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Consulting, finance firms defer hiring, students worried

By Kalpana Pathak & Shivani Shinde in Mumbai
July 29, 2009 03:46 IST
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The economy may be displaying green shoots, but that's still not enough for companies to muster courage to hire in full measure. Major consulting and finance companies like McKinsey and Royal Bank of Scotland, for instance, have joined the ranks of IT companies in deferring placements by up to six months. Nasdaq-listed IT service provider Cognizant has done the same.

These companies offered jobs to B-school students during the placement season in February-April.

At the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM-C), consulting giant McKinsey has postponed the joining dates of students by three to six months. The institute, however, said the company had been paying students part of their monthly salary to retain them. IIM-C placed around 40 per cent of the batch in finance and 21 per cent in consulting.

Sources at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B), said McKinsey and Royal Bank of Scotland had deferred the joining date to between October and December from June.

"A few students have already taken up short-term projects rather than wait for a final call from the companies. This trend, however, raises concerns for placements in 2010," said a professor from IIM-B.

Around 25 per cent of the 250-student batch at IIM-B accepted positions in consulting. The other sectors that saw a significant number of positions being offered include: finance 29 per cent; marketing 16 per cent and general management 16 per cent.

At Mumbai-based S P Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), a few students who were waiting for a confirmation from Cognizant are now looking at other avenues.

"With job offers in their hands, these students have been out of jobs for around six months now. With the dates being deferred to October-November, students are worried if the year will go waste," said a professor from SPJIMR.

Cognizant agreed that consistent with the rest of the industry, the company had extended the joining dates over a somewhat longer period owing to the economic environment.

"In the spirit of transparency, we have actively communicated to the fresh graduates developments at Cognizant, the business climate, etc, through our e-mail updates and campus newsletter," said Bhaskar Das, vice president, HR, Cognizant.

In the wake of the global financial and economic crisis, most B-schools this year have had a tough time placing students. As a result, many schools extended the placement process beyond the usual placement week.
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Kalpana Pathak & Shivani Shinde in Mumbai
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