4 Steps to strengthening your Campus Placements

Campus recruiting has always served to fill seasonal and entry level roles for companies. According to a recent survey, 73 percent of large companies hire interns to fill full time positions. Close to 50% of interns were able to convert to full time positions.
On the other hand, with the mushrooming to a plethora of b-schools, universities and other higher education institutions (collectively, the “institutions”) , institutions are struggling to attract not only the best students but also the best companies who can come to their institutions and hire their students. Despite the heightened promotion of entrepreneurship among these higher education institutions, students always look forward to a stable career opportunity – even as a backup – from their alma mater.
Research shows that good campus placements are among the most important parameters for students while selecting their choice of institution. Institutions today have no choice but to focus on placement and get the students ready for placement. While placements continue to be the highlighted during institution promotions, most of them are only thin layer of ice over a deep waterbody. Some of the things institutions need to do include:

Step 1. Managing talent gaps:
While a lot is said to bridge the talent gap between what is required by the industry versus what is covered by the institutions, seldom is this gap actually bridged. Only industry can address the needs of industry. If institutions have to fill this gap, they need to invite industry to the institution. This can be done through industry partnerships and internships. But either or both is absolutely necessary. Institutions that have partnered with consulting organisations to prepare their students for campus placements fare much better than those that are managing it in-house.

Step 2. Getting students ready for Campus Placement:
University curriculum is demanding and the academic terms are packed enough to cover loads of syllabus in a short span of time, usually thanks to long vacations and exam breaks. Since academic curriculum covers only 50 percent of the need of campus placement, Institutions need to ensure that students are ready for campus placements. A Campus Recruitment Training (CRT) program comes in handy as it can be conducted by a professional training and recruitment firm who understands the needs of various employers first hand and can groom the students to appear before interviewers confidently.

Step 3. Specialised placement team:
Institutions often depute one of their better “networked professors” to manage the placement cell along with some students who are nominated as Placement Cell Volunteers. Others often hire a Placement Manager who leverages her network and reaches out to companies to hire students from her institute. What is required is a specialised placement team which is often a People Consulting Firm or an HR firm which specialises in placement, have a huge network of empanelled employers who are ready to hire candidates steadily and through campus placements. This firm, can surely work collaboratively with the Placement coordinator or Placement Manager. Higher costs? Well, the benefits far outweigh the costs.

Step 4. Alumni connect
Most Institutions’ alumni connect are restricted to offering paid executive programs, requests for supporting finances, access to institute’s publications or annual alumni meet. Seldom does an institution take the pain of offering jobs and career opportunities to its alumni. Alumni are usually the great brand ambassadors of an institute. AN institute that offers career benefits to its alumni always gets their best support – whether or not they avail such benefits. The placement team – supported by a professional firm – can offer such opportunities to its alumni. Companies will find it cheaper to hire experienced associates from the institutions, institutions will be able to engage its alumni better and will provide a huge benefits to the institution.