Setting IT standards

KL is one of those fortunate software professionals who didn’t have to struggle too much to get into IT sector. But even after having settled in at HCL Tech, since the last seven years, the 33 year old white collar worker still wishes for that single, benchmarking test in the IT industry for “freshers”.

A common benchmarking is a must to manage the emerging talent crisis in the industry. Perhaps it’s pointers such as these that have forced the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) to start putting things in place.

The apex IT body is in the final stage of rolling out a testing and accreditation offering called ‘NAC-Tech’ for assessing fresh engineering graduates before they feature on companies’ pay rolls.

The association has already introduced a Nasscom Assessment and Certification (NAC) test in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, last year which was welcomed whole heartedly by the industry. The NAC tested candidates aspiring to jobs in the BPO sector on seven parameters including for skill sets like key board typing, listening (various accents), analytical and spoken English.

Now, the ‘NAC-Tech’ will similarly test every engineering graduate, a Nasscom Member company wants to recruit.

Broadly, a student would need to take this test to understand his competence as an employee of this sector, sometimes also judge for himself if he is better suited for another segment of the industry (ITes, or services) depending on his aptitude and to be able to identify his weaknesses and work on them to maximize his chances of joining and having a successful career in this industry.

‘NAC-Tech will be equivalent to GMAT and the test will be a national benchmarking in the IT industry in terms of score and weightage. NAC-Tech would be an industry standard for evaluating students who are aspiring for jobs in engineering and technology companies.

Nasscom member firms (about 1,100) could take recourse to this test to ensure that the candidates they have short listed from engineering colleges are indeed employable.

The test would be on the lines of a SWOT analysis which not only test the candidate’s knowledge of the subject but also assess the potential s/he has to offer to the industry.

The concept is ready and the new testing and accreditation offering is expected to be launched during this academic year. The certification program aimed at creating a common benchmark could serve as an alternative to the internal test conducted by companies.

Chief of IT consulting and training firm QAI Limited, a common testing is the need of the hour in view of the large number companies needing to hire and the big bang attrition taking place across the IT spectrum.

For example Infosys has to hire 26,000 by this financial year. If the IT bellwether selects one professional out of five, the company has to assess over a lakh people to achieve the desired number. The whole process results in a colossal waste of human resources and money as well.

If they have a concept like NAC tech, they can easily avoid resource wastage and create a talent pool. But the real challenge is to execute it across the IT industry. Besides, there is also a gap between university curriculum and industry requirements.

People from most engineering colleges, including IITs, are in any case are not directly employable admits he director of head hunting firms Omam Consultant Managing. That is why some companies have set up finishing schools and forged contracts with some institutions to make the tech freshers ready for the industry.

Eventually this test would ensure that IT candidate benchmarked by it does not need to go through recruitment processes again and again.