Vivek Paranjpe, is a Senior HR professional with over 35 years of experience, ranging several leadership positions, in India and abroad. He leads his consulting practice since 2003 and presently works as a Strategic HR Advisor to Reliance Industries, and is also an independent Director on the Board of Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd. Prior to this, he was based at Singapore for several years where he was Director HR - Operations at Hewlett Packard for the Asia Pacific Region.
With the placement season around the corner, I am once again in a dilemma of choosing which business/engineering schools we should visit this year. We are an IT company and hire in large numbers at the entry-level. We have been going to the same set of schools over the last 4 years and have not been very happy. So, this year my business heads have put in a request to redesign the selection process for selecting the right school. Is there any best practice that I can refer to for doing this? Are there any specific criteria that I can consider when selecting the business/engineering schools to ensure we go to the right places?
If you are not happy with the quality of hires, this can be due to multiple reasons. Before coming to any conclusion on deciding the schools, you have to do the root cause analysis. Your inability to get right candidates, which is leading to your unhappiness, may be due to multiple reasons. Some of the reasons being:
1. You are not visiting the schools that produce the caliber of the candidates that you are looking for.
2. Maybe your selection process needs the change. Wrong selection process may lead to wrong hiring decisions.
3. Maybe the panelists visiting the campuses are wrong.
4. Maybe you are getting the right candidates but your initial induction, orientation and the training before the candidates are put on the job, is not good enough.
5. Maybe your positioning in the campus is not right – you are not getting the right slot (day zero, day one, etc.) and therefore you are not able to hire the right people.
6. Your company’s image on the campuses and also what compensation you offer, determines what caliber of candidates you can attract.
I believe you need to analyze various possible reasons and come to the right conclusion on what the real reasons for your unhappiness are. If the type of schools that you visit is the real reason, you will also know why these are wrong schools and therefore, it will be easy for you to determine which will be the right schools. Different schools produce different types of graduates depending on the quality of their initial intake, caliber of faculty, syllabus, education environment, facilities at the campuses, etc. Your decision on which schools to target should be dependent on what caliber of students you have in mind and this is directly correlated to the nature of work these people are expected to do after they join you.
To sum up
Decision on which campuses to visit is dependent on multiple factors. There is nothing like a right set of campuses. It really depends on what you are looking for and what you expect from these new young employees.
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