With the advent of campus recruitment season, albeit on a passive note, the spotlight is on fresher hiring. Although the numbers are visibly subdued, the challenges remain the same. India has tremendous diversity in terms of the quality of talent pool, with over 2.5 million students graduating every year.
The most often quoted employability study by McKinsey says that only 25 percent of the graduates are employable, but the big question that talent acquisition executives grapple with is - who and where are those 25 percent graduates amongst the myriad colleges and mind boggling numbers in India. Are they only in Tier I and Tier II colleges? Does it mean that all other students in the remaining colleges are not employable? The big question that talent acquisition faces is how does one find the required talent and reach out to them?
Traditionally, campus placement has been a favorite tool of talent acquisition for fresher hiring. What makes it difficult is the tremendous diversity in colleges across the country and lack of reliable data beyond the Tier I and Tier II colleges, which adds to the complexity in selecting colleges to hire from. Companies are looking to cast a wider net beyond the Tier I and Tier II colleges, because it is a myth that all the students from these colleges are employable. Surprisingly, even with technology becoming all pervasive and internet touching almost every aspect of recruitment, not much has changed in the way campus recruitment happens.Campus hiring continues to follow the old way of visiting selected colleges.
The use of technology can help bridge this gap in campus recruitment. The endeavor will be to bring college/student profiles online, thereby allowing companies to cast a wider net for selecting from the target talent pool. While it is impossible for individual companies to build a database of colleges across the country, it is possible for specialized recruitment companies to provide that specialized domain knowledge to help companies increase their efficiency in campus recruitments.
Given the uncertain business environment, indications are that companies now prefer hiring just-in-time and the ratio of on-campus and off-campus recruitment is getting skewed towards off-campus recruitment. This shift is as high as 30 percent, which further adds to the complexity in fresher hiring. In the absence of a reliable database, companies have to rely on advertising to attract talent, along with the other challenges of uncertainty in getting the required talent and inadequate bandwidth to assess those candidates.
Traditionally, fresher hiring has been a low priority for recruitment consultants because of low compensation as compared to lateral hiring. The industry needs a coordinated effort between all stakeholders i.e. assessment companies, data aggregators and companies, to create a robust pipeline of talent, which is possible only through technology.