India has seen a surge in employment since the covid restrictions were eased out in 2021. The hiring rate witnessed a modest revival to 35% in May which grew to 43% annually in October 2021 (reported by Economic Times). In fact, as per a statement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, hiring in the country doubled in the same year. But the pandemic did pose several employment challenges. More than four out of five people (81%) in the global workforce of 3.3 billion were affected by full or partial workplace closures (Source- ILO).  It has transformed the way hiring took place before 2020. Virtual recruiting in the year 2020 and in 2021 has helped organisations as an add-on in the recruiting processes. It improves diversity, hiring and gives access to the best talent across the country without any geographical barrier. The growing awareness, talent availability, and geographic flexibility will continue to emphasise the necessity of investing in the correct technologies to help companies create more diverse teams.

Existing gender inequalities make women more vulnerable to the economic fallouts of COVID-19. An increased burden of child-care, elder-care, household responsibilities, and lack of work opportunities for women has led to a lot more women dropping out of the workforce in the last two years. For instance, McKinsey reports, “By our calculation, women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to this crisis than men’s jobs. Women make up 39 percent of global employment but account for 54 percent of overall job losses.” Job and income loss has been harsh with the added responsibility, especially on women.

The year 2021 has been the year of bounce back for all significant B-schools & management students; several schools have reported a return to business as expected in terms of placement, salary, and bonus metrics, while some reported placement or pay increases as well.

In this interview with Deepa Kumar, Associate Director of Placements at The Vedica Scholars Programme for Women, we understand how the need for companies to hire management experts has changed drastically. As the pandemic resets major work trends, HR leaders need to rethink workforce and employee planning, management, performance and experience strategies. There is now an innate need for organisations to have management experts who steer the workings through their leadership skills and this is what HR and companies are looking for in candidates post the pandemic.

Read the interview to gain more expert insights:

Q 1. What, in your view, has been the effect of the pandemic on the employment market in India & internationally in 2020-21? Is the Indian employment market less impacted than other countries?

The economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have not fallen with equal severity on all shoulders. Many of those with existing vulnerabilities, such as people in informal employment, have found it the hardest to face the consequences of the crisis. The pandemic has caused setbacks in the progress made by several countries on gender equality – job and income loss has explicitly been severe for women. However, all is not bleak; there have been a few silver linings; with the pandemic, organisations have redefined work, workforce, workplace, and work culture. We have seen organisations adopting a more empathetic approach – redrafting HR regulations and making it more inclusive. Various possibilities have now unfolded for people in the growing gig economy who worked part-time or from home due to various personal commitments and were not considered at par with the rest. While it impacted women adversely with added responsibilities, it now also allows many to go back to work, given the shift in the work culture.

The pandemic has impacted the employment market around the world. Undoubtedly, unemployment did increase during the lockdown period. However, with the diverse Indian employment market and the situation improving, businesses are opening up as we battle the pandemic. We are hopeful and looking forward to a more stabilised market.

Q 2. How do you believe the necessity for management experts has been altered because of the pandemic? Sector or industry-wise.

There has been an increased need for management experts to steer and keep companies anchored during the ongoing pandemic . They have been required to use their leadership skills to navigate the crisis and the changing dynamics of business and business needs – from building employee morale to adapting to the evolving situations, management experts have been quick to think, adapt, make practical and impactful decisions during these times of crisis while demonstrating empathy throughout.

Q 3. How has the pandemic influenced the campus recruiting process from the institution’s manner of placement prep?

The pandemic has influenced our campus recruiting process in two key ways :

  1. Efficient Placement Prep : We could approach a broader range of experts to help us with virtual connect. Access to various online resources made it logistically more straightforward and time-efficient.
  2. More comprehensive Range of Recruiters : It was easier for organisations to conduct the selection processes online as it was logistically seamless. The procedures were easily facilitated, and more out of town companies could participate.

Q 4. Tell us about the method/process you employed to prepare Vedica students for placements during an active pandemic? & how has this strategy worked for you so far?

To prepare our Scholars better for their placement season, we took them through rigorous pre-placement prep, including CV writing, aptitude tests, mock GDs, mock interviews, guesstimates, caselets, etc., along with need-based interventions.

Q 5. What is the key to gaining a higher profile/role while seeking work amid an ongoing pandemic & how did the curriculum assist the students in acquiring this edge?

Our curriculum empowers and equips our Scholars with a resilient approach; hence, our scholars were quick to adapt to these unprecedented times. With evolving business needs, organisations are redesigning roles and seeking talent who could wear multiple hats, communicate for impact and be a self-starter. According to recruiters, thinking critically and communicating effectively are amongst the most sought after attributes in a potential employee. The Vedica Scholar outshines her peers with distinctive training in critical thinking and communicating with impact. Our curriculum equips our Scholars to be agile and prepares them to be well-rounded professionals , making them a perfect fit.

Q 6. What is Vedica’s approach to training students for leadership/management duties in the corporate world? What tactics do you apply to train them?

The programme has been designed with inputs from individuals with expertise and insights in management practice and liberal arts. We offer a unique and unparalleled mix of study to prepare young women for successful careers.

The four converging tracks that define the distinctiveness of the programme are:

  • Mastering Management Practice
  • Learning from the Liberal Arts
  • Communicating and Thinking for Impact
  • Taking Charge of Personal Growth   

Another unique feature of our programme is the ‘Shadow a Woman Leader’ Module. This compelling eight-week Module exposes our Scholars to successful, senior women leaders at the helm of prominent organisations in India and overseas. The objective is to combine practical insight into management practice focusing on women’s leadership styles.

Some of the advantages of the module for a Scholar are –

  • Getting first-hand experience of working with a senior woman leader
  • Overcoming challenges and discovering their leadership style
  • Applying concepts learnt in the classroom
  • Charting their professional journey

Q 7. Were there cases where offers were terminated due to the pandemic, & how did your team address the situation?

There have been no cases where an organisation has withdrawn an offer made to a Scholar.

Q 8. What would be your suggestion for applicants intending to take management education in 2022 & who are looking forward to establishing a successful career?

We would highly encourage applicants to explore their strengths, aspirations and areas of growth which they wish to work upon through an education in management. Other pointers that would come in handy during an applicant’s journey are awareness of current affairs, economy & business updates and having undertaken internship opportunities, especially freshers. Applicants are also advised to research well and understand what management is and why companies hire management professionals.

Q 9. What are Vedica’s placement stats for the Class of 2021?

  • 96% Batch placed as of 31st January 2022 (remaining students are in the interview process. Vedica will support them until they are placed)
  • Average CTC: 9.07 Lacs
  • The average CTC for freshers 8.53 LPA
  • Average CTC for work ex 9.45 LPA
  • The average increase in salary (for work-ex candidates) – 163%
  • Highest CTC 16.5 Lacs
  • Highest CTC for Freshers – 14.08 Lacs

We are accepting applications for Batch 2023 – Apply now

To know more about the Post Graduate Programme in Management Practice and Leadership for Women @ Vedica Scholars, Join: [Official] The Vedica Scholars Programme for Women | Admissions 2023

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