What do recruiters look for in a candidate during campus placements? Is it just your academic qualification or your add-on skills? Harsh Ranjan Das, a graduate in Mechanical engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology laments his lack of skills with numbers and analysis that robbed him off an opportunity in Business Operations. “Degree is something which would certainly attract the recruiters as it assures that a candidate has cleared the set benchmark but ultimately when it comes to facing the music it’s all about the skill-set an individual possesses which will take one through,” says Das, a Graduate Engineering Trainee at FIAT India Automobiles.
By definition, a degree is an authenticate certificate awarded to a person after completion of specific study at a college or university, while skill is an acquired ability. Skills include soft skills, analytical and research skill, logical and reasoning skill and even technical skills.
However, add-on skills alone may not see you through. “The main focus lies somewhere in between degree and skill. A candidate should fit in with the company image as well as be presentable and worthy enough at the same time. One should be at par with the recruiter’s benchmarks, be a team player and having the problem-solving intellect. Good degree, that is, degree from a premium Institute commands respect but without skill it is not worth the same,” says Samita Bhattacharya, Officer on Special Duty, Training & Placement Cell, Jadavpur University.
Samita Bhattacharya, OSD, Training & Placement Cell Jadavpur University
Some present-day graduates lack interactive and interpersonal skills. The communication gaps, be it on personal or business level is a major cause of concern. Many of them lack corporate practices and manners, skills like critical thinking, public speaking, writing proficiency, attention to detail and ownership handling. These are the areas of concern for any sector, as these transferable skills are vital for success in industry.
If a candidate is interested in business analytics, he/she must hone skills in that field. Similarly, for IT sector, acquiring basic skills like coding or programming, application development are important to grab a job. Prior to the placement season, candidates must acquire skills in demand. “There is no compromise for domain knowledge. But for skill breeding among candidates, recruiters can list their expectations at the beginning of the academic year and accordingly students can develop their skills. This will help in better conversion during placements. The companies also have management-specific requirements for which they conduct training programmes to further build a candidate,” says Dr. Pritee Saxena, Dean Placements, IBS Business School, Mumbai.
Demand for skills
According to a NASSCOM report, the Indian IT-BPO industry is a huge employer of skilled manpower, providing jobs to nearly 2.5 million people directly. This industry requires multi- skilled professionals, which is why talent management has become crucial. It is also becoming imperative for organizations to implement industry’s best practices for employee recruitment/retention, skill up-gradation, attrition management, employee engagement, global integration, leadership/career development, etc.
Harsh Ranjan Das, Alumnus,Manipal Institute of Technology
Degree is something which would certainly attract the recruiters as it assures that a candidate has cleared the set benchmark but ultimately when it comes to facing the music it’s all about the skill set an individual possesses which will take one through.
Skills-driven job sectors
Bhattacharya, who had worked in the corporate sector for more than 20 years, outlines the skill-driven sectors in job market. “There are players like Adobe, Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, Snapdeal and Sap Labs, that are leading the job market. There are also process-driven industries like Amec Foster Wheeler, BASF, BPCL, Fluor Daniel, Linde, Schlumberger, UOP Honeywell, etc. The Automobile giants, the top consultancy houses and analytics companies like PwC, PWC Actuarial Services, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Mu-Sigma, ZS Associates etc. and in banking sector HSBC, DCB Bank, etc. are skill-driven, demanding candidates not just with degree but skills,” she said. The skills in demand are: Cloud Computing, Statistical Analysis, Algorithm design, Data Presentation, Programme Development, Digital Marketing and so on.
Factors in demand while recruiting
Degree being a prerequisite, other factors like skill sets, confidence, and personality are also taken into consideration by the recruiting team of every industry. “Presently, skill in an individual is given due weightage during recruitment. It is understood that a candidate qualifies for an interview because he/she has a degree. In terms of skills – technical skill pertaining to the course is a must. IT firms hire students with niche skills. However, communication skill, behavioural skill, minimum etiquette like wishing Good morning or afternoon, saying Thank you and putting the chair back before leaving are equally important,” says the head of Human Resources of a top public sector undertaking, on conditions of anonymity.
Institutions now adopt new techniques to train candidates so as to make them job-ready. “The institution should create a kind of industry awareness among the students. There should be strategy planning and also invite key eminent speakers or practicing professionals from the top organizations to interact with the students. Earlier, the industry used to recruit on the basis of generic skills but now they recruit on the basis of niche skills. To impart students with the developing skills, there can be a partnership between the industry and institution,’ advises Dr. T.Kalaiselvan, Additional Director of Center for University-Industry Collaboration (CUIC), Anna University.
Prof. K. Maddulety, Professor In-Charge (Placement),National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai
Recruiters seek students ready to challenge the status quo
Careers360: Other than degree, what factors do recruiters look for during campus recruitment?Prof. K. Maddulety: The recruiters visiting our campus broadly look for business acumen in the students along with their domain knowledge and communication skills. They want students with excellent managerial skills and decision-making abilities. Moreover, the recruiters also look for students who have some fresh ideas and are ready to challenge the status quo.
Careers360: How do you bridge gap between recruiter’s requirement and job-readiness of candidates?Prof. K. Maddulety: NITIE, as an institute provides a unique ecosystem to provide 360-degree development to its students. Along with fine academics, students are continuously encouraged to participate in numerous guest lectures, leadership talks and case study competitions launched by the various organizations in collaboration with the institute. We also provide a unique opportunity in terms of ‘Weekend Project/Live Project to students on organization’s requirements where they can collaborate with our students to improve their grey areas.
Careers360: Which are the top recruiters at your campus?Prof. K. Maddulety: KPMG & Yes Bank were the companies to recruit maximum number of students in the last placement season. Apart from that, the top recruiters visiting our campus are HUL, ITC, P&G, PWC, Deloitte, Accenture, Amazon, Airtel, Vodafone, Flipkart, Cognizant Business Consulting, Pepsico, Nestle and RB to name a few.
Stay tuned to university.careers360.com for more feature stories and updates on Indian recruitments
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