Mumbai's colleges are halfway through their placement season, and this year, a slow economy has led to fewer vacancies in the traditional companies. While packages remain the same as last year, the number of recruits per company, especially true for recruiting giants such as Google, Infosys and HCL, have drastically dropped even in comparison to last year.
However, experts are optimistic, since the total number of companies recruiting has increased by an average of 5% at most major colleges. More small companies and startups are swooping in to scoop up talent, creating new jobs.
Here are the major trends observed from the placement season so far, and what this means for students.
Finance takes a hit
A trend noticed across city colleges including NMIMS, WeSchool and NITIE is that of the banking and financial sector offering fewer jobs.
Uday Salunkhe, group director, WeSchool says, "The placements in our college begin in the second week of December and are still going on. This year, fewer companies from the banking and the finance sector have turned up. Instead, technology-based companies like Wipro, Google and iGate have shown larger promise."
Other placement heads also agree that tech companies are showing greater interest this year than financial firms.
Vikram Vasudev, head of placements at Don Bosco Institute of Technology says, "Companies have become very selective in their hiring process this year. Infosys, traditionally a mass recruiter, picked up only 30 to 40 students this time, as compared to almost 100 last year. Today, just an engineering degree is not enough unless you complement it with certifications like CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate), Oracle and Java."
While the companies are cutting down on their recruits, colleges like IIT-Bombay and Jai Hind College claim that more students were sitting for college placements this year than the previous year at 1,400 and 1,300 respectively.
"Confidence, patience and thorough preparation will steer you through the situation, even if it seems upsetting now. There are plenty of smaller companies that offer great learning experiences that one can choose from. You should just be very clear of your subject's fundamentals and have knowledge about the sector worldwide," says Debashis Sanyal, dean, School of Business Management, NMIMS University.
Nainesh Koli, placement officer, Mithibai College says, "Collect information about the company and the profile it is offering before you sit for the interview. Every interviewer wants to know why you want to join his company and not any other."
Abhishek Panda, a final year student of NITIE, who secured a job at a top MNC
"Aspirants should not panic. The economy is looking up and companies might hire afresh in May and June. Also, this year, many start-ups are recruiting, which has added more jobs to the market."
Nivedita Radja, a second year student of WeSchool, who secured a job at PR firm Edelman
"Have a positive mindset when appearing for an interview. The way you answer will show the interviewer whether you will stay committed to your job.”
Best foot forward
By now, you all know how to sit, dress and behave in an interview. Educationists and corporates share this advice to succeed:
• Know your subjects thoroughly. Soft-skills and presentation aside, companies are looking for raw knowledge
• Learn about the company and the sector to which it belongs. Read the newspaper about international news on the same.
• Do not aim for high packages at the onset; joining a respectable brand is more important. No matter what your first salary is, in two or three years you will catch up with the rest.
• Identify your special calibre and highlight it in the interview. Share experiences and anecdotes about how you tackled a particular situation.
Are you employable?
The HR Club is an association of HR managers from almost 400 companies like Voltas, Tech Mahindra, Aditya Birla Group, Tata Capital, TVS Motors etc, which organises a national contest called Campus2Corporate for management and engineering students every year. The aim of the contest is to assess the corporate employability of the students. The registration fee is Rs. 100. Enter your details and appear for the five rounds of the contest that include online aptitude tests, online interactions and face-to-face interviews. After this, you will receive detailed feedback from the companies.
The winners will get access to an online course on improving soft-skills and will be mentored by the industry. Also, the club will forward the CVs of all the participants to the associated corporates.
Registration is already open. To enroll, send a mail with your name, contact number, email id, college name and year to firstname.lastname@example.org.