India Inc Goes Full Steam Ahead on Campus Hiring

Cos draw up new strategies, plan to increase intake

Corporate India has ramped up fresher hiring at campuses on the back of improved business sentiment and a booming job market.

While companies across sectors have ambitious plans to increase hiring through campuses, they are looking at differentiated strategies -psychometric assessments and tests to select the right set of candidates, customised onboarding initiatives and even innovation challenges to pick out the best of the lot.Some are even planning a foray into premier campuses early this year.

Retail major Future Group will for the first time hire freshers from the two-year MBA programme at the Indian Institutes of Management this year. The group is planning to visit IIM Ahmedabad followed by institutes like IIM Lucknow. “With the market picking up, we want young talent from the top 10 campuses in India to drive our business strategy,“ says Kaustubh Sonalkar, chief HR officer, Future Group.

Future Group will hire 100 to 150 management trainees who will be mentored for a year on different projects and roles, before being absorbed in specific departments in 2016.

At Citi, the total number of hires under its flagship campus hiring programmes is pegged to increase by 37% to 301 in 2015 from 219 in 2014.

“Engagements are moving from the campus to an individual level, driven by a targeted approach. Last month, for the first time, we launched an innovation challenge across key institutes to identify talent,“ says Sarab Preet Singh, head, recruitment, learning and talent at Citi India.

The Citi Campus Innovation Challenge was rolled out in 13 leading management institutes. Teams of up to three students have been asked to present the sector they believe will undergo the next big change, through an innovative operating model. Top teams will be invited to Citi’s corporate office in Mumbai to present to a select panel of Citi leaders.

Microsoft has consciously offered more global roles at the Indian Institutes of Technology as compared to the previous year and has also begun hiring students for machine learning roles for the first time this year. “We hire young talent for both India and Redmond.This year, we have offered an increased number of global roles to campus hires,“ says Rohit Thakur, head of HR for Microsoft India.Machine roles are job roles around big data or data anlaytics.

Godrej is expecting a 10-12% increase in management hiring numbers over last year.The company will hire close to 100% of its campus hires through pre-placement offers this year as opposed to 70% last year.

“Besides hiring students for roles in sales and marketing, supply chain, human resources, we are also looking at offering certain unique roles like digital marketing and design in line with our business strategy,“ says Sumit Mitra, head, group HR and corporate services, Godrej Industries.

“Campus recruitments form a major source of attracting young talent that can be groomed for future leadership. Validating the latter is the significant increase ofalmost 100% in campus recruitments that we have witnessed particularly for Godrej properties,“ says Mitra.

Companies believe it is crucial, more than ever, to engage deeply with campus talent through unique strategies. Prized recruiters like Hindustan Unilever have consciously tried to improve engagement levels over the past few years. “Over the past few years, we have extended our communication channels and campus activities. We have half a million students registered on the Facebook page,“ says BP Biddappa, executive director, HR.

With an objective to hire top quality students, KPMG introduced an average increase of 15% to 20% in their offers this year. “In consulting, organisations with strong leadership and a clear vision for future are expected to invest heavily in acquiring top quality talent,“ says Shalini Pillay, head, people, performance and culture.

Last year, KPMG hired more than 20 IIT graduates and over 60 people from the IIMs, but the numbers will increase this year, she says.

Competitor PwC, which sees its intake increasing by 10-20% this year, is introducing acustomised pre boarding initiative wherein all new joinees -interns and campus recruits ­ will be invited to an interactive weekend session with businessleaders, says Jagjit Singh, human capital leader.

Whirpool is planning to use psychometric assessments and case studies to make their selection process more robust. Cross sectoral campus hiring at companies like Vodafone Snapdeal, and Rolls Royce is set to witness a sharp swing this time. While Snapdeal will be hiring close to 150 MBA graduates from top 20 B-schools across roles like marketing, product development, strategy and operations, Vodafone will onboard more than 130 trainees from top 15 B-schools.

Rolls Royce has increased their India graduate intake from engineering campuses to 12 this year from three last year. “We have been amongst the first recruiters at campuses this year among core engineering companies,“ says Sreedeep Nair, managing director, Rolls Royce Operations India.

Source : Economic Time

Date : 06-01-2015


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