Amdocs

(NYSE:DOX) plans to continue recruiting workers irrespective of its efficiency drive, CEO Avi Naor told company employees fretting about their jobs. He explained that there is no intention of cutting back skilled staff, only temps hired through subcontractors.

Investment banks

Robertson Stephens

,

Goldman Sachs

and

Salomon Smith Barney

yesterday released updated reports on the company. They wrote that Amdocs' cutbacks plan is very low-key, and that the company will continue to recruit 400 new information technology workers each quarter.

Under its efficiency drive, Amdocs will be firing about 200 people employed through contractors. It will also scrap perks such as extra paid leave, reimbursement of parking expenses and subscriptions to newspapers. It will also stop paying for the workers' lunches.

Amdocs trades on the New York Stock Exchange at $11.7 billion market cap, and employs 7,500 workers worldwide. The company, which develops billing systems for communication providers, saw its stock plunging 40% last year.

The company's efficiency drive is apparently not the result of any current hardship, but a preventative move to prepare for rainy days as the world hi-tech market slows.

Amdocs sells billing and customer care systems. It installs and maintains B&CC systems for leading international telephone companies. The company's problem is that its customers are reeling as telcos cut back. Equipment providers such as

Lucent Technologies

(NYSE:LU),

Cisco Systems

(Nasdaq:CSCO) and

Nortel

(NYSE:NT) are already reporting significantly slowing business.

Amdocs itself hasn't felt the pain yet. A substantial proportion of the sales by the equipment makers were young telcos, called CLECs, which have been going broke in droves. Amdocs, in contrast, sells mainly to incumbents, strong veteran phone companies that aren't about to fold. Still, a slowdown is a slowdown, and these companies aren't as ready to cut a check as in the past.