EMPLOYERS – ARE THEY CAMPUS-READY?

Customising the recruitment agenda is key to attracting the right talent during campus recruitments, finds Ankita Shreeram

No two B-schools are the same, even if they do have similar curricula and student profiles. When organisations understand that placement offerings have to be tailor-made as per the aspirations and aptitude of the audience, they are able to nail precisely the right talent to suit their requirements.
What an employer considers as his/her most attractive qualities may not essentially be what students are drawn to the most. “Most students seek financial rewards for the kind of work they do; they seek stability in their job and hence like to work for established organisations and prefer to work with market leaders. However, mid-sized organisations offer more challenging roles and may use the entrepreneurial instinct of a young manager and students who seek roles like these, gravitate to these career paths,” reveals Prof Brahmaprakash Tripathi, dean, Sir M Visvesvaraya Institute of Management Studies & Research (SVIMS). Thus, mid-sized organisations should appeal to the entrepreneurial spirit in students while larger ones should highlight their brand value.
Interacting with and engaging the audience during presentations will ensure greater recall, even among the tons of presentations that students have to sit through during the recruitment season. “It is important to make the presentation interactive by interacting with students, asking them questions and then distributing exciting goodies like Tshirts, watches, iPod shuffle, etc. It is also a good idea to have one of the alumnus of the college working with the company walk up the stage, share his/her experience of working with the company, which other students can relate to,” suggests Kinnari Gandhi, senior manager, talent acquisition.
Campus recruitment require careful planning and strategising in order to yield the desired results. “Good campus hiring is not
a matter of serendipity but an outcome of well-strategised plans of each and every phase of the process. It all begins with an understanding of the kind of talent you are looking at and choosing the right institute. A clarity on requirements and realism inshortlisting campuses are cornerstones for a successful sourcing strategy,” says Indrajit Chatterjee, vice president and head, human resources, Nitco Ltd. “Campus recruitment is no more about being there on day one and recruiting students in large numbers. Candidates are more aware of their choices than ever before. An increasing use of social media platforms is certainly going to play a key role. Organisations that are able to project the desired employer brand will stand out,” avers Nitinchandra Shende, general manager, talent management, Persistent Systems.

Differentiating oneself from the competition must be the focal area during campus recruitment.
“Some organisations bundle a job offer with options for higher studies to deserving candidates through a sponsorship programme. Some project the various cultural and extra-curricular activities to indicate a different side of the corporate world itself. Quite a few also come with differentiation in their own selection process to identify high-profile candidates early and bring them to the final round directly instead of making them go through all the initial rounds of selection,” illustrates Kannan Sethuraman, principal consultant, Maveric Systems. “We believe that companies/recruiters must have an important role in students’ education. By taking advantage of a wide range of services provided by the ‘MISB Bocconi Career Development Service’, firms can approach the best students; conduct employer branding and share expertise and company values. This happens since the very beginning of our PGPB program and throughout its duration. Recruiters are involved in a number of career guidance activities – counselling, mock interviews, round tables, in-company training and company visits,” reveals Alessandro Giuliani, managing director, MISB Bocconi.
At the end of the day, nothing is as attractive as honesty. “Organisations should be transparent and present their true culture to candidates as it helps them take a rational decision. We talk about our open and entrepreneurial environment with applicants during the course of the selection process,” says Vivek Punekar, chief human resources officer, HCL Infosystems. “While presenting to candidates, it is important to discuss with openness and provoke them to ask questions like ‘so what’s in it for me?’ and give them clarity on how they can make a difference. Instead of just presenting ‘what we do’, corporates need to spend enough time talking about how they offer an environment that provides a candidate’s all-round development. Students are becoming increasingly aware of their choices. While presenting their value proposition to students during campus recruitment  organisations need to keep this aspect in mind,” says Shende.

Campuses are also recognising the challenges that organisations encounter in tailoring their job offerings and understanding student aspirations, and making efforts to ease the process. “In addition to traditional job-posting, CV book circulation and interview spaces, we arrange personalised profile searches, company presentations, tailormade recruitment events, multicompany career events, industrywise recruiting dates and drop-in sessions, based on the most advanced practices that recruiters are used to experiencing in top management schools worldwide,” shares Giuliani.

No organisation today can ignore campus recruitments as an avenue for entry-level talent but understanding and responding to the intricacies involved in presenting oneself to students at different institutes are essential.

Source:Times of India

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