Flipkart, Amazon and Swiggy are among those seeking recruits with a grasp of rapidly evolving technologies — which can be deployed in expanding their businesses — at the country’s engineering and management schools.
Quikr, Simplilearn, Droom, Tork Motors and others, besides the companies cited above, have stepped up hiring freshers with an emphasis on data science, product management, design, full stack, iOS and Android development roles. Walmart-owned Flipkart, one of the top recruiters at engineering and B-school campuses, will increase hiring of fresh graduates by 40-50% this year.
“Our campus hires are a very important part of our talent pool as they are groomed to take up important and high-growth projects,” said a Flipkart spokesperson. “We visit the top 15 Bschools and top 25 engineering schools to hire our talent and some of the new campuses we are engaging with this year are IIM (Indian Institute of Management) Indore, IMT (Institute of Management Technology) Ghaziabad, NIT (National Institute of Technology) Bhopal and NIT Surathkal.”
Amazon, which did not give hiring numbers, said recruits from India’s leading engineering institutes will continue to form a key part of its talent pool. “As we expand and grow in the country, talented engineers from these institutes will play an instrumental role,” said Raj Kaza, director (talent acquisition), Asia-Pacific and India, Amazon. IITs, IIMs, the Indian School of Business (ISB) and NITs are among the premier schools from which Amazon hires.
Online food delivery platform Swiggy is looking at ways to streamline its campus hiring strategy this year as it maintains steady recruitment numbers. “At our scale and complexity, we need engineers who can understand and improvise with the changing trends in technology,” said Girish Menon, vice president, human resources, Swiggy.
“We have hired close to 40 students from numerous engineering campuses across India in 2019. We are looking at a similar number in 2020.” The company has already made a few preplacement offers (PPOs) to B-school students in the current financial year and has hired more than 100 sales trainees from various campuses across India.
Despite the challenges of training fresh graduates and giving them adequate time to hit the ground, experts said startups are taking a medium to long-term view. Hiring such candidates is cost effective and allows startups to build their own culture and pipeline of leaders.
‘LATERALS BECOMING EXPENSIVE’
“Laterals are becoming expensive and sometimes difficult to get in some new technology areas where they need to be given training after being hired,” said Anshuman Das, founder of search firm Longhouse Consulting. “Hiring a fresher in such cases would save cost for the companies where otherwise too they have to train the lateral hire.”
For immediate requirements, companies will still need experienced hands, and not all have the bandwidth to train newly minted graduates, he said. “However, in the medium to long term, being judicious about the campus-lateral mix can work better for companies.”
Online classified advertising platform Quikr has increased hiring by 27%, picking candidates from engineering colleges such as NITs and the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs). “Our focus is on building a healthy pipeline for unique roles,” said head of HR Sunil Moorjani. “(Campus hires) also serve as a talent pool during our annual succession planning exercise.”
Edtech startup Simplilearn is more than doubling its intake of freshers to 100 this fiscal year from 45 in FY19. “A lot of freshers are upskilling while in college itself and are taking up relevant industry internships,” said Simplilearn founder Krishna Kumar. “This is enabling a fresher to reduce the lead time taken to get productive.” Other factors also play a role.“
More than talent, an approach to solving a problem and a street-smart attitude will enable beginners to not only grasp things faster but to suggest better ways of tackling an existing problem,” said Kapil Shelke, founder, Tork Motors. Startups such as Droom, an online marketplace for used cars, will almost double its intake of new graduates. “As a fresher, they understand and adopt the company culture and working style very fast,” said founder Sandeep Aggarwal.