LAST WEEK WE ASKED: In a bad job market, do you think B-schools should approach placement agencies to place students?
Hiring agencies for placements will present an apprehensive picture of the B-schools to the recruiters, wherein the institution lacks self-reliance to conduct placements by itself. This may dilute the brand value of the B-schools, and send a wrong signal to the industry, which is already hesitant in hiring fresh recruits during these challenging economic times. The existing structure where placement teams of B-schools conduct placements should thereby continue as they have repeatedly done credible work in the past to ensure robust placements in the campus.
-- Akshay Chadha, NSIT, Delhi.
B-schools are expected to create better managers and individuals who can lead and transform their organisations. Therefore, academic activities and providing a learning climate to the students is the most important responsibility of a B-school. If this happens, the placement results will automatically be better. What it implies is that placement should be considered only as a consequence and not a cause of a better business school. Hence, instead of putting their whole weight behind placements, B-schools should give more emphasis on academics based on corporate needs.
-- Amit Kumar, Amity Business School, Noida.
Whether the job market is at peak or at slump, the quality and essence of academics should never deplete in a B-school. Moreover, it is the student who has to endeavour in his studies and aim to get himself placed well in the corporate. On their part, B-school not only provide a protective umbrella but also help the candidate realise his unleashed potential, something placement agency cannot do in a short period of time. Hence, the onus of placing students should be with the B-schools and not placement agencies.
-- Harsh Mehta, St. Kabir Institute of Professional Studies, Ahmedabad.
In a situation when the job market is under pressure, it seems wise to engage placement agencies as they, with all their expertise and resources, can enable a smoother transition in terms of placements in a B-school. Since they will be employed specifically for the placement process unlike the B-school administrative bodies which display a more voluntary approach, the performance of these agencies should be more positive. However, instead of fully outsourcing the placement process to these agencies, they should be involved as a facilitator and should work in conjunction with the B-schools' internal placement bodies.
-- Ahana Sanyal, St. Xavier's College, Kolkata.
The malady of economic uncertainty, debt crisis, job cuts has mired the placement statistics of B-schools. The brand of a B-school is no longer suffice to attract high packages and plethora of international offers ,as it used to be during the golden economic era. Hence, B-schools have sought the help of external placement agencies to secure the future of students. Albeit, it may raise the question of the proficiency of the students but this bold step will certainly preserve the hopes and trust of the aspirants towards the institute in the long run.
-- Dipika Sahoo, College of Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneswar.
In a bad job market many B-schools face difficulty in placing their students. Companies start filling only the key positions and so come up with lesser openings due to which many talented students are denied to prove their mettle. On the other hand agencies are unable to find the right candidates for their job openings because few MBA students apply through them. Placement agencies could really act as a pathway to source the right talent to the right places and thus it would be a win-win situation for the students as well as for the placement agencies.
-- Prateek Parimal, Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA).
The traditional placement committee run by fellow students and administered by a faculty advisor drifts the focus away from learning and knowledge sharing. The scenario gets worsened in a bad job market when students have to sweat hard to bring companies. Outsourcing placements to an agency will help B-schools concentrate on their core competencies. Provided the limited networking of students or faculty, placement agencies connect better with recruiting companies along with helping students design their resumes and grooming them for the placements. However, B-schools need to keep an eye on the whole process to prevent any foul practices.
-- Sujeet Kumar, KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research (SIMSR), Mumbai.
There is no need for B-schools to approach placement agencies since the former themselves are doing pretty well in terms of creating good professional and knowledgeable environment. By this they are moulding students as per industry requirements. Instead of going for placements agencies, B-schools just need to make companies aware of talented students by arranging some events at their campuses.
-- Sumit Kanojia, St. Kabir Institute of Professional Studies, Ahmedabad.
B-schools should approach placement agencies in a bad job market on the basis that the companies do avoid searching for candidates, attending campus interviews, and arranging walk-ins in order to avoid costs in terms of time and money. Corporates rather find hiring through these consultancies easy as the overall process of interviews are held by the latter and companies are left with just one final round. Also placement agencies have an expertise as it is their core work.
-- Manish Parikh, LJ Institute Of Management Studies, Ahmedabad.
Placements are the mirror of the institute's education process. Job market has affected the placements - and hence B-schools' reputation - badly. However, placement is not the only goal B-schools want to achieve for their students. It is more of a discipline and hence providing hard core knowledge base for students should be the aim. So instead of hiring placement agencies, B-schools should try and match up with the changing scenario and apply it in their overall education process.
-- Jimit Parikh, St. Kabir Institute of Professional Studies, Ahmedabad.
Companies recruit only competent people who are suitable for their job even in bad times and retain good people even in hard times. Placement agencies are just another tool to approach good companies for good jobs. Students' only duty is to be eligible for suitable designation and leave the rest on companies to decide whether to hire directly from B-school or from a third party placement agency.
-- Manav Badhwar, Amity Business School, Noida.
By hiring placement agencies, B-schools are adding one more point of contact which will widen their reach for placements. However depending solely on placement agencies might create a Catch-22 position. This addition may provide win-win situation to both if either side is new to industry. Nowadays all B-Schools have their separate placement team working entirely on the process. So, placement agencies should be added at a secondary position.
-- Vatsal Shah, St.Kabir Institute of Professional Studies, Ahmedabad.
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