Current Placement scenario at B- Schools

Amid the scare of growth rates going sour and a slowdown crippling the economy, new hiring trends have emerged from the placement season at B-schools across the country.

As the placement season started for business management graduates of the year 2009, there were doomsday theories that prophesised a low point in campus hiring; one that would seem starker when compared to the previous years of guts and glory at B-schools However, as the picture emerges, there have been departures from the past, some unusual hiring trends, unexpected visitors and ‘correction’ in compensation but not the doom that was predicted.

Experts point out that while many students still await placements the initial are very encouraging. Premiere institutes like IIM – Calcutta, XLRI – Bubhaneshwar, IIM—Bangalore reported 100 per cent placements, while still others like ISB, Hyderabad and IIPM, Delhi claimed that the placement process will continue till the last of their students were placed. We have a body of 88 people, who work round the year on placements some of them target the UAE, South East and European market. Our placement ‘season’ starts in December and ends in May. Last year they got 600 companies on campus, but this year some of their biggest recruiters, ADAG, ICICI, HDFC Bank etc were recruiting far fewer people. So, they realized that they need many more companies, because so far, they relied heavily on a few companies picking up huge numbers. So, they revamped their placement team and added more people to it, and decided to target at least 750-800 companies this year. Last year, international placements were 165. But this year, keeping the situation in mind, they are hoping to touch 100, says dean, IIPM. ISB approached Public Sector Units (PSUs) national banks, entrepreneurial ventures etc, explains senior director, communications at ISB. External relations secretary, IIM Calcutta says that this year, in particular, PSUs and other good but lower paying jobs, were more aggressively pursued to keep up with the times. XLRI, Bubhaneshwar also reiterated the trend of increased visibility of PSUs and attributed it to the 6th Pay Commission. The distinct element in recruitments, this season was the active participant of PSUs.

A freeze on hiring during a downturn is often necessary to ensure a company’s current profitability and future competitiveness. Counteracting these tendencies requires creativity, which B-schools are showing by using the recession mantra of doing more with less, but doing it better.

Most B-schools are inviting more companies to visit their campus; the placement time has been stretched. In one case, they have a larger placement team who also went to Tier 2 and 3 towns. They also approached SMEs. Their mentoring program was much more rigorous this year and are expecting almost 750 companies to visit by the time the placement seasons is over.

The banks haven’t really stopped hiring Insurance companies were as big as last year. IT companies are still visiting campuses across the country. The manufacturing sector has been a huge support and the SMEs have proved to be a boon for students.

Some companies that are firing at the mid and higher levels are hiring at the entry level. Also, it was surprising to note that international companies in the service sector hired despite the slowdown to prepare for economic recovery.

Some useful suggestions for career beginners:

1. Whether in recession or not, one should make a career choice and not a ‘job’ choice. Career choices call for a long term perspective. The industry one wants to work in or the function one wants to choose should be given priority instead of salary figures.
2. Network tactfully
3. Clearly articulate your value. The interviews will go much better when the person hiring can clearly see what your experience could do for them.