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Inside View: Infosys

Infosys plans to hire 250 MBAs this year alone. Julia McDonald, head of talent acquisition for EMEA, has insider tips for the recruitment process.

It is a welcome surprise to hear that Infosys plans to hire about 250 MBA graduates this year. But it is not as surprising as you may think. The global consulting, technology and outsourcing giant has considerable resources to burn.

The company works with clients in 30 different countries, with an army of more than 160,000 employees. The business is raking in revenues to the tune of $8 billion. About 97% of those revenues came from their 800 or so existing clients. Some 150 of those are Fortune 500 businesses.

In such a large corporation, there is always room for growth. A new MBA hiring stream, which has a bevy of opportunities in client services and sales, has been unleashed.

Infosys’ “corporate university” trains new hires for between three and 16 weeks. MBAs will begin in a base location, but spend about 11 weeks training in India.

The company has also thrown the recruitment door wide open. A technical background is no longer a requirement. A passionate attitude, bilingual qualities and the ability to work in global teams will serve you well.

But Julia McDonald, head of talent acquisition for EMEA at Infosys, has a few more insider tips on how to stand out in the recruitment process.

What’s the focus of your hiring this year – MBA or undergraduate?

We’re focused on MBA students and we’re changing how we traditionally go to market. So for people who are interested in our account management, sales and business development roles, traditionally we may have focused on whether you had a background in technology – but we’re really opening it up now.

We’re saying you don’t have to have a background in technology. But you have to have a passion and desire and interest in tech, otherwise there’s no point working for a company like Infosys.

We want people who are passionate about account management and client services, and so we’ve developed part of this MBA program to support this growth throughout our talent pipeline.

Why have you broadened your hiring away from those with tech backgrounds?                                       

I don’t think you need to [have a tech background] to be successful. In client services and sales in our organization you don’t need an in-depth tech background.

We believe we can train people and part of our program is extensive training – we go over to India for 11 weeks. You have about six weeks in India, then two weeks back at your base location and then another five weeks in India on our campuses.

We’ll give you the tools – if you have the desire to learn, and the passion.

What types of backgrounds or work experience are desirable?

We are pretty flexible. Obviously this is the first time we’ve really gone out to market in sales and client services specifically. Obviously we have done before; it’s such a big company, we’re working globally not only across EMEA but North America and the Asia Pac region as well, so we’re quite open and we want good, bright people that want a career in sales and client services, who have the MBA.

Languages is always good for us as well. Because we’re a global company we are pretty open so again we also understand English is our common language throughout the organization.

But our clients often want people that can speak their local language. So obviously if you’re working in Germany a lot of our clients want someone who can speak German and English.

Which countries can MBAs expect to work in?

The world’s your oyster at Infosys. We have offices all over the world. It depends where people want to be based. We are quite flexible.

Obviously with the scheme it’s different; people will move through the scheme differently so within the project program you’ll have a base location but it’s very usual for people once they’re in the organization to work across different projects globally.

How many MBA do you plan to hire this year?

In EMEA, 40 to 60. And outside EMEA its 200. And there will be more as well. There are a lot of opportunities and that’s what’s great about the scheme.

Doing it globally... you’ve got that support network. You’ve got those contacts that you keep as you move through the organization.

How can MBAs stand out in the recruiting process?

I think passion is always key. The wanting to continually learn. Open-mindedness and working across cultures and understanding working with people across cultures at Infosys [is also important], because we are a global business and we work in a global delivery model.

Within teams you might be all across the globe with people with different backgrounds, cultures and views. And that’s what makes us stronger.

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