culture of agility places a stronger emphasis on performance-based appraisals, he said.

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