The placement scenario…
Some 8 years back if anyone told you that Managers from b-schools are hot property, there’s no reason you wouldn’t have believed him/her. A 2-year course and a fat pay-check at the end of it, from a list of choices at their disposal, they bloody ruled the job market.
Then 2008 happened .Things have never been the same again. Lehmann brothers not only affected the US economy and had a cascading effect on the world economy with the Indian Software boom directly getting affected because of it, and ultimately the Managers were never got their glossy positions back.
From then to now, it was not just a result of faulty economic planning and complacency but a serious issue with the Skyrocketing Oil prices that added to the woes. Many parameters with varying magnitude changed a lot of economic equations and predictions. Pink slips became as common as any other jargon, being used quite regularly.
From 2008 to 2013, in 5 years what has changed?
Surely, the market went on a correction mode and ensured a little stability, but barring the year 2011, nothing substantial seemed to have happened in the Job market. The uncertainty still looms large as to what would happen when the final placement are completed.
There is a widespread difference in terms of opinions from across the b-school boulevard, while many believe that the recruitment companies would surely be visiting the campuses in order to maintain the relationship which they have developed with the colleges, even though there may be slashing in terms of the pay-checks being offered.
Another focus area has been companies adopting the approach to offer the interns pre-placement offers, instead of recruiting in large numbers. The benefit of course is that they are not only able to better judge the talent in the Internship period but also weed out any mistakes when it comes to recruiting the best talent. While Facebook has called up most of it’s’ interns from IIM-C for a pre-placement Interview, many other companies are also looking to work with their interns as well.
With around 4000 b-schools apart from the Old-IIMs, the problems are numerous. The IIMs may even scrape through the placement with 100% placements or at least 90%+ in the worst case-scenario, but where it might hit just bad are the lower-rung b-schools, as has been witnessed in the last few years. Even with most of the institutions keep stressing on providing “knowledge” instead of a sure-shot “placement”, yet for the kind of investment being put in, there is a rare chance that the candidates won’t be having the criteria of “placement” in their mind when selecting the college.
If industry experts are to be believed, many sound hopeful of recruiting “Good talent” no matter how bad the market situation is. Now, the variation in the definition of Good talent would end up excluding many of the “aspirants” who lack the kind of Industry knowledge which the recruiters are looking for. Now, here is the catch, as to how many won’t make the cut.
So, the three key issues that crops up include:
1. Old IIMs will bite into a whole lot of profiles which were only meant for colleges graded lower than them and hence increasing competition in those colleges to grab whatever comes their way.
2. Big batch sizes and the New IIMs which are up for placement may add to the woes.
3. Moderation of expectations are sure on the cards, where the expected CTCs are sure to take up a downwards trend, except some odd offers at old IIMs.
And some of the reasons which may be given include:
1. Election year- With the uncertainty as to who will form the next government and the policy paralysis that the present government underwent things in this election year adds up on the confusion.
2. Investment decisions on hold-Many companies have put their expansion plans on hold, either due to the prospect of changing government or even the volatile market situation.
3. Fear of the debt crisis – The prospect of Quantitative Easing tapering, Bond yields in the US have risen and there is a flight of foreign money from Indian bond markets to the US, which affects the overall economy and the sentiment in a big way. Negative sentiment means lesser investment, slower roll out of projects and hence lesser jobs.
Although there are quite a few positives which make you, put off some of the negativities
1. Growth in the new-age businesses like e-commerce: New-age sectors are slowly coming of age in terms of large recruitment with flashy pay-packages.
2. Increased number of Start-ups: The number of start-ups has increased over the last 3-4 years and which is a bright shiny spot in the dark times we live in.
3. IT sector: The IT sector has actually benefitted from the rupee-slump and looks a little more stable, which may further help the cause of recruitment.
There are positives and there are negatives too (a lot more, actually), but one thing is certain, the recruitment process would engulf only the talent which the companies actually require and won’t just be a number-filling exercise. So, buckling up to the demand and showing them the talent required by them is the way-forward.