Dear Seniors and learned members,

I have been a Man Manager for last 20 years and have worked in different roles with different levels of gifter people. What has been bothering me is the relative fall in the levels of the general IQ levels of fresh recruits. There has been a greater emphasis on relying too much on internet and other available medium which has left a void in the knowlege of the current breed of freshers. The greater the competition has been at academics levels on the attained percentage in passing exams at school and college levels, the more myopic view is being adopted by the current breed of passout. The result is a falling general development of the new recruit and the larger time taken for productebility of the team. More and more emphasis on earning faster is also attributing to the diminishing value of the belongingness to the organisdation and more attrition of skilled manpower is taking place.

Can the honourable seniors and respected members please throw some light on any such experiences where they have done something innovative to arrive at a creditable solution to the problems mentioned above? I am very interested to get the insights into such solutions..

Thanks and warm regards

Gurvinder S Kohli

From India, Mumbai

I completely agree with Mr. Kohli.
The fresh pass outs do not have much knowledge but they expect to make fast money.
It seems there is something wrong in our system of Higher Education. The colleges give an impression to the students that they would get very high paying jobs just after college.
I think that the B-Schools and the Engineering and other colleges should acquaint their students with the harsh reality of life. They have to work hard to grow in life.

From India, New Delhi
Mr. Kohli and Ms. Avika,

I would agree to you both to a certain extent however would also like to put forth certain view points from my experience.

You mentioned about the knowledge vs. education.

I agree to the fact that though most of us are highly educated, seldom is the knowledge and talent found.

Training and grooming takes lot of time and efforts and productivity is delayed.

But are the freshers alone to be blamed?

I would just note down few of my observations after having experienced both the sides -

1. There is a rat race in the educational industry to score the best. Only people with minimum of X% will qualify to attend interview. We (as both recruiters as well as having freshers once upon a time) are very much aware that every firm has its own minimum requirement normally being 60% - 70%. Higher the better.

What are we communicating through this? We don't care what you know, but your scores should be above the minimum requirement in order that we listen to you. Now that we realize education and knowledge/talent are two different things, are we doing anything to change the system?

2. While screening the resume, as recruiters, we become judgemental of a person by looking at certain things like - City, Educational institute, Marks/Rank.

Are we sure that a person with 100% score is the most knowledgeable? It so happens at times that one scoring 60-70% is far better than the one with 90-95%. Yet we focus on marks.

3. Are we open to try and give a chance to the people who do not match the strict criterias we have mentioned such as above?

We are aware of the problem, what efforts do we make to change the scenario? Each one of us study for the ultimate goal - to get a good and respectful job. If in order to get a job I have to score 100%, I would focus on scoring 100%. I would ratofy and vomit in exam and then my mind would be as blank as a brand new slate.

I would give you a personal example:

I have been told by many people that I have exceptional experience and contribute a lot and solve lots of queries. Yet I never got a job through campus because of my over all scoring. Funny thing.

I wasn't allowed to sit for selection process for a company only because I missed by few points to reach the minimum requirement inspite of being throughout distinction till graduation.

I think we too as HR professionals are atleast to some extent responsible for this scene.

From India, Mumbai

I agree with your point Ankita.

The blame is not on anyone alone. It is a mix of factors that has led to this situation.

Today, the Schools and Colleges are not "temples of learning" but "Business houses". The quality of education is going down.

Further, the internet has added to the comfort of the students as everything is available online. They do not have to refer to many books or get in depth knowledge.

Coming to the issue of having cut-off marks. I agree that the person with the highest marks does not necessarily possess the maximum knowledge. However, in a situation where there are limited seats and much more applicants, there has to be a way out. We also have entrance exams but then again, every brilliant student can not afford to fill the forms as they are exorbitantly priced {most of the forms for entrance exams are priced at Rs. 1000/- or more}. On top of all that, we have numerous quotas for various categories of students.

I agree people give importance to academic performance while hiring. In my opinion, that should be a consideration but not the only consideration.

The BPO revolution has created a mindset in the freshers that they can earn fast money. However, do they work on enhancing their skills??

Most of them are not willing to go through the grind and rise in life. We are dealing with these youngsters everyday and we do not see the yearning to learn in majority of the cases. When my team calls them to discuss an opportunity, the first question is what is the salary. They wont ask about the job profile or the organization.

This way we are surely heading to a point when we would have a talent crunch and a huge skill gap.

From India, New Delhi
Thanks Avika,

I too had the same point, we just cant blame one single person. The whole system has to change.

Would again agree on this. There are people (teachers) who would be frustrated to clear the doubts if some student is not able to understand and asks a few queries. Their this behavior do not allow students to freely ask questions as they think they are being judged. As a result they think they would go online and would ask Google. However they fail to understand that though we can get all theoretical knowledge from all the different sources, it is only the practical implementation that would allow us to grow professionally.

Again I do not say that let's completely forgo the minimum standards, but if someone is actually fitting all the other criteria but is not eligible just for a couple of marks, it is actually unfair to not to consider the person.

In my case when I went to talk to the officials of the company who came to hire us on campus, they bluntly told me that i do fit into their criteria, only if i was able to make it to those few points. They anyway had an aptitude test. All I requested was to allow me to sit for aptitude, If I wouldn't be smart enough, I would automatically get screened out. How would it matter?

But a no is a no is a no.

This is what one needs to change. If someone is keen to work in the profile you mentioned and fits in all aspect, why not give a chance to prove his/her worth?

BPO is looked as an easy money making opportunity. Many BPOs recruit people who are HSC passed/appeared. All they need is people with good communication skills in some particular language.

Because of the kind of impression that BPO has outlaid on the job seekers, they do not care much about the profile. They are vaguely aware how they would have to speak to client and customers and solve query to sell their services. They don't go for details.

Rising inflation compels one to first focus on salary especially when there is just one bread earner.

I won't comment on this as different people have different priorities.

But yes, I have seen people compromise on profile for pay, whereas its otherwise that's always advised.

From India, Mumbai

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