Entry-level talent hunt: Campus hiring bucks trend in job market

New Delhi Mumbai: The job market may face a slowdown, but this is the second route on the campuses of Premier Engineering and Management colleges which are in various stages of the placement season.

Engineering colleges such as the Indian Institute of Technology and the National Institute of Technology and institutions such as the Indian Institute of Management, Indian School of Business and XLRI are seeing strong demand for new graduates and post-graduates in the current placement season, and this trend is forthcoming. The season is also likely to continue.

HR executives said the demand for entry-level talent remains mostly unaffected, while lateral hiring remains muted. Most of the new recruits will be trained and deployed in the technical and digital transformation initiatives of companies where they are facing talent shortages.

Their officials said Citigroup, Tata Steel, Vedanta, Dabur, Tata Consultancy Services, Schneider Electric, Philips and Whirlpool plan to increase campus hiring or at least remain stable this year. A host of new recruits are also visiting the complexes. The governments of Punjab and Andhra Pradesh were at IIM-Ahmedabad, where placements have now ended for its one-year management program.

“Initial conversations with recruiters tell us that they are looking to continue or increase the number of rentals from the premises. Many of our recruiters are changing their talent pool and changing their business model, for which they need the best talent. Amit Karn told ET, head of placement at IIM-Ahmedabad.

Uber, Flipkart, HSBC, Oyo Hotels & Homes, Godrej and Honeywell were among the new recruiters at IIM-A’s one-year business program.

‘More in demand’
Citibank aims to employ about 415 people from this year’s top campuses, said Shweta Mehrotra, chief human resources officer at City South Asia.

Last year, Vedanta hired 869 engineers, while 96 management trainees from B-schools such as IIM, XLRI, NMIMS, SP Jain have joined this year. This year, it is considering hiring 40 percent more B-school graduates, but the same number of engineers as last year.

“These high-caliber candidates join our businesses and work on impressive projects including exploration, digitization, HSE, productivity and capacity enhancement,” said CHRO Madhu Srivastava.

In 2019, Schneider’s campus hiring is likely to be 60–70% higher than in 2018, said Ranita Verma, director of human resources for its Indian unit. Schneider visits top B-schools and engineering colleges, but from this year, it plans to expand its search to more institutions.

Industry and HR experts said that technical demand will be high as companies are acquiring technical talent to drive their digital transformation.

Last year, Dabur recruited 36 graduates, while this year it is seeing more numbers and visiting new campuses.

“The increase in campus hiring may be about 25% higher than the previous year and in line with business growth. Campus talent has always been important because they provide a pool of new ideas and new approaches to business, ”said V Krishnan, its Executive Director-HR.

The local unit of health-tech company Philips recruited 150 employees from campuses in 2018 and has already hired more than 250 employees on campus this year.

“These campus hires are first provided with a virtual training and are joined through a technical boot camp for software jobs,” said Armaan Seth, head of HR at Philips Indian Subcontinent.

Tata Steel plans to employ more than 100 engineering graduates and 70 management post graduates as of last year.

Manufacturers of white goods, Whirlpool are visiting campuses like Punjab Engineering College-Chandigarh, NIT, BITS Pilani, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, XLRI. This year, the company plans to rent 38 of the campuses compared to 22 last year, an almost 80% jump, said Sarthak Rayachaudhury, Whirlpool’s vice president for Asia.