Lack of communication skills tops the list`Systemic changes have to effected'In-house training essential, says Ramadorai
CHENNAI: If India is to retain or increase its share of the global market place, the country will have to address the question of making available candidates "employable," Tata Consultancy Services CEO and MD S. Ramadorai, has said.
Concurring with predictions that have forecast a shortfall of at least half a million employable graduates by 2010, Mr. Ramadorai clarified that the shortfall would be of `employable' graduates, not of candidates themselves. There would be a large number of graduates in the market, but they would not possess the skill sets recruiters would look for.
Currently, India commanded a market share of 65 per cent of the outsourced IT services and 46 per cent of outsourced BPO services. "If we want to maintain our share of the global market place and grow to a larger percentage, we need to address the issue of suitability of candidates. It is a critical dialogue," he told The Hindu .
Companies are attempting to handle this in a number of ways, including going back to the educational institution to provide feedback on the performance of the candidates hired, their strengths and weakness. "We tell them about the gaps in integrating people into the company after the period of mandatory training," Mr. Ramadorai explained. If one were to draw a list of skills lacking in new recruits, human resource managers would probably put lack of communication skills on top of the list. "Once you are in the market place, communication is a critical factor," he said.
Companies also look at how graduates work in teams, collaborate, dialogue and innovate. Candidates with good listening, analytical skills and willingness to learn will be rated high too. The ability to "simplify" to meet user demands would be a great advantage. "These other dimensions are as important as is the depth of understanding of a particular subject," Mr. Ramadorai said. "In order to mould the fresh workforce to meet these requirements, systemic changes have to be effected some times, right from the selection process, curriculum development, infrastructure, faculty and laboratories. The complexity increases as one goes beyond the IITs and IIMs into other colleges/institutions, where many more changes will have to take place. However, technology would play a critical role in upgradation, allowing the best lectures from different parts of the world to be beamed into a local classroom."
In addition, in-house training also has a role to play. "The thing is to achieve a balance on how much responsibility goes back to the educational institution and how much responsibility the hiring organisation should bear."