How Campus Placements can be Scheduled Vis-a-vis COVID-19

Author: Siddhartha Gupta, CEO, Mercer | Mettl

Campus placements are a way for organizations to hire candidates from the massive talent pools available that come with various new skill sets, interests, and expertise. Many big companies, including technology giants like Google, TCS, Wipro, Capgemini, Accenture, Tech Mahindra, and PepsiCo, are honouring their job offers made to campus hires despite the weak economic outlook caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While it looks like some campuses might not see campus placements this year, especially Tier-2 and Tier-3 colleges, others like IIT-Delhi had record-breaking placements this year even after many companies rescinded their job offers.

What’s the current organizational strategy to abide by the social distancing practices and yet hire the best talent available through campuses this year? According to a recently launched survey report, Campus Hiring 2020: Challenges, Trends, and Best Practices by Mercer | Mettl, 84% of organizations struggled to build a powerful campus intelligence mechanism and rely on previous year’s experience. Moreover, 47% of organizations believed that logistics management for conducting screening assessments, coordinating with students and campus establishments is a significant hurdle. 

But a health crisis like COVID-19, which itself is undergoing modifications, disrupts the status quo, lays down new dynamics to play, and establishes a new world order. All the present campus hiring challenges can be easily met with the right solutions based on technology like AI, ML, remote proctoring, and face recognition. 

The onboarding rate of candidates also increases dramatically for organizations by leveraging such advanced technology like virtual campus hiring platforms, which make the user experience, ease of use, and accessibility of campus-drives smooth. It’s a 360-degree solution that encompasses students, parents, campus establishments, and businesses to thrive in a difficult economic environment. The above report mentions how by employing innovative engagement tools like hackathons, ideathons, and online contests, the onboarding rate increases by 75%. Also, with the use of online screening assessments secured with remote proctoring technology, the onboarding rate rises to 82%. Despite such increased results and impact, 30% of companies don’t undertake any engagement activity. 

Here’s how virtual campus hiring can help organizations safely conduct their campus drive this year:

  • Connect with Colleges:

With campus hiring platforms, companies can align their planning and strategy according to a configurable workflow that helps them connect with colleges and students proactively. The companies can choose which colleges to shortlist based on comprehensive campus intelligence reports that factor in insightful analytics of expected salaries and on-the-job candidate performance. They can also help organizations correlate on-the-job performance with assessment scores and improve the quality of hires year on year. The virtual campus hiring solutions can be easily integrated with the existing ATS (Applicant Tracking System) of the organizations.

  • Assess the Candidates:

The organizations aiming for campus hiring while maintaining social distancing norms want to do it without limiting their standard screening procedures, ensuring the campus drive’s credibility. Assessing the candidate skills and personality sitting at a distance becomes challenging, but with the use of virtual tools, students can be tested on diverse screening assessments, simulations, and multiple psychometric, aptitude, and coding tests. These testing processes can measure the technical capabilities and cognitive abilities as well as gauge the domain understanding and key personality aspects of individuals. To maintain the credibility and authenticity of such assessments in the absence of a human proctor, remote proctoring can be leveraged. It can detect multiple digressions, offer an anti-cheating environment, and fulfill the requirements of data security and privacy policy regulations.       

  • Select the Right Talent:

After organizations have assessed the candidates, organizations can align candidate interviews with collaborative virtual interview tools. These platforms integrate and support competency-based structured interviews providing detailed candidate reports for easy decision-making and selection of students. Companies can create their interview panels, grading frameworks, and schedule interviews in a hassle-free environment. 

  • Engage with the Candidates:    

Students these days are very particular about how engaged they are with a brand before finalizing which company to work for. They get a rough picture of how critical employee engagement is for organizations by the way they engage students. When using virtual placements, the organizations get empowered with multi-level student engagement with online hackathons, ideathons, online tests, and case study simulators. These tools effectively engage students and give them a glimpse of what the work-life would entail while also building your brand recall value.

The education sector has leapfrogged ten years into the future and fast-forwarded the shift to online tools and virtual environments- be it classes, examinations, or campus placements. As technology has helped us experiment and evolve our solutions in the face of a global emergency, campus placements will be no different.

About the Author

Siddhartha Gupta

Siddhartha Gupta is the CEO of Mercer | Mettl, a global HR technology company and leading online assessments firm that enables businesses to make precise people decisions in talent recruitment and educational institutions to conduct their examinations online. Before Mercer I Mettl, in a career spanning over two decades, Siddhartha has held key leadership positions at global IT companies such as HP and SAP. He has been instrumental in building several business verticals from scratch and scaling them. Siddhartha holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from Xavier Institute of Management.