Thursday, April 18, 2013

MBAs selected and sold-Need to get to the missing link!

MBA colleges educate graduates.
Prepares them for picking jobs at companies.
Train them on what companies look for in a candidate.
They invite these companies to hire their students.
They send these students to companies to appear for the interview process there and much more.

Is this the end of corporate interface and engagement and alignment. End of responsibilities. Is this conventional model sustainable? Have company's needs and demands not changed over time. Have colleges mapped changing dynamics of entry level talent integration? Have colleges been integral part of discussions, how companies think when they talk about entry-level talent? What is their worry? Why entry level talent needs shrinking? Why is everyone from NASSCOM to Aspiring Minds to other Industry bodies and NR Narayan Moorthy worried about quality of talent in India today?

There is serious missing link!

Though above given model is simple and understandable still there are millions of challenges colleges and students face while, 1.Searching for Summer projects and 2. Placements.


1. MBA colleges may not have been able to identify/map their industry for their supplies in terms of real skills needs (skills mapping and alignment), number required (how many can they hire out of my 100 students) and when is the right time for hiring for them.
2. MBA colleges follow conventional model of teaching, examinations, projects and placements. They get too busy completing syllabus, getting students to a level of scoring well in exams, help them get a summer project and help them in getting a placement. Supply and Demand analysis is perhaps missing and maybe the demand is not there in comparison to supply. Industry cribs for poor quality of hires/candidates. But, what do they do to get a better quality. Partnership in backward-forward talent integration and grooming is missing. At max what Industry does is participate in curriculum revamp once in 2 years. If curriculum only could help, things would have been simpler.
3. Demand and supply is volatile and unpredictable. The biggest consumer of MBAs are Banking and Finance, telecom, Real Estate Sectors into sales and CRM positions. This leaves very little space for students to look beyond these sectors, who sell through various channels and therefore have no control over who is selling their product or services with what qualification.
4. MBAs are considered ambitious and demanding in terms of quality of work, compensation and other benefits. Graduates or even below Grad level candidates are ready for many compromises.
5. MBAs compete against experienced candidates when it comes to hiring as cost remains same and maybe lower sometimes to hire a Non-MBA with relevant experience.
6. MBAs do not prefer low level form filling and document collection, check collection jobs as they do not see MBA education at use, doing the same.

So, there are various missing links here....list can be much longer, as experts pitch-in..

All stake holders need to sit together to make a conscious and aligned decision for preparing, coaching, grooming and getting the stock ready in 2 years of MBA education to make MBAs more marketable over the Non-MBAs. This is unfortunate that we have not been able to get clear ROI ad ROA differentiation between an MBA and a Non-MBA.

Task of selling an MBA to the Recruiter is the first level of hurdle crossing. Once the value in MBA is established in clear terms of value adds and business advantage with ROI and RAO and Customer delight, Compliance and conformation, MBAs will be sold like hot cakes.

Somewhere the College and Industry need to merge seriously to get the right concoction.

Some suggested solutions are sponsored candidates from Day-1. Hire only those for MBA course who will earn a sponsor. Last leg of hiring can be an endorsement from a Sponsor. Let a company select  their sponsored candidates, who clear their rounds of interview and expectations.

Map company's expectations for raw materials and use that for selection. Companies will have to think of having a say in selection of MBA students as well. Ask them to carry the Assessment Center kind of process for selection and they will fill evaluation maps. Will recommend streams for MBA for each hire they assess.

Corporate need to have an informal yet charted career or development path for each sponsored/mentored candidate of their's for the 2 years of effective development.
Corporate can set their performance yard-stick and criteria for continuous assessments and evaluations of skill and competencies that sponsored candidate builds in terms of domain knowledge  business knowledge, process knowledge, technology interventions, process and quality and compliance interventions.

Separate the sponsored candidates based on Houses and Branches with On-Campus Mentor Professor, who will be trained in domains of houses he manages. Houses can be broad and they merge with areas of interest of each candidate, so that skills building is naturally inclined and induced.

Hold competitions and invite corporate for presentations at booths like in seminars. Companies can sponsor booths.
Companies will have 2 House Consultants to help development remain agile and aligned. These Consultants or School Ambassadors will be on college panel for selection of next year students. They will participate in important college events and same for On-Campus Mentor Professor, who will be invited by company/companies for their seminars, presentations, conclaves, technology/business  orientations.
On-Campus Mentor Professor will have KPIs in  terms of development of students and presentations or targeted research for marketing or sales, technology,HR, Finance, Process, Compliance, Quality etc depending on domain of the house and leading contemporary and relevant research and development.

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