Prior experience in a certain field makes a management student a good fit for higher positions
The Employment Outlook Survey released recently in December 2012 by Manpower Group indicated that hiring activity will happen at a strong pace in the first three months of 2013. And going by the survey results, corporate recruitment teams seem to have their agendas set.
Most of them have a recruitment toolkit that includes everything from B-school rankings to specific curriculum details that help identify the most suitable candidates. But three elements are at the top of their list as they set out for the B-schools this year.
Prior work experience
Recruiters People Matters spoke to reported that they prefer graduates with relevant work experience – acquired either before they enrolled in business school or at internships. According to the global Corporate Recruiters Survey 2012, conducted by GMAC, 75 per cent of the employers hiring from B-schools are looking for candidates with more than three years of work experience. And this is especially the case in sectors like retail, healthcare and hospitality.
“Since the retail industry is growing so fast, someone with prior experience in the retail business is given preference in hiring,” says Udit Mittal of Unison International. Adds Sunil Goel, Managing Director of GlobalHunt, “Tier A colleges are most often approached for strategic business planning roles. It is, therefore, critical for a candidate to have functional as well as industry experience.”
Most recruiters reach out to Tier B colleges for mid-level management positions. Candidates from these colleges are typically placed in research, sales or functional roles -- positions for which they can be trained. Prior experience in a certain field definitely makes a management student a good fit for higher positions, since adapting to the work environment is relatively easier. It also cuts down the training costs of the company.
Furthermore, industry-specific knowledge and domain expertise on a subject are given a clear preference while hiring for specific roles. For instance, hiring managers from energy-services companies need MBAs to fill the same functional roles as in any industry. But in this economy, companies lean toward recruits with deep, technical knowledge of the industry, and experience in the field of finance (say, energy trading). Also, considering that a domain expert still retains that ‘hot skill’ – more often than not, the competition would also be chasing the same set of candidates, says Indrani Ghoshal, Assistant Vice President, HR at Amercian Express India.
Analytical ability coupled with technological competence
The growth of the data industry has touched more than just the knowledge management space.
HR managers from across industries emphasize that analyzing data is as important as maintaining a system for it. Says Kristina Liphardt, Campus Recruitment leader at Ernst & Young, “It is important that candidates have the capability to take multiple streams of data and information, and extract from them what is important and relevant. Further, they should be able to use that information to make sound business decisions or business recommendations when we are servicing a client.”
Top 10 Desired Qualities
>> Achievement and/or goal orientation
>> Ability to deal with pressure
>> Innovation and/or creativity