Staff Reporter

35 companies put up stalls at The Hindu Opportunities Fair

Firms received hundreds of resumes in a few hours from the time the fair began

“Quality of candidates has improved compared with previous editions of the fair”

CHENNAI: Day one of The Hindu Opportunities Fair, which began on Saturday at the Chennai Trade Centre, saw the demand for candidates and their employability skills battle it out.

Freshers and candidates with experience lined up, hoping to find a job in one of the nearly 35 companies that had put up stalls. Though the participating companies were largely from the information technology and related spaces, a few companies operating in other areas such as engineering and online tutoring also attracted several candidates. Companies received hundreds of resumes in a few hours from the time the fair began. Wipro, for instance, received 1,000 resumes by noon. Its manager (recruitments) Vishwanathan Venkatasubramanian said the company was on an aggressive recruitment drive. “We are looking for freshers as well as experienced candidates across domains.” Besides engineers, the company was considering graduates from other disciplines for its infrastructure support and testing divisions. B.Sc graduates and diploma-holders in electronics and communications were in as much demand as engineering graduates at the Citigroup Technological Services stall. “The talent pool in engineering colleges is limited, and it works out cheaper for companies to take other graduates on board and train them on-the-job,” a Citigroup spokesperson said.

With the increasing emphasis on employability of fresh graduates, it was becoming more important for companies to tie up with academic institutions, he said. Senior HR professionals of companies noted that the quality of candidates had improved significantly, compared with the previous editions of the fair. “We will certainly be making several offers. The challenge is going to be in retaining the selected candidates because they are likely to be selected by other companies too,” said Jennifer Krishnan, HRD manager, Patni Computer Systems.

“Candidates are more aware of the opportunities. They know which domain they want to work in and where they will fit in best,” said Venkatesan Seshadri, vice-president (talent acquisition) of Cognizant. “We do not get irrelevant resumes. It is a very discerning crowd this time.”

Cognizant is the presenting sponsor and Patni is the platinum sponsor. Nearly 25,000 candidates attended the fair. At the end of the day, Cognizant gave away 125 offer letters, while Wipro made 65 offers, short-listing 25 others for interview. Ford Business Services made 25 offers and Citi Technological Services 13.