Competency Expectations from Management Graduates- An HR Perspective @ VIT Business School

In past 10 years, the world has dramatically changed. From a stable economy to a volatile economy, brand centric to customer centric and from one form of media to multi layered modes of communication. We are in so called-VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguity) world. The complete outlook of the corporates has changed. New disruptive technologies are coming and uprooting the so called traditional business. Brick and motor retail is giving way to E-commerce. Innovation and adaptability is no more looked upon as something new. They have become part and parcel of everyday. Three different generations are working together, with each having its own motivation, learning and development needs. We are as good as yesterday. Virtual offices are need of the day with “working from home” as an acceptable norm. Productivity has become more measurable. We now require a SMAC- Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud environment, with each playing a major role in how we engage people and conduct our business. The boundaries are diminishing and world has become one big country.

Organization’s competency expectations from Management graduates:

  • Experience & Stable tenure
  • Ability to handle the role independently
  • Structured thought process
  • Updated with latest automation tools
  • Thorough knowledge of function
  • Understanding industry and market trend
  • Response in different situations-Ability to think differently
  • Competencies required for the role
  • Basic intellect and aptitude
  • Flexibility to learn
  • Smart, innovative and proactive

Over 2 million graduates, post graduates and PHD pass every year in our country while only 25% of them are found to be employable. This percentage further reduces if we talk only about engineers- Only 8% of them are employable. This clearly indicates that there is a gap between what education institutions is manufacturing (this is with sarcasm because providing higher education is purely dependent of affordability than merit) and what industry requires.

Where is the problem? 

The problem lies in only academic knowledge with very little practical knowledge. If this gap is not covered timely, it will lead to lot of socio-economic problems in times to come. On one hand, we will have a shortfall of 5 million qualified employees by 2020 with 65% of country population below the age of 35 years, and on the other hand the key concerns facing organizations in realizing their business strategy and cutting above competition is in finding, managing, nurturing and retaining talent. The HR’s biggest nightmare is to find talent. While four M’s make a business- Money, Material, Machine and Men, it is the Human Resources which is the most important. Human capital has become the only sustainable competitive advantage- the distinguishing factor organization can bank upon.

What can students do to improve their chances of employability? 

Well, quite a lot. To start with, they will have to start with improving their social skills. Social skills not only help in broadening knowledge base that these students already have on the society and people in it, but also abreast oneself on the latest technologies and practices in vogue. They should closely follow the happenings around them. In particular, industries that they wish to work for.

Students should have a global view on any issue and sharpen their skills to emerge as winner through International speakers and building a comprehensive industry interface. The aim should be to bridge the skills gap by making oneself employable ready professionals from the day graduates enter the industry.

Soft skills that is an expansion of social skills needs a focus from the students at an earliest possible stage in their career. This will make the experience enriching and practical for students when they venture into a job. Analytical and critical reasoning skills too will require a constant update from the students by going through various critical industry related case studies. This will help them develop skills in analytical thinking and reflective judgment by reading and discussing complex, real life scenario, in addition to enhancing problem solving techniques, self-directed and learning strategies.

This approach will ensure students are not only technically proficient but also exhibit sound awareness of real-world issues when the need arises. Students are encouraged to make an attempt at close interaction with senior industry professionals. This will provide students with first-hand experience for the rigors of the real work environment.