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You are hired!

The three magic words for freshers are being uttered once again after a long dry spell. Saurabh Datar tells you all about who is hiring and where they are doing it from

Six months after recession ruined everyone’s party (and made some), has the scene improved? Yes, indeed. Six months ago, most graduates (including the author) were unable to join the companies that they had been placed in, owing to the downturn that the world economy had taken. Most of the students who were placed in the summer of 2009 had been waiting for their appointment letters.

Larsen and Toubro, the world’s largest engineering major, who had recruited a huge number of graduates and then sent deference letters to all, has sent out offer letters to most recruits now. “We got an e-mail saying they had a project and that we were required to send our confirmations,” says P Chandrashekhar, who has joined the Embedded Systems division in Mysore. Most core companies depend on clients who are mainly from Europe and Asia, and as businesses begin to pick up there, the required manpower is being called upon from their abundant talent pool.

As for the IT majors, even they have started calling people whose employment they had deferred for a long time (even a year in some cases). Accenture’s first batch started out with IIT and NIT graduates around August and they have been inducting new employees in regular batches. “People arrived almost every two weeks, and were put on to training programmes,” says Karthik Raja, who had joined in the first batch. But there was one difference. The trainees were made to go through several tests and were given three chances after which they were offloaded by the company. This policy has been followed in most IT companies, to get rid of the “extra baggage” as one trainee puts it. This puts them in a win-win position, since they can afford to kick out the ‘under performers’ without any legal issues cropping up. Pallavi K from Infosys, Mysore says, “We have tests almost every Tuesday. It isn’t like engineering where you can pass even without rigorous preparation. Your job is at stake here.”

Oracle OSSI has also sent in its offers and the candidates have joined the Bengaluru office on Novemebr 20. TCS is the latest to offer joining dates to students. The new batch will be joining on December 21. Wipro, which went incommunicado with regards to offer letters, has offered a joining of around May 2010, according to fresher Amit Damaha.

The placement scenario for the batch of 2010 has improved too in terms of the number of companies showing up on campuses. It is said that recession is the best time to recruit for companies, since they get the best of the lot, at a comparatively lower price. And this has been proven true over the past year.

Niranjan Bhat, from VNIT, Nagpur, says the number of companies that visited the campus actually increased. Biggies like ACC, John Deere, Michelin, Tata Motors, Kirloskar and many others have been to the campus, but the number of recruits is about 3-4 per company. Kruthika Kumar, from NIT Warangal, who was placed at Goldman Sachs, agrees that the companies are being very choosy in their recruitment strategy.

Apart from the IITs and NITs (where placements are always better), the hiring scenario in local engineering colleges of Mumbai too has picked up momentum. Colleges like VESIT (Vivekananda, Chembur), Father Agnels, Vashi, SPCE and others have reported that companies are visiting the campuses, most of them being engineering majors. IT companies are yet to start going out to local colleges on a large-scale basis (they’ve visited IIT’s and NIT’s), but they will soon start doing so.

All in all, a slow but steady return to normalcy (read: jobs) awaits the batch of 2010.

-Saurabh Datar

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