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August - 2016 - issue > In My Opinion

The Right Approach to Skill Gap

Manuel DSouza
Director HR-Intelenet Global Services
Monday, December 19, 2016
Manuel DSouza
One of the most important sentiments that is being echoed across the country today is that the graduates coming out of colleges are not job-ready and only about 25 per cent to 30 per cent are employable. However, there are a lot of factors that contribute to this. First being the availability of jobs, the second being the demand-supply gap and the third being quantifying the gap and bridging it. Seeing, hearing and doing can only lead to 90 per cent of learning. With the current education structure in our country today focusing only on teaching and learning which is a very important step in making an individual job ready loses importance. Previously the education system did not give much importance to making students job ready, but with time institutes are now realizing that job focused training is a must for students, if they are to become competent professionals. With a view to developing confident and job ready professionals with requisite skills the education system in India is evolving and are now taking necessary steps. The skill sets required for jobs are ever-changing, and it is the collective responsibility of both academia and industries to bridge the skill gap so as to enable fresher's to become job ready.

There can be specific training sessions designed for the third year and final year students conducted by industry managers themselves for making them employability ready. Each year, institutes look at focusing and assessing the industry trends, demand-supply gap, skill gap and accordingly plan programs and activities for students. A sustained study of the above will help in students becoming job-ready with the requisite skills that are in demand by organizations today. This will also help educational institutions keep in time with the current demands as well as maintain a balance between the prescribed syllabus and the industry requirements. Guest lectures by industry veterans, industry workshops, participation in research projects use of management games, training tools and counseling sessions are some of the innovative activities that should be undertaken by colleges and universities to encourage and develop good professionals.

Campus hiring is the most effective way to hire fresh graduates. Each year, multiple organizations hire more many graduates from 3500+ colleges in India. Campus hiring not only brings fresh talent to the company, but also helps build a brand name among the top colleges in the country. But, how do companies go about targeting institutes they want to recruit from? This is an important question considering that all companies are looking for the cream of the talent available. For most of the major recruiters, the foremost objective is to understand the requirement. Based on the requirement, they set required skills and accordingly decide on the best colleges/ institutions offering courses with the required skill sets.

Organizations today have evolved with times and have started moving a step forward focusing on training students through various means even before they are hired. Some of the ways that they are going about it is by hosting competitions such as hackathons for particular skills such as coding, training sessions on particular skills for select students. Organizations today are also promoting the 'Skill India' initiative and taking up the job of skilling students in rural areas to be able to recruit them in the future.

To this effect, they are also looking at tie-up with colleges to create specialized courses in various domains for which they are training the college faculty as well as students on the same. Increasing collaborated efforts between colleges and organizations has led to a rise of various innovative professional courses that are today helping employees becoming skilful, thereby making them industry/employment ready.

BPM companies in India service various verticals such as BFSI, Telecom, Retail, e-Retail, Travel and Hospitality. Giving scope to varied employment opportunities for candidates with vertical/industry knowledge, thus making the BPM industry a sector with a plethora of career opportunities for candidates across verticals. Additionally, there are multiple opportunities for employees to work in this sector such as the back office, knowledge services and HRO services that are paving the way for people of various skills to be a part of the industry. Today the BPM industry has opened up great opportunities for Human Resources as a profession as majority business units within a BPM organization have dedicated HR resources. In such roles, one will have a chance to carry out practically all facets of HR. Further one can also specialize in areas of Compensation, Learning & Development and HR Automation.

The BPM industry has witnessed unprecedented growth over the years and is now moving towards being positioned as a 'value and innovation' low-cost destination by NASSCOM. The industry is making use of the some cutting edge technologies such as SMAC- Social media, mobility, analytics & cloud and tools such as Hadoop for data analysis, CRM & scanning solutions that enable client outsourcing. Technology forms the backbone in the sector, hence it's crucial to inculcate technology and analytical skills, within students. Further, good communication, aptitude for comprehension, analytics, typing speed & accuracy are other skills that are changing the way the industry is evolving. Lastly soft skills such as team working, decision making, and conflict management skills are also changing the way the industry functions. (As Told to Dikhila Bhutia)

Manuel D'Souza

Manuel D'Souza is the Chief Human Resource Officer at Intelenet Global Services, a leading global provider of business process services, powered by strong processes, consulting and technology to enable world-class customer management solutions.
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