Cognizant has announced accelerated hiring plans in Singapore - with 1,500 employees currently on rolls, and plans to hire 100 more this year - to meet the needs of its rapid growth in the region.

The provider of IT, consulting, and business process services, is looking to hire highly skilled technology and business professionals, in addition to hiring entry-level technical and management talent from premier Singaporean universities.

Jayajyoti Sengupta, APAC head, Cognizant, commented: "Our accelerated hiring programme is in keeping with our mission to leverage the best talent globally and offer clients strong local relationship management with robust global service delivery capabilities."

He added: "We will continue to build our recruitment programme in Singapore and provide local talent with opportunities to serve marquee clients and work on cutting-edge engagements."

Cognizant's training programmes are run under the aegis of Cognizant Academy, its global in-house corporate university. In May 2016, Cognizant launched a 10-week internship programme for local universities such as National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, and SIM Global Education.

New Jersey based Cognizant began its Singapore operations in 2005, and Singapore is the Asia Pacific headquarters. Human Resources spoke to Jayajyoti Sengupta, APAC head, Cognizant, to understand more about the accelerated recruitment strategy.

Q. With your headcount presently at 1,500, how many vacancies are you looking to fill and within what time period?

We plan to hire nearly 100 professionals this year. Nearly half of them have already been on-boarded.

Our talent base in Singapore has continually expanded to serve the increasingly complex needs of a growing number of clients, in industry segments such as banking and financial services, life sciences, manufacturing, logistics and retail, communications, and IME (information, media and entertainment).

To meet these growing needs in Singapore, we are constantly on the lookout for experienced hires in these industry segments with deep domain expertise combined with technology know-how.

Not just that, globally, we focus on investing in the 'talent for future' by hiring the best-of-breed talent from universities in the markets we service. Hence, we are now heavily investing to replicate the success of our well-recognised global graduate recruitment programme in Singapore and help create a pool of world-class business and technology talent to meet our growing future requirements in Singapore.

Q. You mentioned you are scouting for technology and business professionals - what specific functions are you recruiting for?

While there are staffing requirements across a broad spectrum of our service lines, some key areas where we see increased demand for top-notch business and technology professionals include:

1. Digital strategists and technologists, user experience designers and data scientists: Digital technologies are reshaping most aspects of everyday life including how people work, manage their health, get entertained, shop, and connect with each other. Based on a deep understanding of what people really want and need, we can use technology to provide more meaningful and engaging experiences. A classic example is Singapore government’s Smart Nation platform.

2. Folks with strong process automation capabilities and expertise across industry segments: Increasingly, organisations want new and innovative ways of achieving and maximizing efficiency from people and processes. The top drivers for automation go beyond cost savings, to reduced error rates, better management of repeatable tasks and better standardisation of process workflow. Intelligent process automation is the next wave of efficiency gain in business processes.

 3. Business and domain consultants: Cognizant Business Consulting (CBC) is our global consulting practice delivering strategic and domain consulting through industry and technology expertise.  We are constantly looking out for business and domain consultants who can participate and lead teams in both strategic advisory and transformation projects. These consultants work directly with our clients, providing consulting services designed to help them solve their most complex issues.

Q. Internships with the top universities seems to be a preferred method of recruitment. What are the other tools you are using to recruit?

In order to be the preferred employer of choice, Cognizant uses some of the simplest but most effective ways to attract the right talent for business. Our in-house recruiting team in Singapore comprises talent acquisition specialists with domain and technology expertise for better understanding of the requirements and more effective conversations with job aspirants.

We also have social media specialists who work closely with top internet-driven staffing solution partners. Employee referral is a key source of new talent for Singapore and hence we tap into our globally robust 'Bring Another You' employee referral programme through which we can tap into our employees’ personal network.

Our campus hiring philosophy at top-tier technical and business schools is all about 'going beyond recruitment'. High touch engagements such as delivering guest lectures, conducting industry-academia exchanges, investing in labs/technical infrastructure, and providing guidance on industry-relevant programs have helped position us as an employer of choice. We work closely with the career services teams at top universities and polytechnics to reach out to top-notch talent across premier campuses.

Photo / 123RF