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Importance of Employer Branding in Campus Recruitments in Higher Education Institutions

Dr.V.Samuel Rajkumar
Director - Placement and Training-VIT University
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Dr.V.Samuel Rajkumar
Branding is considered as an important parameter for any organization to survive and sustain in the present competitive environment. It also plays a vital role in attracting and retaining good employees in the organization. Lately, branding has gained importance in campus recruitments by the recruiting companies. Campus recruitment is among the most critical factors considered by parents of aspiring students, increasingly in deciding their ward's admission into an educational institution in this country. In India, many of the fresher engineering talent hiring happens through the campus recruitments, out of which, majority of the campus hiring is done by the IT and BPO sector. According to the NASCOMM report, the IT and BPO industry continues to be the major employment generator in India.

Companies are finding a need to strategize and tide over certain difficulties to gain entry into premium institutions of higher learning for campus recruitment. This is due to the war for talent. There is competition among various organizations to have access to recruit from campuses since the Day One. In campus placement parlance, 'Day One' refers to first recruitment day given to a major recruiting company. Generally, on this day most preferred employers chosen by the educational institution are invited to conduct their day-long selection process. Sometimes, in certain campuses, students vote to decide which company is invited to a college on Day One.

A new emerging trend is slot sharing. In this model/method, in place of one company, a group of companies are given the Day One status and they do the campus recruitment process for all the eligible students on different days. The selection results of all the companies are announced together and the students who get selected in more than one company get the liberty to select one. This adds a new dimension and additional pressure on the recruiting companies. From voting or choosing between two or more companies, students exercise their discretion based on the perception they have formed about a company through what they make of a company from their seniors, friends or relatives as well as from the company's on-campus presentation introducing the various facets and aspects of the company to the students. To a large extent, these perceptions are driven by the company's brand.

A good company builds its repute or leverages its brand equity through many ways including the good vibes it generates based on quality of product or services, values, ethics and employee friendliness. In the context of campus recruitment, more often than not, companies pay more attention to campus recruitment held once in a year than focusing on campus engagement activities preceding it. The scenario is seemingly drifting a change lately, as IT majors are strengthening the industry-institute interaction through many campus engagement activities.

A student studying in a Premier Institution in India has multiple choices among the companies that come for campus placements. By leveraging its branding initiatives, a company can focus on the attributes that attract the students who decide to choose among the competitors during campus placements.

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