How to get a job at BHEL
Sumita Vaid, 04 Jan 2014
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Company Profile
Turnover: Rs. 34,000 crore
Employee strength:46,200
Branch offices: 10,000

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) hires nearly a thousand engineering graduates each year. Majority are through open selection, only a small number, usually between 250 and 300, are taken from campuses.

Open Selection
: 65 per cent in the aggregate* of all years/semesters
Branches:Full-time regular Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or Technology from a recognised Indian University/Institute in the disciplines of Mechanical/Electrical/Electronic
Upper age limit  27 years for Graduates 29 years for Postgraduates (Full-time)
Number of vacancies:600-700

The open selection process starts in the month of August or September when BHEL puts up an advertisement in the national dailies and in Employment News, as well as its recruitment to announce the openings. In the case of open selection, BHEL only considers applications of those who have completed their engineering degree in Mechanical, Electrical and Electronics. On occasions the company has advertised for Civil Engineers, as well.

The application is to be filled up online, that is on BHEL’s recruitment website. Once the application is filled up, the applicant is given an admit card, which can be downloaded from the website. Also, the recruitment team emails the admit card to the candidates.

The entrance examination takes place either in September or October. The test is conduced in about 12 centres on the same day. It’s a bilingual (Hindi and English), two-and-a-half hour multiple-choice paper. The test is divided into two parts: aptitude and technical. There are a total of 240 questions; 120 questions in the aptitude test, and 120 in the technical part. The aptitude part can be prepared by consulting any competition book says B. Shankar, general manager, HR, BHEL. He says the test is designed to assess the candidate’s professional (technical) knowledge of the chosen engineering discipline and higher aptitude - covering areas such as quantitative aptitude, reasoning ability, logical thinking, English usage and general awareness.

The technical part is further split into two, half of the questions in this paper are on general engineering concepts and the other half on specific engineering disciplines. Shankar says that the technical paper is prepared by India’s top academicians, while the aptitude test is prepared in-house by the recruitment department. The toughness of the paper is comparable to Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering, Shankar points out.
And yes, there is negative marking of 0.2 marks, while for every correct answer one mark is awarded. As the answer sheet is a special OMR (Optical Mark Reader) sheet use only black or blue ball point pen.  

Performance in the written test can tip the balance in your favour, as the weightage given to written examination is 75 per cent; 25 per cent weightage is given to the interview. The reason the interview isn’t as critical as the written test is because evaluating the candidate’s performance on the basis of written test is more objective than basing your decision on the interview as interviews do not always bring out the best in good candidates, points out Shankar. “We reduce objectivity.” To drive home the point, he gives the example of IITs that don’t take interviews and yet has the best students of the country.

Shankar shares that in the interview, candidates are assessed for their communication skills, general personality and technical knowledge. The selection at BHEL is tough as last year (2009-2010) 77,000 people had applied and only 18,000 were called for the interview and out of which only 600 to 700 would be selected. Candidates who do not qualify the interview stage are reimbursed their travel fare. 

Campus Recruitment
Qualifications: 65 per cent in the aggregate of all years/semesters.
Branches: Full-time regular Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or Technology from a recognised Indian University/Institute in the disciplines of Mechanical/Electrical/Electronics/Civil/Metallurgy/Ceramics/Chemical
Number of vacancies: 200- 300

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For campus recruitment, BHEL normally goes to the IITs, NITs, BITS Pilani and Delhi Technological University (Formerly Delhi College of Engineering). The number of recruitment varies between 250 and 300, and from each institute the company hires around four or five students.
The campus selection process starts in August, this is the time BHEL visits the NITs and in December it goes to the IITs. During campus selection, the recruitment team gives a pre-placement talk and, of course, talk of the advantages of working with BHEL. Shankar says that one of the major attractions of working with BHEL is the work-life balance. “BHEL has an open culture and gives freedom to work and perform.”

Interested candidates, who are in their final year, appear for an interview, which is usually on the same day as the pre-placement talk. The interview round examines the candidates’ technical knowledge and skills along with communication skills. Usually, the selection is made the very same day and the BHEL team informs the placement in-charge of the students who have been selected.

There’s one final hurdle before short-listed can join the company: the medical round. BHEL’s recruitment site lists the selection criterion in detail. Selected students then join in June or July as engineering trainees. After selection, trainees undergo a forty-day training programme. The basic salary for trainees is Rs. 20,600-Rs. 46,500 and their CTC would be in the region of Rs. 7 lakh.

After the 40-day training, trainees are attached to on-going projects for a year. When it is over, they are absorbed as engineers and the basic salary increases to Rs. 24,900 -Rs. 50,000 pay band  with a CTC of Rs. 8 lakh, which is a far more attractive package than what IT companies offer.

Postgraduate study options
A BHEL employee can take study leave and join back at the same position. In fact, Shankar says, that the organisation encourages its employees to pursue postgraduate study. Besides, the company has a tie-up with IIT and the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) for postgraduate courses. These courses are sponsored by BHEL, wherein the company pays the full fee of the course as well as the salary of the employee. 

Current openings at BHEL: 600 Engineer Trainees, 800 Supervisor Trainees. Click here to apply now.

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