Economic slwdwn 2 chnge campus placement


NEW DELHI: The economic slowdown is going to impact education, especially campus recruitments. Both immediate and long-term effects are being predicted, which include change in pay packages, profiles and hiring strategies. Additionally, students are likely to opt for more qualifications after graduation, instead of entering the job market.

"On one hand, the high-end pay packages will take a backseat with investment banks withdrawing from the placement process. Last year, Lehman Brothers made an offer of Rs 18 lakhs to a Delhi University (DU) graduate and this year they have backed out," said Seema Parihar, chairperson, Central Placement Cell, DU.

"Other companies that were taking up global projects will also reduce recruitment, as they may not get as many projects now. As the economic slowdown will also affect the use of credit cards, the BPO sector --- call centres in particular --- will also reduce recruitment," she added.

Vaibhav Sharma, member, Placement Cell, Delhi School of Economics (DSE), also predicts a change in the profile of recruiters and the jobs that would be offered. "It will be product-centric companies rather than the people-centric ones that would emerge as top recruiters. These include companies dealing with manufacturing, insurance and telecom. Within consultancy firms, the hiring would be directed towards talent management and talent retention profiles instead of strategic planning," he said. Sharma also believes that students would now have to settle for Indian companies, with fewer MNCs coming forward.

Veer Singh, vice-chancellor, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, is waiting for the recruitment process to begin before drawing any conclusions. However, he believes legal services would witness a positive change. "I think the demand for lawyers is going to increase, as the present situation would require a great amount of documentation with drastic changes taking place at the top-level in organisations," he added.

And would the market slowdown affect recruitment at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) as well? Sanjay Dhande, director, IIT-Kanpur, thinks otherwise. "Every year, top companies visit the IITs and this will not change. However, in the long term, the market slowdown may affect postgraduate education with students opting for additional qualifications, instead of settling for just one," he said.

Echoing a similar sentiment, Peter Cappelli, professor of management, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, US, said: "This would be a good time to sit out the downturn by going to business school and picking up a qualification while the economy is down. This way, you won't miss anything." Students, too, believe they have little to fear.

While some have drawn their own market estimates and are planning accordingly, others have decided to wait and see how companies' respond. "We don't think there is any reason to panic before the placement process begins. The scenario can only be gauged by the summer placements for first-year students," says Akshay Sinha, second-year student, XLRI-Jamshedpur.