HRs fume over depleting communication skills, say only less than 10 pc of pass-outs employable

“Hello. I have completed BE and looking out for a job, please help me,” says K Narayanan (name changed), son of a fisherman while reaching out to an HR manager in Chennai. When the HR (human resource manager) asks the candidate to explain about him, the graduate takes a minute reading out from his prepared CV detailing his educational qualification.
Representative image.
Representative image.


When asked to explain in detail about him and his family, the candidate stammers and snaps the call with a thank you. DT Next was a witness to a few such calls by city-based HR managers.
“Only less than 10 per cent of the freshers passing out from colleges are employable and the three-year online system of education had adversely affected the career prospects of freshers particularly those from lower strata of the economy. The majority of fresh graduates cannot speak a sentence in English and some of them can’t read a mail,” says Surekha Raj, founder, Skylark HR Solutions. Digging out a two-year database by the in-house HR team she reveals that this employable percentage was a little above 15 per cent in 2017 and it is dropping adversely. Students’ performance in communication, reading English, attending interviews had dropped massively due to the online mode of education. The HR company had also signed MoUs with a few engineering colleges and arts and science colleges in Chennai providing free internships to convert them into employable resources, says Surekha. Daily, our call centre reaches out to 1500 students through 50 telecallers of them only 20 per cent have communication skills and can understand a written script, she adds.
“A few freshers take a package of Rs 40 to 60 lakhs per annum but a majority of the students particularly from grade B and C category colleges do not get placements,” says Stephen Taylor, head of HR (IT product development) in an MNC. The industry is willing to pay only for the cream of the cream from top colleges and mediocre are left to fend for themselves. Only the top college students sail through interviews, but those 90 per cent of students studying in colleges without campus placements suffer. The already existing imbalance is now widening due to covid imposed lockdowns and closure of small companies, adds Stephen. “The reopening of schools and colleges is a welcome sign and if the lockdown continues the analytical and communication skill sets will be an issue for graduates, ” says K Vasanth, a senior HR manager who handles Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra for an Indian corporate.
“Recruitment for IT and ITES is becoming a tough process and those with skill sets in IT majors jump the companies once in three to four years creating a higher attrition rate,” he adds.

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