IT-ITeS firms tie up with institutes to create employable graduates

Tired of complaining about the employability of graduates in the country, individual IT-ITeS firms are now tying up with educational institutes to be able to hire more employable graduates. In the bargain, apart from faculty development and creation of desired curriculum there will be real-time work experience for students, at the campus level.

“It is paramount for the industry to work closely with educational institutions to integrate market evolution with business curriculum,” said Mohit Thukral, senior vice-president and business leader, Banking, Financial Services and Insurance, Genpact.

Genpect had yesterday signed an agreement with the Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur (IIM-U) to create a “knowledge partnership.” Under this seven-year agreement, IIM-U and Genpact will jointly develop a centre for asset-based lending and finance, and an analytics laboratory that will give students the opportunity to solve real-time problems, work on proprietary and industry software tools and technology as well as get hands on industry experience.


Genpact will offer summer internships to full-time students and set up a merit- based scholarship. Students who get the post-graduate diploma in management will be eligible for full-time employment at Genpact in its banking, analytics and finance businesses.

Last week, Genpact entered into a tie-up with Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad, for training in analytics, one of the fastest growing segment for the industry.

HCL Technologies is also working with education institutes to train students at the graduate level. The company had last year entered into a tie-up with Madras University, to hire graduate students (non-technical) with basic skills set for its call centre operations.

“Last year, we hired close to 1,800 students. This was the first batch that we got on board after our tie-up with Madras University. The best experience from this tie-up is that we have not seen any drastic surprises. In the past, students would suddenly decide to leave the training period. Now, we have 100 per cent retention, as students are aware of what they are getting into,” said Subrat Chakravarty, HR head of business services, HCL Technologies.

HCL Technologies has now gone ahead and entered a similar tie-up with Bharathiar University, Chennai. The company has also constructed a facility within the university that allows it to train students and interact with the faculty.

Chakravarty shares that such tie-ups are necessary for the students as they are not aware of the business environment. “It is very important to have a career dialogue. Students at this juncture are very confused, as they enter the job market,” he said.

With the current education system falling short of addressing the employability factor of engineering and non-technical graduates, the IT and ITeS industry has taken onto itself to address this problem. “Our idea is to create a skillset base in some of the niche upcoming business areas. We expect to be able to hire at least 20-25 per cent of the base of students who take up these courses,” said Thukral.

Genpact last week also entered into a similar tie-up with The Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad for training in analytics, one of the fastest growing segment for the industry. The company is also in talks with another institute that will create a curriculum and training for actuarial.

The need to tie-up with educational institutes is also arising from the fact that the industry is maturing and needs skillsets that are caters to upcoming technology areas like cloud, capital market in finance, analytics and others. Take the case of technology solutions firm Sapient. The firms finance and commodity business unit Sapient Global Markets, have set up a Global market institute that trains students in capital markets. “We do hire engineers but though they have all the technical knowledge they are not aware of how the Capital Markets works, especially the Wall Street. It is difficult to find talent in India in capital market. From 2008-09 onwards we created and ran a programme that catered to this segment. This programme runs for four to six months and involves, classroom training, and real-time engagement in projects,” said Abhishek Bhattacharya, Director Sapient Global Markets.

Every year the company trains 300 people through this institute, for which it also flies in people from the US.

Source: Business Standard


Practical knowledge through value-added courses

Some colleges in Coimbatore have turned towards external organisations to augment the practical education of engineering students. The programmes of these organisations / companies are offered as value-added courses spread over a semester. This is catching up in a large way for robotics, embedded systems, .Net, Oracle, etc.

According to a study, the emerging robotics and embedded systems industry in India is now seeing wide applications in various fields, such as defence, automobiles, security, medical and nano-technology. With corporate and Information Technology majors looking at hiring students from tier-2 and tier-3 cities, it is estimated that only less than 5 per cent of students in India are able to make a career in the above mentioned areas. This is because of the lack of practical orientation the university syllabus provides the students with.

But college faculty say, thanks to talent management organisations like PurpleLeap, students are able to get hands-on training on what they learn from the textbooks. PurpleLeap has tied up with a few colleges in Tamil Nadu to offer practical courses (60 hours each) for engineering students as a value-addition. Students are tutored by representatives from the organisation, assessed by it, and also certified according to their performance.

Suresh Seetharaman, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE), Kalaignar Karunanidhi Institute of Technology, says the organisation offers value-added courses for the fifth, sixth, and seventh semester students pursuing IT, EEE, and Electronics and Communication Engineering.

“Two trainers from PurpleLeap handle each session, which includes theory and practical. The infrastructure of the college is used with slight modification to include certain software that they require. The college has been offering these courses since 2009 and it has done a lot of good to the students. Even during placements, such value-added courses are an added attraction,” he says.

Kalaivani College of Technology has subscribed to the Robologics course. This 100-hour programme is offered over two semesters to the mechanical stream students.

“Mechanical engineering students have a paper in robotics. The robologics course provides a route map to the students as to how a machine is made, how to manufacture machines for human needs, etc. The assembling of motor for machines making robots is also taught. The practical aspect is very useful to the students,” says Sajith Surendran, Training and Placement Head, of the college.

According to Amit Bansal, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of PurpleLeap, the organisation is offering courses to the students with the aim of bridging the skill gap and making entry level talent readily deployable.

Source: The Hindu

Specialist skills like global exposure and leadership in high demand in subdued job market

Certain specialist skills are in high demand even in a subdued job market. According to a study by the specialist recruitment  firm MIchael Page International, in India the demand for these skills is likely to continue in the medium to long term. Says Michael Page (India) managing director Tulika Tripathi, “top skills in demand are strong global exposure; good transitioning, change management experience, and strength in risk, controls and compliance across sectors.”

A peep into the skills in high demand at middle and senior levels, and the reasons: 

Indian MNCs are looking for international talent to fuel global expansion plans. Manufacturing, pharmaceutical and logistics sectors continue to drive jobs growth for finance and accounting professionals. Telecom and infrastructure sectors have seen high rates of attrition, resulting in recruitment primarily due to replacement needs. A significant number of manufacturing companies are diversifying into new lines of businesses and are looking for top talent.
Strategy and corporate finance exposure across sectors Investor relations & core accounting experience at senior levels Plant controllers at remote locations , with companies paying a high premium for quality talent to relocate
Healthcare and life sciences sectors are hiring. Major consumer goods companies reported a stable yearon-year growth rate. However, some brands experienced aboveaverage growth due to low base, and more recent entry into the Indian market.
Leadership for business units in pharma sector Marketing domain knowledge in healthcare and life sciences Regulatory affairs and compliance , research & development
There is increased demand for human resource professionals to act as business partners. In the banking sector, there is higher focus on staff retention strategies such as succession planning. Outside BFSI, investment into HR has seen an increasing demand for business partners who understand internal client needs and who can take proactive initiatives to drive the business forward as a first-line interface.
Experience in staff retention covering areas such as training, learning and development, employee engagement and succession planning Compensation and benefits, talent acquisition , sales & frontline training
There is a shortage of high quality mid-level professionals within frontoffice area, as foreign banks continue to target this talent pool. However, within back-office areas, there has not been a shortage in associate-level professionals across different backgrounds and roles. Smaller firms are considered particularly attractive for senior analysts and junior associates as they gain exposure to multiple business areas.
Business development and origination experience at senior level Experience in trade sales and trade finance Many banks are also looking to increase their ratio of female-to-male employees . Senior diversity operations professionals in India that specialise in non-vanilla derivatives and swaps with international experience are highly sought

Source :  The Economic Times

Slowdown hits hiring in top software firms

Employee hiring by the top software companies slowed considerably in the June quarter given the global slowdown. However, companies are confident of bouncing back in the remaining period of the year.

In fact, for the top two (Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys), it was the lowest employee net addition in the last four quarters.

Wipro bounced back in the June quarter after lower hiring in the March quarter. In fact, the net hiring of Wipro was more than double that of Infosys.

Net addition for TCS in June was 4,962 compared to more than double the number in the previous three quarters.

Infosys’ net hiring was only 1,157.

For Cognizant, which in the June quarter overtook Infosys as the second largest software company, the hiring in June was better than March but no way near its high of 7,000-plus in December 2011 and 12,000-plus in the September 2011 quarters.


Despite the drop in hiring numbers, both TCS and Infosys were confident of hiring more as the year progresses.

“We model our recruitment to the demand. At the same time a lot of recruitment we do is of college freshers and is done early on. The cycle time is about 18 months. We had already given offers to 23,000 people last year to join this year starting July,” S.D. Shibulal, CEO, Infosys, told analysts while discussing the company’s June quarter financial results.

“As our principle is to honour all he commitments, which we have given, we are going ahead with the joining of these employees, who will be in training for six months. We have spaced it out in a way which is relevant to us. The conversion rate is usually about 80 per cent, which means we will have about 18,000-20,000 people join between now and the next 12 months,” he said.

For TCS, with campus trainees joining the company from the beginning of July-September quarter, lateral hiring accounted for 75 per cent of total hiring in the first quarter

E. Balaji, CEO, Randstad India, a recruitment company, said that typically there is a drop in the numbers of gross addition and net addition of employees in the June quarter as it is not a peak hiring period for Indian IT majors and there is increased attrition. The human resources teams get the recruitment mandate and budgets approved for the year in this quarter as this is the start of the financial year.

Last year’s trend shows that hiring in top Indian IT companies picks up in the July- September quarter compared to the previous quarter, he told Business Line.

Source: Business Line

Giving a leap start to your career

More often than not, it happens that as soon as students get an engineering seat in the desired college, they feel that they have conquered the world. There is no harm in this elation as long as you do not lose the long term ultimate focus of building a ‘Dream Career’ for yourselves. Getting a degree alone will not make it happen!

Employers look at attributes beyond just your degree. So the need to understand what attributes employers look for in order to determine whether a candidate is fit to join their organization is important

Below is the Q&A session answered by Amit Bansal, CEO PurpleLeap

Ali asked, Amit, is there any certification program that I could do to prove to interviewers that my english is good?

Amit Bansal answers, For language it is not required. Unless it is for a media or equivalent job. Language will get tested during Q&A.

Amit Bansal answers, While extra-curricular activities will give you an edge, you should join only if you feel you enjoy it or if you are good at it. You will need to balance enthusiasm with time, as you will have a lot of work in your engg.

sonam asked, Hello Sir, Good Afternoo, I am a mechanical engineer working with mechanical based company.I am working as a Estimation Engineer.I want to shift from mechanical company into pure software company i.e like infosys, TCS etc etc.Plz guide me…….
Amit Bansal answers, Typically a shift like that would require you to know what skills are required. Such shifts are quite common in the industry. Suggest you think about your long term career choices. What are you good at? What do you want to work on in a software company? How can you add value to a service company? Once you answer these questions, especially the 3rd one, you should have better clarity.

diva asked, I have never had a job and it’s been two years since I left college. How can I increase my chances to secure a good job
Amit Bansal answers, Like I just shared, you should prepare a good sincere resume, prepare for aptitude test, group discussion skills and of course personal interview. Students may suddenly get a call and then it becomes too late to prepare…

vishal asked, i have done b tech, n now uneployed. what do i do?
Amit Bansal answers, Typically this time is spent in preparing a good sincere resume, aptitude test preparation, group discussion skills. Additionally research the companies you want to work for, knowing about them will help you when you appear for the interview.

Amit Bansal answers, Like you said, good CGPA will be critical. You should start working on improving your spoken, written and english listening skills. These along with good CGPA and a good resume should get you your ‘dream job’.

Shrinivas asked, Hi Amit, I am in my mid 40’s and am A Cost Accountant and MBA (Finance) through Distance learning. I find career stagnated. What should I pursue further to boost my career.
Amit Bansal answers, Domain, geography and role are three main ways to challenge yourself. You would need to think which of the above you want to experiment with. Typically boost or growth comes with calculated risk-taking. It depends on your risk-appetite.

Amit Bansal says, Another very good book for english improvement is: Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson

Amit Bansal says, The Use of English by Randolph Quirk. Very good book.

tommy asked, hello sir i am working as software engg, which course is suitable to improve my english communication skills ?
Amit Bansal answers, While you can enroll into a formal course, you can also improve by reading, listening to a lot of english.

Nami asked, Amit, what do you mean by soft skills?
Amit Bansal answers, Soft skills is a sociological term relating, sometimes referring to a person’s “EQ”. EQ is also called as Emotional Quotient. Another way of looking at soft skills is something which enhances the hard skills like technical skills.

shekhar_1 asked, hi i am working in telecom MNC have a degree in computers & pursuing the last sem in MBA-IT from SMU. Do this MBA from SMU worth for me or what other courses should I prefer
Amit Bansal answers, You have degrees which many do not. It depends what you may want to do with additional qualifications. More education may indicate that you want to enter the research/teaching line. Otherwise, better to apply the skills/knowledge which you have gained in the workplace or in a business of your own. You need to take a decision here.

narendra asked, Amit, my written english is good, but when I speak I often loose out on giving quick responses because I think that my responses might be wrong… how can i solve this problem? Do you have a tip?
Amit Bansal answers, It seems that you haven’t practiced speaking enough. Even with written I suggest you should not take it for granted. Watch instructive videos on you tube and see how eminent people speak. Important that you have some role models for yourself. Someone whom you admire in the way the commnicate…

Avin asked, I’ve just started my final year of engineering. How can I brush up my english and communicative skills before the placements begin?
Amit Bansal answers, Very important that you combine a formal english communication course with lot of reading, watching instructive videos, and taking a language assesment test for yourself in about 2 months time.

sunita asked, Amit, I’m a plus two student. What kind of skills other than the technical skills are companies looking for while hiring?
Amit Bansal answers, at your stage, instead of thinking of what companies are looking for, it might be a good idea of speaking to people in your area who are highly competent and observe how they behave, talk, dress…that is what interviewers are looking at…

vikky asked, Sir, Does ISTD Diploma beneficial or not? Kindly let me know the websites from where i can get the training material related to personality development
Amit Bansal answers, The training field has lot of specializations. You should think about what kind of trainer you want to become. Once you do that, you can choose the right kind of courses.

sumina asked, Hi Amit, how early do you need to start planning for your career?
Amit Bansal answers, Career planning is first preceded by passion. You need to think about what excites you, what you are good at and finally how it will help you make money. This will help you to leap into a particular line with a lot of self-belief.

vikky asked, hi sir. m working as a personality development trainer. Kindly let me know which course is better to suit this profile.
Amit Bansal answers, You should think of doing a psychology or a sociology course. Either will serve as a backbone for being a trainer.


Chat date: August 22, 2012

Tier-II cities gain edge in jobs market

Tier-II cities are apparently turning into the new metros for job seekers.

According to the Employment Index for July released by hiring portal, Coimbatore logged the highest growth in recruitment activity at 35 per cent, followed by Kochi (21 per cent) and Jaipur (17 per cent).

The survey pointed out that of the 13 locations monitored by them eight posted a growth in employment activities.

The national capital came in at the fourth position with seven per cent growth.

Following two consecutive months of decline in the Index, the situation has improved slightly in July with a 1.6 per cent increase against the figures for June.

“Monster Employment Index growth trend reflects the cautious approach of employers amid the current economic scenario. However, despite the moderate growth, there are sectors that continue to exhibit increased recruitment activity over the year,” said Sanjay Modi, Managing Director, (India, Middle- East and South East Asia).

Within sectors, the shipping industry posted the biggest growth in employment with a 37 per cent increase, while the telecom industry reported a 13 per cent deceleration and the saturated IT industry posted a 13 per cent dip in employment.

The Monster Employment Index analyses online job postings on various portals to give a picture of the employment activity in the country.

Source: Business Line

Talent management for competitive differentiation

As an HR professional, I am often asked if a challenging macro environment actually makes it any easier for organisations – especially in the IT industry, to manage and retain a workforce characterised by an affinity to mobility across organisations. 

My response is that: far from making it easy, uncertainty in the marketplace makes it ever so critical for technology companies to ensure that their talent management processes are aligned to deliver the right skills, at the right place, right cost and right time to deliver to the business strategy.

With a ‘perfect storm’ characterised by cautious clients, constrained talent pools, and technology innovation upon us, technology organisations need to constantly evolve to weather the winds of change and remain relevant.

The varying ability of companies to respond to the changing rules of the game explains why some players are struggling to cope with the challenging operating environment, while others – benefiting from the vendor churn – are defying the gloomy prognosis and detecting strong demand for software services.

Indeed, in this volatile business environment where customers have a slew of options to choose from, it is only innovation in service delivery that can differentiate an IT provider from the rivals. Put simply, innovation – enabled through an energised workforce – is turning out to be the key to survival of businesses in today’s marketplace.

Now, more than ever, companies need to tap into employees’ transformational ideas in order to outmaneuver competition and pursue the next level of growth. That makes talent management the battleground for competitive differentiation in industry.

Just think about it. Companies, that re-engineer conventional HR strategies, to foster a culture of innovation and creativity, invest to engage employees even in challenging times, and shift the balance of organisational power to empower employees, will stand to gain.

Why? Well, because placing employees at the forefront of change and introducing initiatives that enhance individual performance and group productivity will enable employees to then single-mindedly focus on the ‘value zone’ between them and the clients they work with.

And yes, HR is accountable to direct and deliver people strategies that lead to execution of the desired business objectives. By creating people practices & processes that are aligned to the values and beliefs of the organisation, deliver on the promise of the business strategy and lead to action which brings the strategic intent to life, HR is now enabling organisations to deal more effectively with changes in the external business environment by transforming employees to be the change leaders that provide clients a competitive edge.

In the past, traditional models of HR management in the technology industry focused on volume hiring and retention – and the insatiable demand for its offerings took care of business growth.

Today’s HR policies have to be strategic as well as tactical in nature – be it by attracting specialised talent, imparting extensive and continuous training suited to individual needs, devising career progression plans and leadership development initiatives, establishing new communication channels for employees engagement. And they have to get it right – at every stage of the employee lifecycle.

Naturally, there can be no quick-fix approach to winning on this battleground. It starts with employees selecting to join and stay at organisation that offer a value proposition beyond salaries. Remember, people today are sticking to workplaces that offer them true democracy in their way of working.

A place where they can come up with new ideas, get mentored, seek timely coaching and feedback and are regularly apprised of their career progression plan – a place where change in employee led and management embraced.

Hence, talent management practitioners have to say what they will do and do what they said they will. They need to build practices around a multi-pronged approach, some of which are intended to impact performance and productivity directly and others that enable us to have the right talent join, learn, perform and grow. Some of the main considerations are outlined below:

Career development and growth is an essential expectation in a value proposition, especially when it comes to Gen Y workforce. Companies therefore need to introduce initiatives that can actively engage employees in personal development and career advancement goals – which, in turn, make self-development a personal change journey. Continuing education allows employees to keep up with emerging trends in business and management, and helps further their professional and personal goals.

An equally important aspect of people engagement is an organisation’s rewards and recognition framework, which acknowledges outstanding achievements and efforts of employees. Rewards and recognition foster a culture of excellence, and recognises the contribution of employees in organisation building. Be it spot awards, performance-based incentives or membership of exclusive leadership groups, rewards and recognition can go a long way in engaging employees and in aligning the workforce to the company’s overall goals and objectives.

And then, of course, in today’s hyper-connected age where information is available at a click of a button, effective two-way communication with employees generates the dialogue that reflects democracy in the workplace. Companies need to open up multiple channels for discussion and debate, at all levels. Suitable platforms and online forums help maintain and facilitate a meaningful employee-employer interaction.

This not only allows senior managers to share information with employees, but more importantly, allows employees to ask questions, contribute suggestions, provide honest feedback and communicate with their managers.

Real-time communication channels strengthen the trust between management and the employees operating in the value zone – thus creating another service-level differentiator in the marketplace. Also, these listening posts assume significance in today’s context given the increasing change in the generational mix and entry of Gen Y in workforce.

While HR practices need to specifically understand the aspirations of each segment of the workforce and develop practices, processes and policies keeping each unique segment in mind, the onus of empowering and enthusing employees to reach their true potential lies with individuals with higher levels of responsibility.

Each individual is expected to demonstrate the appropriate leadership mindset so they can personally invest in identifying individuals with high potential, and sponsor their development experience. Hence, a strong emphasis on improving the leadership skills of senior management by providing them a mirror into their abilities and impacting this by investing in coaching, training and regular feedback is critical to nurture people who will be future-ready.

And most importantly, empathy to employee-centricity is reflected by committing to facilitate work-life integration. Companies should continuously endeavor to tailor individualised approaches that support employees in balancing their work and family life.
Enabling HR policies such as sabbaticals, life counseling programs, concierge services and allowances for special occasions, can make the company a fun and easier place to work at.

To sum up, passionate workers are not just brand ambassadors for a services organisation; they are now directly influencing business results and outcomes. HR practices should, therefore, be designed to enthuse and excite employees to reach their true potential, and to enhance their passion to add value to their clients.

Empowered employees are an organisation’s best bet in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace – and investment in them as the right bet will lead to the exponential results we see.

(The writer is Chief Human Resources Officer, HCL Technologies)

Source: Deccan Herald

Most engg. graduates not readily employable

Only students who have done well academically, with over 60 per cent marks, were included in the survey

Even as students continue to make a beeline for engineering courses with an eye on the job prospects, a study finds that most engineering graduates are not readily employable. A PurpleLeap (an entry-level talent management company) Industry Readiness Index survey reveals that only one out of 10 students graduating from Tier 2, 3 and 4 engineering colleges is readily employable, implying that very few graduates with engineering degrees actually gain skills for employment.

These findings become even more alarming, given that only students who have done well academically, with over 60 per cent marks, were included in the survey. Clearly, even those that are academically successful are underprepared for employment.

Assessing 34,000 final year engineering students with over 60 per cent marks across 198 colleges through the IRIX survey, PurpleLeap found that only 12 per cent of students are employment ready. The survey also revealed that 52 per cent are trainable for employment, and that 36 per cent are non-trainable.

While there is some room for optimism knowing that over half can become employable with additional training, usually ranging from three to four months, the biggest source of concern is that such a large per cent cannot be trained.

Biggest problem

Contrary to popular belief that communication is the biggest barrier to employability, PurpleLeap found that analytical ability (a sub-set of generic ability, which measures logical and analytical reasoning) is the biggest gap area. This lack of adequate problem-solving skills is one of the biggest gaps leading students to settle for ‘non-technical’ roles after an engineering education.

In terms of technical ability too, which tests the ability to apply knowledge, the study showed that over 58 per cent of the IT industry’s engineering graduates do not meet the employability criteria.

In effect, the total number of readily employable engineering graduates produced from all Tier 2, 3 and 4 colleges was equal to the handful of Tier 1 colleges.

Source: The Hindu