04 Mar 2021 21:57 IST

Second-rung B-schools face the heat this placement season

Corporates play it safe in terms of pay package while experts question the efficacy of online placements

While the Covid-induced slowdown may not have affected the overall recruitment process at premier B-schools so far, however, the second rung management institutes have been having a tough time ensuring 100 per cent placements. As for B-schools, the average pay package has either remained muted or witnessed only a marginal rise this year as compared to previous year.

The recruitment process at almost all B-schools is being conducted virtually this year in the wake of the pandemic.

According to industry experts, there have been concerns around the efficacy of online structure in terms of knowledge sharing and creating employable candidates at most institutes. Moreover, the virtual process of recruitments may not have the richness of face-to-face interactions with the candidates. All these could have impacted the placement process particularly in the second rung B-schools.

“Top B-schools have not had much of a problem in their final recruitment process primarily because of their relationship with corporate, however, the second rung institutes who do not have that kind of pedigree are finding it difficult. The average placements at most of these institutes have been ranging between 45-55 per cent,” Shantanu Rooj, Founder and CEO, TeamLease Edtech. told BusinessLine on Campus.

Decline in recruitments across sectors

The number of open positions for fresh recruitments has come down this year on the back of the Covid induced slowdown. Only the companies or sectors which were benefited during the lockdown such as consulting, IT, healthcare and FMCG among others were seen recruiting in big numbers. However, hiring across sectors such as manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and retail (brick and mortar) has been muted.

“It is a difficult year in terms of placements. While the government claims that the growth will be positive but it is still not clear how this pandemic is going to pan out and hence recruitments and salary structure both have been impacted,” said Arindam Banik, Professor at International Management Institute, Delhi.

According to Prof Omkumar Krishnan, Placement Chairperson at IIM Kozhikode, technology, HR consulting and digital marketing were among the sectors which had expressed higher interest and formed among the clusters which gained recent traction in recruitments. Among the conventional sectors, there was an increase in recruiters' interest in finance for the investment banking and equity research divisions.

Playing it safe

In terms of offering a pay package, most of industry has preferred to play a safe game and have maintained the salary scale at either same level as last year or have gone in for a marginal increase. There are some sectors which have not been recruiting at all and hence there has been a decline in the aggregate number of open positions, Rooj said.

XLRI, Jamshedpur, for instance has registered around three per cent rise in average salary at ₹25.08 lakh per annum this year as compared to ₹24.30 lakhs per annum in 2020.

According to Rajeev Roy, Faculty Chairperson of the Placement Committee, XLRI, while there was some apprehension regarding a possible decline in average salary initially, the institute has registered a marginal rise.

“Consulting as a domain has grown stronger this year, this apart we have done fairly well in the emerging domain of product management. We did not expand our recruiters’ network far too much, most of them were the usual recruiters at the campus and they knew our processes and hence it was a smooth process,” he said.

While IIM Kozhikode recorded over eight per cent growth in average salary at around ₹28.9 lakh, however, the mean salary was lower by around five per cent at ₹ 22.5 lakh and the median salary was down by around four per cent at ₹20 lakh.