From campus-ready to industry-ready? NEHA BHATIA ASKS INDUSTRY STALWARTS WHAT THEY SEEK FROM CAMPUS RECRUITS

AS per the ‘Aon Hewitt Campus Study 2013’,there has been a steady flow of ‘Pre-Placement Interviews and Offers’(PPIs and PPOs).At a time when concern about final placements has been high,the PPOs and PPIs offered at campuses gave some respite with many organisations using it as a strategy to spot and retain talent ahead of the placement season.For management graduates,on an average,organisations offered 11 PPOs to interns and 19 PPIs for the 2013 batch.In comparison,the average numbers of PPOs and PPIs to BTech/BEs were much higher with organisations offering 44 PPOs and 66 PPIs on an average for the 2013 batch.
Sandeep Chaudhary,partner – Talent & Rewards at Aon Hewitt India shares that campus hiring trends are a lead indicator of the general market sentiment towards hiring.“The study results are clearly indicative of the somewhat optimistic,yet cautious sentiment of Indian businesses.While it may be some time before India witnesses a growth rate of eight to nine per cent,for now,corporate India is keeping its head high and planning for the long-term,”he says.T Dev Joshi,group president and CHRO, LNJ Bhilwara Group adds,“Despite industry sentiments riding low, most of the sectors are going for campus hires even this year in varying numbers.”
Talking about the expectations of the employers,Siddhartha Jain,human resource development & training manager,The Leela Kempinski Gurgaon says,“Companies are primarily looking for long-term team players who can add value to their organisation.”Even the students seem to have a clear set of expectations.“Youngsters today want to understand their career progression right from the start;work with managers who are inspiring and act as mentors;have a fun workplace with rules that are relaxed to suit their style of working,”shares Chaudhary.
Many business leaders and HR practitioners are leveraging this knowledge of generational difference and rethinking their strategy to attract and retain this group of ‘Gen Z’.“Companies who engage in
campus recruitments are increasingly determining new methods of engaging the present generation,which is a diverse,an ambitious,yet honest and socially-conscious segment of the population.Companies look at engaging them through continuous participation in various internal and external social events,”avers Dr Sriharsha A Achar,chief people officer, Apollo Munich Health Insurance.
These methods lead to changes in the recruitment process too. “Overall personality and communication skills are the most important determining factors of selecting a prospective employee.Grades though important are secondary in terms of selection criteria,”says Jain. Organisations are looking for unconventional traits apart from the basic ones.“Companies tend to value responsibility,fair play and a realistic,practical approach to life more than just academic records.Students who maintain a positive and calm demeanour during the interview process are preferred over those who give in to the interviewer’s pressure,”adds Achar.
Communication skills too play an integral role in the selection process.Jain believes that good communication skills enhance the personality and provide employees with the ability to converse effectively,understand the environment better and deliver optimally.Similarly Achar too considers good communication skills and confident body language a must during the hiring process,“These are indications of professionalism and engagement.A professional demeanour in terms of dress code and grooming also indicates the importance the student places on the interview and the company as a whole.”
Leaving aside the lowdown in the various sectors,it is upto the students to best leverage their strengths during campus
recruitments.

Source :The Times of India.
Date : 24/04/2013

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