It is no secret that in our society, the value of a MBA/ PGDBM (or equivalent) program is perceived to be more with respect to the internship and job placement opportunities it provides, than for the knowledge that is provided through grueling lectures, collaborative projects and intense research elements.
However, one of the most unfortunate impacts of the covid-19 pandemic has been the cancellation of these very internships and final job placements by many corporates. Thousands of students across the country eagerly await this opportunity to enable their transition from a student life to that of a working professional.
Even if one were to assume that this was a knee-jerk reaction given the swiftness with which the pandemic struck the world, the fact remains that at least till the time society develops a comfort with the scenario or we have a vaccine (which is at least an year or two away according to the experts), the campus placements process will change dramatically. Let’s explore the likely scenarios.
Limited Campus Coverage
Organisations will be looking at re-modelling their recruitment operations, whether it is the daily walk-in interviews that happen within their premises (for entry level roles) or campus interviews. With social distancing being the order of the day, most organisations will prefer to prune the list of campuses that they engage and recruit from, purely to adhere to this and reduce any non-essential contact.
Reduced Internship Opportunities
Given that organisations will want to reduce the number of ‘floating’ resources in their workplaces, internships may be reduced. A more suitable alternative, however, would be for organisations to offer ‘virtual internships’ – where the intern can work on a project for the organisation working from his/her own residence or in the field.
Video-Conferencing based Pre-placement Talks
An integral part of any campus placement process, this element will morph into a video-based format. Not only will it be safer for students and company officials who are a part of this, it will also be a better financially viable option for organisations. The added advantage will be that organisations could rope-in leaders from across the globe to participate unlike in the traditional model, when this would have obviously been restricted.
Company officials will, in all likelihood, avoid non-critical travel and being a part of large gatherings which are typically seen in campus placement events. The clear alternative here would be the deployment of technology that supports the entire recruitment cycle remotely. These technology platforms support not only the transactional elements of recruitment such as applications, assessments and video interviews, but also support the candidate engagement aspect very effectively.
Even though these are the big ticket changes expected in the way companies drive their internship and final placements programs, there is no need for the student community to panic. What is suggested is that they be prudent on their part and be pro-active in their preparation tactics for this ‘new normal’. If they do this effectively, there is nothing that these sharp minds cannot overcome.
The author is a Chief HR Mentor at Attayn, a TEDx speaker, a Vlogger and Blogger on HR practices, sharing his learnings under his self-designed ‘HR in my HeaRt’ brand umbrella.