How Campus Recruiters Can Make The Hiring Process Better | InsideIIM Recruitment Survey 2018

The InsideIIM Recruitment Survey series takes a look at the most desirable recruiters across various industries and hiring for various roles, the career expectations and preferences of current MBA students and post-MBA professionals, and the thought process of MBA aspirants around B-school selection and what drives them to pursue an MBA. 

The MBA journey – preparing for MBA entrance exams, cracking at least one of them, appearing for interview rounds, and getting admission to a top business school – boils down to the most important objective of embarking on this journey: Getting a job through campus placements.

It is an incontestable fact that the hiring process is one of the most important and stressful parts of the MBA journey, and we asked current MBA students to point out all the gaps that still exist in the campus recruitment process, and what is that they would want to alter or eliminate in the hiring process.

MBA students were also asked to get down to brass tacks and rate the factors that they consider while applying to and/or accepting a job offer from campus recruiters.

Here are the findings of the survey.

How The Campus Recruitment Process Can Be Made Better At B-Schools

1. Filling Gaps In Communication

For three years in a row, the InsideIIM Recruitment Survey has found that communication regarding the shortlisting criteria, job description, and job requirements from the recruiter’s end is either highly ambiguous or entirely non-existent.

  • ‘Wait, why didn’t I get the job?’
    According to the survey, 3 out of 5 MBA students (especially 2nd-year students) strongly believe that communication from recruiters is wanting in multiple aspects, primary amongst which is the communication of shortlisting criteria. One doesn’t even know why he/she was not even considered for the job because the shortlisting criteria are not shared with the applicants. Therefore, one can’t even fill any gaps in his/her soft-skills or technical skills because one simply doesn’t know what went wrong.
  • ‘Not what I signed up for.’
    The survey finds that recruiters are not being able to communicate the job profile and requirements, which is one of the most important and basic components that aids a student in applying for/accepting a role. This can further lead to a mismatch in expectations and reality, which does not work in favour of either party.
  • ‘Well…where’s the money you promised?’
    The survey also highlights that almost half of the 2nd-year student respondents are dissatisfied with the communication around in-hand salaries – important figures that become obscure when mixed with performance-based incentives, taxes and other variable components. The CTC on offer can mean anything and only a fraction of the offered remuneration may end up in the employee’s bank account at the end of every month. In the worst case, this can affect employee performance, job satisfaction and even employee attrition.

Perhaps recruiters, in their pre-placement discussions, can communicate with the students more efficiently and explain the exact requirements and selection parameters without ambiguity.

2. Scrapping The Group Discussion Round

The survey finds that B-school students want the GD round scrapped, and this may be a fair point considering that group discussions may not test the skills required for some job roles. Every job may not warrant a GD. Students want to avoid these shouting matches and make the selection process easier for themselves.

The majority of respondents were also not in favour of substituting the GD process with an essay writing stage, akin to the WAT/AWT process the IIMs have adopted for the B-school selection phase.

Over 30% of both 1st and 2nd-year MBA students are inclined towards adding a case-study or special task stage in the recruitment process. These already exist for specific roles and domains such as management consulting and investment banking, but can be extended across all domains. However, these respondents are in the minority. 70% of the current MBA students don’t think this phase is necessary for the recruitment process.

3. It’s A Two-Way Street

While the expectations for better hiring processes exist, it is also known that many candidates spend minimal time on or do not even bother researching about the company or the role. The recruiting company can improve its processes, but the applicant has to meet the company half-way by improving the process from his/her end as well.

How Recruiters Can Make The Hiring Process Better, As Per MBA Students In India
InsideIIM Recruitment Survey – 2018
Factors  1st-Year MBA Students 2nd-Year MBA Students Overall
Communicate shortlisting criteria 62.64% 67.90% 64.60%
Be better at communicating job profile and job requirements 54.21% 65.43% 58.39%
Scrap Group Discussions 47.25% 50.62% 48.51%
Specify in-hand salary in clear terms 37.73% 51.85% 42.99%
Include a case study or special task stage 37.36% 32.72% 35.63%
Interact more with candidates prior to the placement process 33.33% 33.95% 33.56%
Include essay writing stage 8.42% 12.96% 10.11%

Factors That Matter To MBA Students While Selecting A Company To Work With

1. Job Profile

The most important aspect of the recruitment process to MBA students is the one which most recruiters are failing to communicate effectively, as is evident from the previous part of this report. For a B-school student, understanding the job profile is of paramount importance when it comes to accepting a job offer or applying to a company. After all, you need to know what you’re signing up for.

2. Fit With Career Plans

As data suggests, while selecting a company, MBA students are more concerned with how the job role and company fits in with their 5-year/10-year plan. This factor is even more important than the amount of money being paid, and also the brand perception of the company.

While ranked the second most important factor while selecting a company to work with, how many 22-23-year-olds actually know what their career plans are down the line? Could the data presented here be influenced by the expectations of the corporate world and B-schools for ‘future managers’ to be 100% aware of their future aspirations (even if they aren’t), or have students genuinely developed foresight that enables them to predict their career trajectory?

3. Brand Perception of The Company

Perception is everything, and this holds true for MBA students looking to begin (or continue) their corporate journey. This is majorly in the hands of the recruiter and their campus engagement activities and brand awareness strategies. Brand perception is also built by communicating with seniors (which also features in the Top-5 factors for selecting a company) who may have knowledge about the company and/or industry. Furthermore, rankings and reports such as the InsideIIM Recruitment Survey series can also aid in shaping up opinions.

4. Compensation

This is one of the most common and basic requirements that need to be met before accepting a job offer or applying to a company. According to the InsideIIM Recruitment Survey report that evaluated reasons why MBA aspirants want to pursue an MBA, the top reason is the expected leap in remuneration post-MBA, and data suggests that this expectation remains while sitting for Final Placements. Compensation becomes even more important when one considers the colossal loans taken to pay the fees for MBA institutes.

What is surprising is that compensation plays a much less important role for MBA students in selecting or applying for a job, which is counterintuitive, especially since the demand to know exact salary figures from recruiters is quite high amongst students, as seen in the earlier part of this report.

5. Opinions of Seniors/Alumni

While featuring in the Top-5 factors, the opinions of seniors are significantly less important to MBA students as compared to the aforementioned factors. Does this mean that the vast Alumni networks of top B-schools are not very beneficial to MBA students, or that MBA students are not being able to leverage input from their seniors to its fullest potential? Whatever the reasons may be, at the end of the day, those who have been there and done that will be able to guide students better regarding the behind-the-scenes of the corporate world, and this is reflected in the data garnered from the InsideIIM Recruitment Survey.

Also read – The Most Desirable Consulting Recruiters – 2018

Factors For Selecting A Good Company To Work With Overall
Job Profile 4.686
Fit with career plans 4.501
Brand Perception of the company 4.245
Compensation 4.215
The opinion of Seniors/Alumni 3.617
Experience During Corporate Competitions 3.236
Quality of Pre-Placement talk 2.319

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