Campus placements are a mad rush for colleges and companies, and a logistical nightmare for those who have to plan and organize it. This is a golden opportunity for companies to find that one diamond in the rough.
In India alone, around 3,934 students from VIT University were given job offers by three leading IT companies Accenture, Wipro and Cognizant, in 2013. Other major campus recruiters include Microsoft, Zoho, Intel, VMware, Alcatel Lucent, Mahindra, ComViva, Broadcom, Netapp, Cisco, Capital IQ, Texas Instruments, Trimble, Google, and Honeywell.
Going by these figures, on an average, a multinational company assess around 7,000-10,000 campus hires annually. This is a huge figure considering the number of hires to be assessed through pen and paper tests. Companies rely majorly on on-site testing and group discussion exercises to assess the caliber of students. Although the process is effective, it is also time-consuming. Not to forget the cost attached with taking managers out of their key performance areas and the possibility of bad hires.
Why conventional methods of campus placements have become burdensome
Conventional methods of campus recruitment have become burdensome because
a) They are unnecessarily long, and they do not follow a scientific approach that will ensure the hiring of better candidates.
b) The current campus interview process does not identify if there is a cultural and job fit with the company, to avoid attrition rates.
c) It is still majorly a rejection process than an objective selection process.
A typical campus recruitment process involves presentations, written tests, group discussions, and technical rounds. This process takes an entire day of recruitment efforts. Apart from the direct cost associated with campus recruitment, indirect cost are also incurred, like your time (a major contributor), additional personnel cost, travel, accommodation, logistics of a conducting test, group discussion, etc.
A typical engineering college with a student strength of approximately 2500 (for all streams) is visited by 50 companies to conduct campus placements. If we go by average campus placement figure for top engineering colleges, around 90% of students are placed. So on average, a company places only 45 students from a campus (figures will increase or decrease as per the number of companies visiting the campus). But to score this, how much does the company end up spending?
Let's assume that an IT company has to hold campus placements to fill multiple vacant positions in its various global centres. Essentially a team comprising of an HR manager, a campus recruiter, and if possible operation’s manager would visit the college for conducting the recruitment drive:
Role of Online Assessment Software
Since going to each campus takes a lot of time, resources and money, campus recruiters have shifted their focus to include online screening process much earlier in the recruitment process to ensure that only the best candidate make it to the later stages of the recruitment process which are often more expensive. Breaking out of the traditional and redundant methods of college placements is the first step towards better hiring.
Companies like Nestle Purina have demonstrated that remote college recruiting can produce measurably superior results in a relatively short period of time compared to campus visits. So, instead of following long hours of traditional recruitment processes, recruiters can view their candidate queue from the comfort of their offices virtually with any device with an internet connection.
We already know that online assessment solutions provide an improved return on investment. Online assessment tools help to hire better performers, reduce turnover and increase staffing efficiency by predicting job talent and employee attitude. To give an example, for 100 hires with an average tenure of 2 years and an average salary of $40,000, the return on investment comes out to be 37233%, assessed using online simulated assessments (Calculate yourself- Measuring RoI of Online Assessment Systems in Recruitment).
In simple words, the use of online assessment tools significantly reduce the recruitment time and improves the quality of hire, providing a good and stable resource.
If we have to find out how online assessments help campus recruitment, we can start by looking at some of the benefits of this system:
Benefits of Online Assessment Systems v/s Traditional Recruitment Methods
Online assessment system provides full control to the recruiters over the test creation, distribution, invigilation, evaluation and report generation. Recruiters can easily create and administer a test. The traditional model requires recruiters to create a test paper manually, often something that they are not qualified to do (Technical tests).
Companies can reach out to a large number of colleges previously left unexplored because of resource limitations (time/personnel unavailability). This system gives flexibility to companies to reach out to international campuses as well.
Apart from enhanced reach, one of the biggest challenge of conducting thousands of test at one go is fulfilled by this system. Imagine all the administrative cost and time you will spend visiting each campus and holding hundreds of tests.
Flexibility to add layers of tests into a single defined assessment. For example, apart from general MCQs and essay type questions, add code snippet evaluator with case study simulator as well as psychometric/personality tests. Under the traditional model, a candidate would be required to appear for each of these tests separately.
Minimum system requirements (a computer, browser and internet connectivity). College computer labs can be used for conducting these tests.
Autosave candidate's answers to handle infrastructure issues (Internet, Network, Power outages; System crash, restart). Some online assessment software also comes with a power resume features which resumes the test within minutes of any internet loss or any power outages.
Many online assessment software have the feature that allows test admins to virtually proctor the test using a webcam, remotely. Utilizing such a feature will help companies to curb cheating and other malpractices.
The greatest advantage of online assessment software is the turnaround time. Since the tests are web-based, test evaluation and report generation are done in real time. So as soon as the candidate finishes his/her test, evaluation is also generated within minutes. This quickens the decision-making process, enabling recruiters to select easily and wisely.
Superior, actionable analytics allows companies to view comparison of different campuses, performance trends and get regional talent insights.
Flexibility to conduct the test in a contest, game or code challenge format. This will engage campuses and bring out maximum participation from students while strengthening brand recall.
To conclude, a sophisticated online assessment software gives recruiters an option to move beyond traditional and redundant methods of recruitment. It helps to objectively screen, select and hire the best candidate. Apart from assessing critical competencies, it helps to identify the right talent and hire better performers.
Technology is pushing every business function to adopt innovative and cost-effective methods to streamline and accelerate their processes. Recruitment industry with a worth of around $400 Billion, is also fast moving towards adopting these changes. The time is right to move over the conventional and embrace the new.
Topics: Campus Hiring