Have a job opening? Will apply

Have a job opening?  Will apply

Over last one week, State Bank of India (SBI), which is India's largest bank, placed advertisements across numerous newspapers thanking 17 lakh...

Over last one week, State Bank of India (SBI), which is India's largest bank, placed advertisements across numerous newspapers thanking 17 lakh applicants for applying to job openings for its 1500 positions of the rank of probationary officers. This may be a record in terms of applications received by an organisation for open positions. The ratio of jobs to aspirants is higher than 1:1000. The basic eligibility for SBI candidates includes a graduate degree and age between 21 to 30 years.

These positions offer a maximum salary of Rs 70,000/month in Mumbai and around Rs 50,000/month in most other places. A In 2011, Google, a technology giant started a recruitment drive to recruit people for 6000 jobs worldwide. It received around 75000 online applications in the first week, making it a record of sorts at that time.

At a ratio of 1:12, a Google applicant had a much better statistical chance than a current SBI applicant. The fact that SBI has such a huge pool of applicants indicates that there is scarcity of jobs and a possibility that there is a large pool of candidates from previous year(s) who may have failed to get timely employment.

In another recent incident, in the private sector, HCL Technologies, a large IT services company faced an uncomfortable situation. As a part of its hiring strategy for 2012, the company made job offers across engineering colleges, in 2011, to candidates graduating in 2012. The candidates graduated in June 2012 but are still waiting to join the company.

In a rare display of agitation in the Indian service sector, some of these aggrieved candidates protested across multiple locations of HCL offices in different cities to register their grievance and to gain some clarity on their future with the company. In an ambiguous response, the company released a statement indicating that they would start intimating the joining dates by August 2013.

In this process these candidates would lose more than a year of their career waiting on the side-lines. Even Infosys, the IT bellwether is reported to have delayed its joining dates for college recruits by 3 months. A In a double whammy of sorts, the IT companies are hit on one side by a slowing and unpredictable global demand and on the other hand there is growing pressure from investors to improve their performance. Hence, companies are moving the salary and training costs of on-boarding fresh graduates to a future date.

This is an ominous sign for the overall economy and indicates that a slowing economy has resulted in nervousness among corporates and in their conservative hiring strategies. A study conducted by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSO- CHAM), an industry body, for the year 2012 showsa decline of 21% in new job creation across different sectors.

The manufacturing sector shed 5 million jobs in the time period 2005-10. This happened primarily because of increased automation and technology use and also because the sector itself has remained stagnant. As per the Planning Commission, with rapid urbanisation, more and more people are leaving agrarian employment.

Additionally, a younger and more educated workforce is entering the workforce. This is expected to result in 183 million additional people joining the employment pool over the next 15 years. The only way this supply can be supported is by creating 70 million new manufacturing jobs over this timeframe.

There exists an example of this paradigm shift in the form of our neighbour China. It made massive investments in physical infrastructure and aggressively promoted the manufacturing sector. This helped in shifting 150 million people from agriculture to manufacturing sector. China now controls 15% of world trade with US $2 Trillion in manufacturing value addition. India's share is less than one-tenth of that of China.

Indian government recently announced the creation of a Rs 5500 crore fund named � "India Inclusive Innovation Fund" to focus on generating employment and livelihood support by promoting innovations in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). A This is still at a conceptual stage but any form of support for job creation at this stage is a welcome step. It is unimportant whether the job creation occurs in government or private sector.

Deng Xiapong, father of China's economic turnaround, once said � "It does not matter whether the cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice". Most job aspirants would vouch for that.

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