3 Keys for the Industry to Improve Fresher Talent Supply Chain
By Arijit Banerjee
There’s no debate needed to establish the situation that there’s a huge difference between the skills produced by the Indian academia and the skills that are required for the 21st century jobs. As per the official website of Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), about 31 million Indians were recorded to be unemployed in March 2018. A big fraction of this percentage were graduate degree holders. For example, according to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), more than 60% of the 8 lakh annual Engineering graduates from the top-notch colleges such as the IITs, remain unemployed. Empirical evidences show that this is due to the lacuna between the professional attributes of the freshers and those that are demanded by the industries of this age.
There are several factors contributing to this quandary, including the obsolescence of the curricula as compared to that which is required for the growing industries and the non-standardization of programs.
So moving forward, what can the industry do to ensure that its demands are met?
Work with academia to overhaul the curriculum based on emerging talent needs
The industry has begun to realise its symbiotic relationship with academia. As a strategic and practical move, the industry is now collaborating with the academia to customize both its curriculum as well as pedagogy, as per the nature of the jobs. Industries often have a defined competency model. This model depicts a set of skills and competencies that set the parameters of efficient performance in a particular field of work. These models are defined for specific job roles, organizations or even an entire industry. Such competency models can help developing curricula for the courses pertaining to specific industries and jobs. A competency model can guide the curricula in the following tasks:
- Identify professional skills and attributes required for an industry/job
- Create a business objective oriented course outline
- Provide insights for instructional designers to design relevant course material
- Add real-world insights and practical solutions for business problems
The industry has begun to realise that the quality of skill supply must be driven by demand and not otherwise. Medium to large-sized organisations tend to be consistent in their hiring process, and in order to achieve that, they standardize their qualification check-list. With an aim to hire the best fresher talent in the market, companies use recruitment metrics as their yardstick to select the right candidates. Filtering and short-listing on the basis of these metrics not only saves time and effort of the recruiters, but it also enables them to find the best fit for specific job roles.
Set up partnerships with training institutes for certification courses
Following the league of world’s top tech companies such as Google and Microsoft, even other companies now offer several training programs to provide the necessary skills to freshers. As, one of the Harvard Business Review article says –‘Hire for attitude, Train for Skill’, many companies are joining hands with training institutes to train and prepare the candidates for recruitment. Also, organisations are tying up with government schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, Skill India, etc. to provide skill training and employment to freshers. For instance, Arvind Limited, a leading manufacturer and exporter of ready-made garments partnered with National Skill development Corporation (NSDC) to train around 20,000 youth. In this way, companies are making freshers, who had missed out on a particular course or skill during their graduation, job-ready.