At a recent conclave for training and placement heads, IT experts spelt out what they want from the recruits. Life skills, versatility and continuous learning are some of the requirements.

Another recruitment season for the IT industry has just kick-started. As engineering colleges continue to churn out thousands of students, the technology leaders are eagerly recruiting in droves from every campus.

The ICT Academy of Tamil Nadu organised a conclave for training and placement heads for its member institutions of Chennai region on the theme ‘Recruitment trends and preparing students for employability' recently.

Recruitment heads of different companies spoke at length on the kind of talent they were looking for. Ramkumar, Talent Acquisition, TCS, told the placement heads to groom their students not only in terms of hard skills but also in what he termed as life skills.

“Certain IT bigwigs select few academic institutions for hiring because of time constraint, technological advancement, large availability of resource pool and also their alignment with industry requirements,” he said asking colleges to concentrate on life skills rather than employability skills.

Anbu Rathinavel, Senior VP, Polaris, asked the institutions to make the student community to do a lot more to survive in the industry as they need to compete and collaborate in the vibrant industry. “The industry concentrates not only on the academic part but also on the interpersonal behaviour, team spirit, analysing situation and problem-solving,” he said. Stressing the importance of actual learning, he said continuous learning is a must in today's scenario.

Senthilnayagam, VP, Hexaware Technologies, spoke about preparing students for the future. After employment, the recruits should constantly revamp their skills to stay afloat in the industry as industry expected a lot of higher value of work from them.

At colleges, the students have to be trained in basic concepts such as operating systems, networking, C programming and so on. The academia has to shift its focus from training-based culture to learning-based culture, he said underlining the importance of learning a foreign language, besides English, as the business for IT / ITeS came from diversified geographical locations. He also urged the academic community to concentrate on domain orientation in addition to their regular soft skills and also to concentrate on some tailor-specific courses rather than generic courses.

Benedict Arokiasamy, Director - Talent development, CSS Corp, said the corporates were still not meeting their required numbers in terms of recruitment. The lack of required skilled human resource was still bothering the industry, he said. A special focus to skill and attitude component in addition to knowledge component was essential.

Charles of Capegemini wanted the academic community to understand the way in which industry was currently looking at competency and skill set.

He highlighted the difference in recruitment pattern conducted 10 years before and recent times. Earlier the recruiters wanted employees with experience but the current trend clearly showed the freshers are in high demand.

The student community must develop versatile skills and ready to adapt to changes of the industry requirement. The importance of time management and adaptability to multi-cultural environment was also emphasised.

“The academia has to shift its focus from training-based culture to learning-based culture.”