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.
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,
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,
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