IIM Ahmedabad proposes a uniform standard for reporting placements

After introducing the cohort-based recruitment process, the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad is trying out its second experiment with placements.

The institute plans to develop a new ‘Placement Reporting Standard’. The stated objective of the Placement Reporting Standards will be to bring in greater objectivity and uniformity in the manner in which Indian b-schools report salary and non-salary information related to placements.

According to IIM Ahmedabad, these standards have been proposed based on considerable academic study on how global b-schools report placements. A draft proposal will soon be sent to b-schools and recruiters for feedback.

IIM Ahmedabad’s Placement Chairperson professor Saral Mukherjee told mediapersons at the end of the Recruiters’ Conclave in Mumbai today, “The Placement Reporting Standard works in two phases. First, when the recruiters are communicating the offers to the institute or the students and secondly, when the institutes are communicating it to the media. When it comes to recruiters, they will have to give out information about the offer in a certain format. The offers will have to specify the components of the salary to great details. This will help the students to make an informed decision.”

For example, consider a student who has offers from two companies, one offering an annual package of Rs 12 lakhs and the second offering Rs 10 lakhs. On the face of it, the Rs 12 lakhs package appears like higher pay. But now IIM Ahmedabad will demand that recruiters mention all the heads under which the salary will be divided. So, it might be that the package of Rs 12 lakhs per annum has a component of Rs 1 lakh as a one-time incentive, applicable only for the first year and addition variable component of Rs 2 lakhs; whereas, the Rs 10 lakhs package does not include a variable component at all.

“Once the recruiters have passed on the information to us in a certain format, the information is easier for us to pass on to the students and then to all the other stakeholders and the media. The dissemination of information will be a more transparent process with this. Management schools globally follow a process like this,” added Prof Mukherjee.

IIM Ahmedabad Director Prof Samir Barua said, “There are a lot of b-schools, for whom placements are the basis on which they build their brand. But that leads to a lot of misrepresentation of facts and figures. If an institute agrees to follow the Indian Placement Reporting Standards, then it will be a statement in itself, that the institute is confident about its placement capabilities and does not think placements as a way of establishing their brand.” IIM Ahmedabad itself will implement the standard from the final placement process that will take place from February to March 2011.

IIM Ahmedabad had also invited the other IIMs and management institutes to be part of the Recruiters’ Conclave where they shared the experience of the cohort-based recruitment process and to discuss the Indian Placement Reporting Standards. The conclave was attended by IIM Shilong, IIM Calcutta and IMT Ghaziabad besides other b-schools.

IIM Ahmedabad also announced that the upcoming summer placement process will also be conducted through the cohort-based process like the final placement last year. The underling aim being to help the students and the recruiters take the time and find a perfect match.

During the conclave, IIM Ahmedabad also launched ‘Recruiter Advantage’, a recruiter magazine. The institute claims that ‘this magazine will act as the mouthpiece of IIM Ahmedabad to recruiters and help recruiters and students connect which each other’.

The success of the Placement Reporting Standard depends more on the readiness of the country’s b-schools to accept it rather than on recruiters. Policies and processes that govern recruitment differ greatly in companies. Not all companies are designed to enter campus placements with a detailed breakup of the salary. The only reason they will do is if a large number of b-schools demand adherence to the Placement Reporting Standard. But if the Standard is being followed by just a handful of b-schools, there is little chance that it will be as credible as it aims to be.

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