What are employers looking for in college graduates?

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on August 25, 2020

Recruiters are looking for more practical experience in candidates as per the report.

Employers are placing higher value on soft skills and hands-on experience, says report by BML Munjal University

Employers are prioritising adaptability, collaboration and entrepreneurial mindset in college graduates while hiring, according to the survey report “Navigating Workplace Turbulence” by BML Munjal University (BMU).

The report focusses on “hiring outlook, expectations from new recruits, the role of education in grooming the talent pool.”

“The crucial takeaway from the poll is that employers are placing a higher value on soft skills and hands-on experience,” the report said.

As per the report, 45 per cent of respondents prioritise ‘adaptability’ as the most important skill universities should look at to inculcate in their students. They also highlight the need for an entrepreneurial mindset, and teamwork and collaboration to succeed in a changing workforce owing to Covid-19.

Recruiters are looking for more practical experience in candidates as per the report.

51 per cent of HR leaders suggested offering more courses in life skills in consultation with industry while 22 per cent suggested making industry internships mandatory.

Covid-19 impact on hiring

These skills become more important as a majority of recruiters are uncertain about the economy due to the pandemic. Many leaders were concerned that the pandemic will have a long-lasting impact, also leading to a prolonged recession.

“This has a direct bearing on talent acquisition,” the report said. As per the report, 55 per cent of respondents are looking to fill only essential positions. Recruitment in IT, Marketing & Sales, and Production/Manufacturing are likely to see an increase in the headcount as per the report.

Akshay Munjal, President, BML Munjal University said, “The world is undergoing a Covid-led transformation, and this is also going to impact the way we work. In addition to increased economic, political and social risks for businesses in general, the current pandemic has particularly focussed on organisational talent and HR-related challenges. It has become critical to understand how organisations can prepare for the future, and how talent will need to be groomed to make this happen.”

“Increasing focus on soft skills training, in education and on the job, has emerged as most important for today’s learners,” he added.

“Industry 4.0 is geared towards revolutionising the space of work and work of space,” said Santanil Dasgupta, Director, Career Guidance & Development Centre, BML Munjal University.

“With a cognitive transformation towards lifelong learning ability, we can envision a dynamic workspace that creates opportunities to embrace new technology. For employers and employees alike, this would entail assessing future trends of business, aligning one's career to the same and layering the fundamentals of functioning with intelligent technology,” he added.

The report is based on a poll taken over July and August 2020. It included 140 responses from HR leaders across large companies, medium enterprises, and start-ups, in metros and mini-metros of Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Telangana, among others.

Published on August 25, 2020

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