Even as B-schools get ready to hold their convocation ceremonies and host new batches, placement on campuses is far from over. This, despite the fact that B-schools tinkered with their placement process this year, introducing changes to beat the slowdown blues by bringing in policies like — spot offer system, deferred placements, giving preference to domestic companies and approaching more number of companies on campus.
Placements at B-schools usually begin in December and get over by March-April. This year, however, the placement process has dragged on for longer than usual. For instance, at Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Ghaziabad about 7 per cent of its batch of 424 students are yet to be placed.
“Due to the slowdown companies hired cautiously this year and reduced the number of recruits compared to last year,” Shridhar Guda, chairperson, placements, IIM-Kozhikode, had told Business Standard earlier. His views are shared by a faculty member at Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad who says that their campus too has seen a cautious approach adopted by most companies. The average number of offers per company stood at 2.35, however, IIM-K has seen an increase of seven per cent in its average salary across sectors, he added.
Many B-schools have adopted the spot offer strategy, under which if a student has an offer in hand and bags another offer from a company, he or she is expected to opt out of the placement process. This will allow others better opportunities of landing on a job. IIM Calcutta has also brought down the number of offers per student at two this year, against three-four offers in any given year.
Inviting new companies on campus has been another strategy which has helped B-schools to tackle the slowdown. “Nearly 30 per cent of the companies have participated for the first time in our placement process. This helped us place students as many companies did recruit in big numbers as they used to do earlier,” said Amit Dhiman, placement chairperson at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. Consulting firms however, recruited in good numbers, he added. IMT Ghaziabad which had invited only 100-odd firms last year, had to invite over 140 this year. Yet, only 130 firms have visited the campus so far to recruit.
“It has been a common trend this year where top B-schools — including some IIMs — had to invite more firms to pre-empt any slowdown impact. However, the mid-level and small B-schools have —and are still — been finding it difficult to place the students,” said Abbas Ali Gabula, chairperson external relations, SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR).
Several B-schools have registered a fall in average salaries this year. For instance, at Indian Institute of Management, Indore, this dropped to Rs 13,00,000 against Rs 14,00,000 last year. The institute also found it difficult to place students due to an unusually high number of students with work experience. It demanded additional efforts in getting them placed, the institute said.
With inputs from Kalpana Pathak in Mumbai