IT companies looking for trained freshers

Unlike his counterparts at Infosys or Wipro, who stress on extensive training programmes for freshers to make them job ready, Arun Rao, vice-president, global HR, at Hyderabad-based software firm AppLabs, is looking for freshers with some prior training.
The logic for Rao, who is looking to recruit 200-250 freshers this year, is simple - such recruits can be productive and start delivering results in a short span of time.
Similarly, Gopalji Mehrotra, global HR head, Zensar Technologies, which is looking to hire about 800 freshers this year, says the attempt would be to hire individuals with prior training.
“Nevertheless, the firm will also absorb those without training and train them for 12 weeks,” he adds.
Like Rao and Mehrotra, quite a few other HR heads, specifically those from mid-rung companies, are on the look out for fresh graduates with some training in say java, networking, testing, etc, who can facilitate quick delivery of results and thereby cut down on the time and money spent by employers.
However, the trend is not very common among top companies, for whom extensive training programmes are part of their branding exercise, says Amit Bansal, CEO and founder, PurpleLeap, a Bangalore-based skill enhancement company.
IT recruitment experts say often freshers are not business-ready due to the industry-academia gap, and have to be trained extensively. On an average, IT firms spend Rs 60,000, at times even Rs 80,000, per fresher for training (domain expertise and soft skills). This includes the travel, food, lodging, time of the trainer etc.
“Companies are aiming to cut the non-productive time of fresh recruits. Earlier, if a fresh recruit took about 6 months to become productive, now companies want them to start delivering from the second or third month itself. This can be done by having more candidates who are well versed with the systems,” says Bansal.
This means freshers like Manoj Mehta, who did his engineering from a tier III institute in suburban Mumbai, followed by a foundation course in java, will have a competitive edge over others who have just a college degree to rely upon.
Mehta, whose institute had a dry run even this year, with hardly two to three companies visiting for placements, found a job with a mid-ranking IT firm in Bangalore on a pay package of Rs 1.9 lakh per annum. There is a high possibility that top companies don’t regularly visit smaller campuses, and hence students there have to go to mid-ranked companies, which are now stressing more on taking pre-trained freshers, says Kris Lakshmikanth, CEO and MD, of search firm HeadHunters India. “Thus students with pre training hold an advantage.”

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