In the last couple of years, campus recruitment process has undergone transformation and has witnessed heavy reliance on technology making the recruitment process virtual. Virtual hiring is all about breaking away from the conventional hiring process. It has emerged out to be a new method to reach out to large pool of diverse talent from across the country. It is opening the doors for the student job aspirants to a vibrant and exciting future.
Finding, attracting, and hiring the right candidates for internships or for entry-level jobs through campus recruitment has changed significantly. In the last couple of years companies have been receptive to the immediate and new regulatory guidelines and in no time switched to multiple models of working. After the initial struggle, most organisations now are successfully running their business remotely and through other working models – hybrid work model or work from anywhere, for instance. However, few struggled to keep up with the recruitment process, especially selecting eligible candidates through campus recruitment. Let us take a look at some of the industry experiences, current trends, and recommendations.
An Overview of Campus Recruitment in 2020-2021: In the last two years, IIMs and IITs witnessed a tremendous response from the recruiters. According to a recent news report, around 123 offers were made by 22 companies in the first session of recruitment for IIT Madras in 2020-21. In 2021-22, a 43 percent rise was recorded in the figure. This is the released data by the topmost B-schools and the engineering schools. While most B-schools do not release any data related to placements, some only list the names of the companies that visited them. Overall, the recruitment process did take its time in 2020. But in 2021 the process accelerated not just for coveted colleges or B-schools. The process was carried out through online and physical interviews on the campus.
Hiring Beyond Crème De La Crème Institutes: Most companies in the world are now moving towards skill-based hiring. This refers to employers targeting a specific skill or job requirements where skill-sets can be cognitive, such as having specific knowledge of statistics, math, or science. The request can also be based on soft-skill requirements. In such scenarios, companies insist on hiring fresh talents based on qualifications and rather than institutions. They scout for talents and make on-the-spot offer based on the candidate’s performance and not pedigree necessarily. Reports point out that there is huge momentum in hiring students from local engineering institutions, targeting specifically tier 1 and tier 2 cities in India. This has encouraged the participation of young girls who prefer to study closer to their homes.
In 2014, a tech institute entered Limca Book of Records for the fourth consecutive year as one of the top hiring grounds for the IT companies. They were able to place the maximum number of students in a single slot. In the past, top companies such as Cognizant and TCS have hired talents from not so coveted colleges and institutes. This trend clearly indicates that companies give preferences to qualifications and matching skillset, be it from premium or local institutes.
Roadmap for 2022 Campus Placements: Technology is the present and will continue to change the landscape of organisations in future. This is why universities/colleges have to incorporate technology-based hiring mechanisms to make campus placement process a success. One way to do that is to set up a virtual campus setting.
In the last couple of years, companies have heavily relied on the use of technology to carry out their operations and hire talent through virtual platforms. By using advanced technology-based online tools, universities can set up virtual campuses where students can get in touch with alumni and prospective employers through a database. Just like any other campus event, online job fairs and campaigns provide a virtual medium where students can meet their prospective employers, socialize, and explore new avenues. Employers can use various online tools such as video conferencing, chat windows, and virtual booths which will help students understand the company’s needs, get an overview of the company, and make them aware of the benefits and opportunities available. For employers, virtual campus recruitment drives will be a convenient option as it will save their time and efforts.
Events to be organized on virtual campus: Going forward, organisations and universities have to use innovative methods to keep the action and interaction alive on the virtual campus. A series of online events must be planned well and carried out strategically to welcome recruiters and the right talent on board. Events such as hackathons can serve as a common platform to source talents from diverse backgrounds. This is where talents such as designers, analysts, programmers, strategists, and creative thinkers collaborate and collectively solve predefined challenges within a certain time frame and come up with a workable solution or a business model. Such pre-placement events keep the placement process engaging.
Organizing periodic online contests where the marketing head or the CEO can be the judge will also act as a useful icebreaker between fresh graduates and the company representatives. Also, graduates will get an opportunity to study and analyse a real case study with a representative. Also, there are online platforms that offer marketing support by promoting such online contests on social media platforms to increase the visibility.
Today, most companies are already looking to hire talents that fit the bill; companies are reaching out to talents from local colleges and universities from tier 1 and tier 2 cities going beyond coveted colleges and institutes. Given this trend, setting up virtual hiring campuses should be a way forward for colleges and universities. This tech-enabled model is not only indispensable at the moment but also a win-win for all the stakeholders involved – universities/ colleges, recruiting organizations, and the student job aspirants. This model will mature through better collaboration among the placement function of the college and the recruitment teams of the potential organisations. In conclusion, technology will continue to contribute to higher quality of campus recruitment process, paving the way for a new futuristic model for hiring called – virtual campuses.
About the author
Bareena Irwin Tamang, L&D Lead at AscentHR, is an experienced training lead with over 12 years of experience in the Learning and Development domain in the HR industry. She has strong skills in the areas of coaching, employee learning and development, employee training, customer service training, soft skills and behaviour training, and recruitment. Bareena has a graduate degree from Madurai Kamaraj University, India.