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Jan, 27 2017

​B-Schools' recruitment likely to fall by 30 percent this year

IT recruitments have slumped 20-40 per cent in several tier-II — and even some tier-I — management schools this season.

Information technology companies, usually among the largest recruiters at B-school campuses, have slashed hiring this placement season due to factors such as US President Donald Trump's protectionist stance, muted growth numbers and increasing automation.

IT recruitments have slumped 20-40 per cent in several tier-II — and even some tier-I — management schools this season.

At Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon, IT hiring fell 26 per cent; at Great Lakes Institute of Management (GLIM), Chennai, it dropped 30 per cent; and at Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, it's down 30-40 per cent.

At one business school, Infosys took on 13 people compared with 40 last year, while Dell hired three against five and Wipro recruited five compared with nine last time. The school official who provided the information didn't want the institution to be identified. "We are expecting at least 30 per cent less hiring in IT as compared with last year," said Saveeta Mohanty, associate dean for career advisory services at Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB).

Last season, six of the top 10 recruiters by numbers across 26 B-schools were from the technology space included Cognizant, Infosys, Wipro, Accenture, Tata Consultancy Services and IBM. This time round, the scene is clearly different.

At his inaugural speech, he said: "Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American."

"The Trump effect is definitely there," said an analyst tracking the IT sector. "Adding to that is the fact that expected numbers are also muted for the industry in terms of growth." The focus on automation and increasing productivity per employee are other factors, said the analyst, who didn't want to be named.

R Shreenath, director, corporate and career services, Great Lakes, agreed that the expected protectionist policies of the new US president have affected IT hiring in a big way this year. "We had 30 per cent reduction in hiring numbers compared to last several years of recruitment in campus," he said.

All regular IT recruiters such as Cognizant, Dell, Infosys, L&T Infotech, HCL Technologies, Mindtree and TCS participated and made offers in 2017 as well, said Shreenath, but there's been a decline in the average number of offers made by them.

An Infosys spokesperson, however, said: "Hiring from US may not have a substantial impact on the recruitment numbers in India."

TCS, Accenture and Cognizant did not respond to queries sent by ET. IT companies hire from B-school campuses for a variety of roles including management consulting, technology consulting, sales/pre-sales, account manager, management trainee (IT projects), business analyst, data analyst and quantitative analyst.

While hiring at tier-I campuses is heavily skewed toward consulting and solutions roles, at tier-II Bschools, companies tend to recruit in big numbers for back-office operations and support functions for international offices.

"Consulting remains relatively stable but it's the back-end roles that have been hit hard," said MDI placements chairperson Kanwal Kapil. To be sure, there is some demand for niche skills and domain specialists in new areas of technology such as artificial intelligence and cloud, but that hasn't been enough to reverse the overall trend as people with those skillsets aren't typically hired from B-schools. Infosys and Accenture are among those that have cut numbers at MDI, while IBM did not come for final placements, Kapil said.

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