Top Indian Recruiters: Changing tack in times of shrinking jobs
When it comes to building brand image, institutions in the engineering and management domains brandish 100% placements and lucrative salary packages in crores of rupees. But if you look at the fine print, the reality is far off the mark. Only students at select intuitions get fancy packages and job offers from top brands. For the rest, the situation is quite dire, to say the least. As per a study by industry body ASSOCHAM, of the 15 lakh engineering graduates India produces annually, 20-30% of them do not find jobs. Barring a handful of top B-Schools like the IIMs and other top private ones, most of the 5,500+ B-Schools in the country produce sub-par graduates who are largely un-employable resulting in below par salaries, if at all they find placements, the report adds. This puts a question mark on the attractiveness of institutions and also on the return on investments for the students. So how do the institutions tackle the situation?
Focus on job roles
To remain competitive, institutions are coming up with innovative strategies to add value to placement service. Better internships, industry projects, assistance to find part-time or full-time jobs are now in sharp focus. Dr. Priya Nair Rajeev, Chairperson-Placements, IIM Kozhikode says, “The focus for our campus now is on the roles that students get from campus. With the number of companies increasing every year students from B-Schools today focus on getting the right roles. At our campus, the placements strategy this year has been to provide students with the roles that they want to start their career after MBA. Also, a unique cluster system is being followed in which the placements’ procedure is scheduled by clustering similar companies in similar domains to provide ambient placements experience to the students.”
Dr. Priya Nair Rajeev,
The placements strategy this year has been to provide students with roles that they want to start their career after MBA. Also, a unique cluster system is being followed in which the placements’ procedure is scheduled by clustering similar companies in similar domains to provide ambient placements experience to the students of IIMK.
Top institutions now see to it that the prospective companies and the candidates on campus get to know each other well in advance, which brings a lot more transparency to the placement process. “What we have done is to improve ongoing interaction with companies. In this process both the companies and students get to know each other. The students also get to know what kind of jobs is available so that there is better match if companies are looking for a particular kind of talent. We are able to bring about some kind of exposure for students to make them industry-ready, both in terms of their skills and knowledge. Companies have also increased their engagement with us through case studies where they are able to engage with students,” says Prof. Saveeta Mohanty, Faculty Coordinator, Placement Committee, XIM Bhubaneswar.
Institutions also bank on industry-related live projects that match students’ interests with companies’ outlook. “We are also working to get students to do live projects as it is not only restricted to summers but they do it throughout the year which helps the company and students and they also get to know about the students’ quality,” Prof. Mohanty added.
Prof. Saveeta Mohanty,
Faculty Coordinator, Placement Committee,
What we have done is to improve ongoing interaction with companies. In this process both the companies and students get to know each other. We are able to bring about some kind of exposure for students to make them industry-ready both in terms of their skills and knowledge.
Banking on alumni
Most of the institutions nurture strong alumni base that becomes helpful in attracting companies to the campuses. It’s a year-long process now-a-days and not restricted to summer breaks. “Immediately after summer break we start contacting companies at our own level as through our alumni base. We have some arrangements with some companies and they visit our campus every year,” informs Prof. S.N. Soman, Faculty of Technology and Engineering, M. S. University Baroda.
Such an approach gains importance as there is a big mismatch in the aspirations of graduating engineers and their job readiness. According to the ASSOCHAM study cited above, 97% of engineers aspire for a job in IT and core engineering. However, only 18.43% get employed in IT and 7.49% in core engineering. “There are two things - one is about IT sector and other about hardcore sector, both have definitely changed in the past decade. Earlier there was great demand for IT-related placements but that has changed now and more so after recession. In the past few years there is more demand for from the hardcore sector. Secondly the demand has slightly changed for IT sector also and though it has picked up but companies are very careful in hiring good talent,” Prof. Soman said.
Even as the institutions try to cope with a not-so-rosy placement scenario, the approach of industry has also changed drastically. “The major thing that has changed in the placement scenario in Indian campuses happened post 2009 recession period. Companies are more focused while coming for hiring in campuses. Earlier they used to take few extra candidates; that is not happening now,” Prof. Mohanty added.
As uncertainties persist on the placement scenario, most of the top institutions are betting on better engagement with industry and increasing student quality while trying to tap global demand. “With just a 20-years-old campus our alumni have been shining in various domains that they have entered. Hence, the quality of students amalgamated with long-term employability of the students as future leaders is the key. Our efforts would be focused towards getting the right roles for the right students and working towards creating a mark in terms of international offers,” Dr. Priya Nair Rajeev sums up.
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