Headhunting at DU hit by pandemic, only 138 students placed this year
This year, in the wake of the pandemic, and a subsequent change in the exam pattern, several exams are still ongoing for a section of students and the results of all students are expected only by October or NovemberUpdated: Sep 24, 2020, 12:21 IST
With the recruitment season finally coming to an end at most Delhi University (DU) colleges, institutes are assessing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the recruitment process this year.
The university’s central placement cell, which placed over 1,160 students last year, was able to place only 138 students this year. Hena Singh, the in-charge of the placement cell, said this was due to the restrictions imposed during the Covid-19 lockdown.
“We had planned to hold recruitments for over 2,500 students as we had tied up with several companies that were interested in bulk recruitments. But the hiring process involved the conduct of large-scale tests -- something that could not be done online. Also, the delay in announcing the results of final-year students impacted the numbers,” Singh said.
Generally, exams for final-year students are completed by May or June. This year, in the wake of the pandemic, and a subsequent change in the exam pattern, several exams are still ongoing for a section of students and the results of all students are expected only by October or November.
“We have been getting proposals for holding recruitments again and it may start again. Since the Covid-19 crisis has given rise to an unprecedented situation, graduating students should be given another chance and we will be holding discussions on what can be done,” Singh, who teaches at Miranda House, said.
At Miranda House, the highest annual package this year was Rs18 lakh per annum as compared to Rs20 lakh per annum last year. The average package, however, rose from Rs6 lakh per annum to Rs7.33 lakh per annum.
Ishita Bhatia, president of the placement cell at Miranda House, said, “The placement process turned sluggish between March and May (lockdown period). However, it has picked up since August and companies are recruiting from the graduating batch of 2020.”
Even colleges that fared better than last year are feeling the sting of the pandemic. In a placement report released by the Shri Ram College of Commerce on Tuesday, the college said the highest offer its students received this year was Rs31 lakh per annum; the same as last year. The average package this year stood at Rs8.4 lakh per annum -- a jump of Rs2 lakh per annum from last year. Also, more number of recruiters came to the campus this year. The highest package offered during the lockdown period of May to June was Rs17 lakh per annum and the average package during that period was Rs6.77 lakh per annum.
Principal Simrit Kaur said the placement team was working closely with students whose offers were rescinded by companies. “Some students approached us after global companies rescinded on the offers made to them. In the case of smaller companies, our teams interacted with employers and tried to renegotiate the offers.”
Sanshita Vij, student coordinator for placements at SRCC, said, “A noticeable change this year included a shift towards remote hiring and aggressive hiring to the divisions of sales and marketing, and business development by smaller startups. Bigger recruiters were more conservative.”
At Lady Shri Ram College for Women, the highest package stood at ₹30 lakh per annum this year and the average package stood at ₹9.4 lakh per annum. Last year, the highest package offered was ₹37.8 lakh per annum.
Arvind Kumar, convener of the placement cell at the college, said this was due to the Covid-19 crisis. “Few offers, less than 5%, were also revoked due to the crisis. Current aspirants should hone their IT skills which are going to gain more importance in the times to come,” he said.
While the highest package at St Stephen’s College last year was ₹29 lakh per annum, this year the number dropped to ₹26 lakh per annum. The average base pay package for both the years, however, only had marginal difference with the amount standing at ₹10.25 lakh per annum this year.
Shankar Kumar, faculty in charge of the placement cell at Hindu College, said, “Our college’s average salary increased by ₹1 lakh per annum from last year. If we look at the placement figures of top DU colleges, it won’t synchronise with the 23% fall in India’s GDP in the first quarter. The placement figures haven’t changed much from last year as companies that largely recruit from top colleges are from sectors such as information technology or accounting. These businesses were not affected by the pandemic as compared to other sectors such as service industry or tourism.”