Just graduating with good scores does not help, says Kishore Biyani

About four lakh MBA students graduate annually from 4,000-odd B-schools in the country, a figure that keeps increasing every year. In spite of this, 82 per cent of the corporates surveyed in a recent study reported job vacancies.

The study, conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), surveyed 102 firms in 2012. The researchers surveyed small and major firms from the manufacturing, construction, IT, pharmaceuticals and FMCG sectors. The firms were based in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

Besides the large overall number of vacancies, the study found that 65 per cent of the firms surveyed had skill-shortage vacancies. Fifty-seven per cent had vacancies they could not fill because of the high costs involved, says the study. The highest incidence of vacancies was seen in Hyderabad and the least in Bangalore.

In companies where vacancies arose because of a skill shortage, the firms felt the applicants lacked communication and co-ordination expertise. Forty-four per cent of the firms said that applicants did not have the required attitude, motivation or personality. About 33 per cent of companies felt that the job-seekers lacked potential.

As a result, the companies either compromised and recruited under-qualified people or the vacancies remained.

Evidence of mismatch

“You see that vacancies are prevalent despite growth in unemployment; this may be understood as the evidence of mismatch between vacancy and job seekers, especially with regard to the skills and competencies of the unemployed,” said researcher Bino Paul.

Other studies in the past have also pointed to how difficult it is to employ MBA graduates in India. Last year, Aspiring Minds, a Gurgaon-based talent management firm conducted a study, and found that less than 10 per cent of MBA graduates were unemployable.

The same year, Bangalore-based education consultancy MeritTac conducted a study of MBA students, and found that only 21 per cent of them were considered fit for employment.

Savio Carvalho, senior consultant for Antal International, a global executive recruitment organisation, said that he had observed a similar trend.

“The best B-schools in the country obviously produce the most employable candidates with most of them equipped with the necessary soft skills. With other colleges, it gets more and more difficult to find students with basic communication skills. The most difficult level to fill across all companies is the mid-managerial level. Very few people come with the required skill sets,” he said.

“Just graduating with good scores does not help. The schools do not teach students to use both sides of the brain, which is most important,” said Kishore Biyani, CEO of the Future Group.

According to the TISS study, the most common methods of recruitment used to fill vacancies by firms are referencing (85.29 per cent), using private recruitment agencies (75.49 per cent), campus recruitment (58.82 per cent), advertising on the internet (56.86 per cent) and internal recruitment services (56.86 per cent).

Mr. Paul said that companies should invest in talent. “Companies should look at creating and nurturing talent within. This may not solve the problem entirely but could help reduce vacancies,” he said.

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