Mint Primer: What the IIT placements tell us about the campus hiring market | Mint

Mint Primer: What the IIT placements tell us about the campus hiring market

IITs this year are targeting recruiters who don’t usually hire from their campuses. (Mint)
IITs this year are targeting recruiters who don’t usually hire from their campuses. (Mint)

Summary

  • The battlegrounds of IITs this year are calm, indicating weak appetite among companies across sectors

Placements at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are a barometer for how the hiring market shapes up in any given year. The battlegrounds of IITs this year are calm, indicating weak appetite among companies across sectors. Mint tells you why:

Why do IIT placements matter?

India Inc benchmarks itself on how many IIT and IIM graduates it can recruit, which also adds to a company’s branding. Thousands of grads across specializations are available across the 23 IITs including PhD courses. That’s a large talent pool to recruit from. But in times of global economic sluggishness—like now—firms offer salaries that are non-competitive, or skip campus recruitments altogether. IITs, this year, are therefore targeting recruiters who don’t usually hire from their campuses. This puts pressure on tier-2 engineering colleges who may now need to seek out smaller companies.

How is the season going for IITs?

It’s been modest for the batch of 2024. According to placement teams, the number of offers rolled out by consulting, core sector and trading companies has dipped since the previous year. Recruiters say they had over-hired and do not have many profiles to justify visiting campuses in large numbers. The struggle is palpable even among the different IITs. The newer IITs started their placements in August-September but many companies are preferring to head to the older ones. In fact, some of the newer IITs have reduced their compensation threshold to attract more firms.

Who are the missing recruiters?

IT services firms like Infosys and Wipro. These exporters are facing headwinds and have slowed down hiring plans. Infosys and Wipro together hired 208,000 engineering graduates in the last three years. Although TCS and HCL Technologies said that will hire from engineering colleges, the numbers may not be sufficient to make up for the gap.

Have compensation at campuses changed?

Last year the highest offer was from trading company Jane Street at 3.7-4 crore per annum; this year so far, the peak is about 2 crore per annum. Core sector firms have not upped their offers from the range at 8-15 lakh per year. Many are looking for algorithm engineers, associate program managers and chemical engineers who have worked in ESG projects. Such profiles are rare, so a larger number graduates will struggle to get placed. With automation, basic coding and machine learning skills are already getting defunct.

How are B-schools preparing?

B-school enrolments start from February-March and although they have fewer students, the course fees are much higher, and hence, higher pressure to bag bigger pay packages to offset costs. While consultancies delayed onboarding for the batch of 2023, B-schools will struggle to get global firms to hire in large numbers because of global economic headwinds. Similar to the engineering story, B-schools will see even smaller companies head to the top IIMs. Second-tier IIMs are expected to struggle.

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