Recruiters flock to campuses to hire undergraduates

Recruiters flock to campuses to hire undergraduates

Demand for undergraduate talent is at an all-time high this year with top recruiters flocking campuses to woo talent. Many candidates have been locked in some of the highest salary packages ever and institutions have received a record number of offers.

There is greater focus on undergraduates this year as the war for talent is intensifying across sectors and companies face record attrition, said people involved in the recruitment process. The reopening of businesses after the more damaging phases of the Covid pandemic is also leading to enhanced requirements, prompting companies to widen the hiring pool.

Placement officials and professors at the country’s leading undergraduate colleges, including Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR) and Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) in Delhi, St Xavier‘s College in Mumbai and Loyola College, Chennai, and Christ (deemed to be University) in Bengaluru said there was an unprecedented race for talent. As companies fought for top slots on campuses, the average compensation rose 20-40% while the number of offers jumped 80-130%.

A final year statistics student from Delhi’s LSR got an offer of Rs 40 lakh from a leading global bank for an India position. This is the highest salary ever offered in the college. The highest annual package last year was Rs 37.8 lakh. The total number of offers at LSR stands at 231, up from 193 last year. The average package is Rs 9.80 lakh versus Rs 7.50 lakh a year ago.

“Two years of slow industrial growth and a slowdown in recruitments for some firms due to Covid led to ‘revenge placements’ this year,” said Kanika K Ahuja, an associate professor at the department of psychology and the placement in-charge at LSR. This placement season saw an unprecedented rush with companies vying for top slots. “Never in my association of more than 10 years with the placement cell have I attended so many meetings with recruiters,” Ahuja said.

Top recruiters across campuses included McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Meesho, Kearney, Accenture, EY, PWC, Deloitte, Amazon, Dalberg, Fischer Jordan, and KPMG among others, according to campus placement cells.

Students from the commerce, economics, mathematics, statistics and management streams were the most in demand.

“There is a race for talent this year from companies across sectors, including fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), banking and financial services, technology and consulting,” said Soni George Tharakan, head, department of management studies, and placement convener at Mumbai’s St Xavier’s College.

The highest salary package at the campus was Rs 30 lakh from a leading global FMCG major for a local posting. Average salary on the campus rose to Rs 6-6.5 lakh from Rs 4.5-5.5 lakh before the pandemic.

At SRCC, which got the highest-ever number of offers at 297, up 123% from last year. The maximum package was Rs 30.60 lakh against Rs 25 lakh a year ago. The average package was Rs 10.8 lakh versus Rs 9.86 lakh last year.

Delhi’s leading St Stephen’s College did not respond to queries.

At Loyola College Chennai, the highest offer was from state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd at Rs 22 lakh. “As much as 85% of the roles were at entry level, such as audit assistant, data processing specialist, and data analyst,” said V Durga Rajulu, director, training and placement.

At Christ, the average salary rose to Rs 5.25 lakh from Rs 4.5 lakh last year, said Claudius V, placement officer, undergraduate programs.

“Many organizations will hire more from the undergrad colleges given that there is an expansion of the talent pool beyond tech schools,” said SV Nathan, partner and chief talent officer, Deloitte.

EY India talent leader Sandeep Kohli attributed the surge to a significant economic rebound and strong business performance.

“Our fresh graduates’ hiring this year will be significantly higher than previous years from across streams such as commerce, sciences, humanities, and engineering across our businesses at competitive salary brackets,” he said.


Undergrads in Demand

> Companies need to widen talent pool amid record attrition

> Need for people rises as business, economy open up

> Average salary up 20-40%; number of offers rise 80-130%

Top recruiters: McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Meesho, Kearney, Accenture, EY, PWC, Deloitte, Amazon, Dalberg, Fischer Jordan, KPMG.

Source: College Placement Offices



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