Outsourcer says political pressure and the changing nature of tech work means more jobs need to stay on shore.
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Indian outsourcer HCL Technologies said it plans to hire 10,000 IT pros in the U.S. and Europe in the next five years as part of an effort to diversify its operations beyond its stronghold on the Asian subcontinent.
A spokesperson said it's too soon to estimate how those numbers will be split between the two geographies.
HCL officials said the company needs more workers located at or near the Western clients it serves as it looks to move beyond routine tech services and into higher-end strategy and consulting engagements. Also, chairman and CEO Vineet Nayar has said that pressure from protest movements like Occupy Wall Street could lead many Western businesses to reduce offshore outsourcing, and that Indian IT firms need to respond by keeping more work on shore.
"The need of the hour is growth and employment, and we believe that this initiative will create unique business value for HCL while generating sustainable employment in local economies for years to come," said Nayar, in a statement this week from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
To bolster its U.S. head count, HCL said it plans to hire workers at engineering hubs in Seattle, Raleigh, Rochester, and Wilsonville, Ore. "We are committed to backing this program with all our resources and best intent," said Nayar.
HCL's initiative comes at a time when pressure is mounting on businesses to keep jobs on shore as the U.S. struggles to reduce an unemployment rate that has been stuck at around the 9% mark for several quarters. In his State of The Union address earlier this week, President Obama said he planned to introduce measures that would discourage offshoring.
"We will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits," said the President. "Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas. Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and everyone knows it. So let's change it."
"If you're a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn't get a tax deduction for doing it," Obama said. The President recently held an insourcing jobs summit at the White House.
HCL said it is working with colleges and universities near its U.S. client sites to help establish training programs that would give students practical IT skills that will allow them to work in the tech services industry immediately upon graduation.
HCL said it has also launched off-campus recruitment drives near a number of schools, including Virginia Tech, Oregon State University, and North Carolina State University. Global outsourcing industry revenue increased 40% year-over-year in the most recent quarter, according to market watcher TPI.
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