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Country's fourth largest software services firm HCL Technologies saw its employee strength come down by nearly 150 people to 85,194 people during the October-December 2012 quarter.

The company's employee count stood at 85,335 during the July-September quarter of 2012.

While the company hired 5,136 (gross) employees during the quarter, on a net basis, 141 people left the organisation in the second quarter of 2012-13.

HCL Technologies follows a July-June fiscal. "I think you need to have a continuous focus on meritocracy and HCLT has had that for some time... There are actions taken on people, who are at the bottom of the performance distribution curves," company's Corporate VP and Global HR Head Prithvi Shergill told reporters here.

"Our performance cycle closes in July and October for different segments of workforce. So there are some employees who make decisions after that," he added.

HCL added 3,291 (gross) people in its IT Services business (including software and infrastructure services), but on a net basis, the headcount in the division was lower by 395 people. The total headcount in the IT services business stood at 75,226 as on December 31, 2012.

BPO services saw addition of 1,845 (gross) people, while net addition stood at 254 in the said quarter, taking the total headcount in the division to 9,968.

Shergill said the company's utilisation rate of over 81 per cent has also helped HCL Technologies improve its numbers.

Asked about delays in induction of campus recruits who were given offer letters last year, Shergill said, "The back log is largely for 2012 and marginal for 2011."

"I think we will continue to watch very carefully as to what our demand is and how we need to bring on people over the next few years," he added.

HCL Technologies' today posted a 68 per cent rise in net profits to Rs 964.7 crore for the second quarter ended December 31, 2012.

The company had net profit of Rs 572.7 crore in the October-December quarter of 2011.



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