Across India, several educational institutes give immense importance to their recruitment drives. While the students get anxious during the placement season and try hard to get a job in a reputed company with a good package, the industry will be looking for the right fit for the profile that is available.
Recruitment trends in a placement season largely depends on the current and predicted economic developments. India has witnessed a decelerated economy at 5.7% in the June quarter of 2017-2018. In its South Asia Economic Focus (for Fall 2017), the World Bank reduced India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast to 7% for 2017-2018 from 7.2% estimated earlier, while maintaining at the same time that the economy would claw back to grow to 7.4% by 2019-2020.
This placement season has witnessed several changes. For instance, in B-Schools, there is an increase in the number of companies that are visiting campuses for placement though the requirement in each company has come down greatly. Mass recruitment by IT companies which was witnessed in the past few years is not seen this season. There has been a cap on the recruitment drive by a few sectors such as the automobile industry.
While the premier business schools still maintain that they can complete placing the students within the stipulated placement period, the economic slowdown in the year 2016-2017 has affected the appointment being given to students in most Tier II institutions in the country. This calls for a very focused placement drive by institutions. While it is normal to see the salary packages rise every year, this year there has been a rise in the average salary offered to the graduates.
Overall, though the beginning of this placement season has been slow, some institutions have been able to catch up well with most of their students being offered jobs. With the prediction of a growth in the GDP of the country and increase in global job offers, there is a hope that the job market in the next quarter will see an upward trend.
Institutions now need to understand the future trends of the economy and the technological disruptions to nurture students to be employable. Focusing on the skills and knowledge that is relevant to the future is very pertinent in the rapidly changing ecosystem. A few institutions have identified programmes to tackle this concern. Additionally, institutions need to find innovative mechanisms to nurture employable students continuously by providing quality education.
Mentor the students
It is essential to identify the strengths and career aspirations of the students right from the time they start the course, and mentor them to achieve their chosen career goals. This will help institutions identify companies and job profiles that match the batch that are ready to be placed. This will also translate into better placements every year with an increase in the number of companies visiting for campus placement and offering higher pay packages.
Since most companies complain on students not being industry-ready and the need to reskill them during the induction period, there is a requirement of longer internship programmes. This could extend up to four months as opposed to the two-month summer internship where the students might not be able to gain the relevant experiences that are required for a final placement. The longer internships are practice-oriented experiential learning programmes that can help companies deal with the job fit and reskilling requirement.
It has become essential for institutions to continuously engage in upgrading their deliverables to students. This can enable them to keep pace with the evolving corporate requirements.
(The author is director, IFIM Business School, Bengaluru)