Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What Companies Look for in Freshers - 1st Job holders


After investing more than 20 years of initial life its essential for one to prove themselves in a very short span of 20 min (you are luck if you get so much of time during interview). In this article we would identify the qualities that companies would evaluate you in making a hiring decision on you. This week in our journey to Campus to Corporate we would understand the reasons for hiring fresh talent. The good news is that Industry generally recruits 30-50% of Fresh Talent based on their Industry and in cases of Services / IT the % is more.

Why COMPANIES hire Fresh Talent :
• The fresh minds are definitely better to be moulded as per the organizational requirement.
• They bring the refreshing energy and great learning attitude.
• Fresh Talent can take the risk in innovating new things and do things differently.
• Organisatinal Vision, Mission and Values can be imbibed with least resistance as the acceptance for change is very high in Fresh Talent.

Role You Play as Fresher/Trainee:

Your initial steps in organization would be as a Team Member. Please understand this role and it would help you in responding to your interviewers. Your role as Team Member would include : Executing the instructions given to you based on the training and your ability to manage. As team member you would complete your tasks as per the instructions and support from the other team member including your supervisor(Team Lead). As part of execution you would utilize your own skills at various intensities.

Qualities :
The qualities required based on the level of responsibility that a fresher is going to handle. All the qualities are assessed based on the “past performance(while @ study) and the ability to translate the skills in usable form during the job”. We would review each of the qualities understanding the meaning and how it is assessed by the companies. The assessment method should be some fo the way to improve while you are at college.

Generic Qualities

• Communication – is the ability to express oneself through a combination of verbal and as well as in written. The communication where the transmission of information is identified through the body language is called the Non-Verbal Communication.
o Communication is assessed based on the simple and realistic flow of information sharing during the interaction. It is also assessed on the explanation and confidence by the candidate. The ability of the candidate to express the knowledge gained, focus on career, clarity on the job attending, efforts in subject / function and any related information to bring confidence to the interviewer.
• TechSavvy & Documentation: This is the ability where the student to have an understanding of the technology support that he gets to be more productive. All the related Technology Tools which would help in communicating and improving work productivity is a must for every body in today’s environment. On an average around 30% of the time by a working professional in IT or Non-IT environment spends in Mobile, Email, Internet, Software packages and Documenting the work done. This 30% of the time defines the progress of individual in climbing the corporate ladder.
o This is identified by the corporate by seeking information on the projects done by the invididual, documentation of reports & projects, Usage of the Email and any of the productivity tools used by them during the college time (MS Office – Word, Excel & Power Point Presentation and many others).
• Team Ability – Existing(Internal) & External(Outside teams)
o This is probably the most important and takes a major part in assessment, but to be proved individually during the interaction. Team ability is the ability to be in a team(groups of people for a common cause) and make the team effective by way of contributing and strengthening the outcome. The ability to interact with the organizational system (internal customers and external customers) for business efficiency.
o In most of the cases the ability of the candidate is measured by the involvement at college efforts and execution. Interms of being part of various groups for knowledge sharing, competition, formal forums, seminars and any external events organized by the teams.
• Self-Learning Ability
o The Ability to learn quickly and by oneself with the help of self exploration and acquired by seeking support in learning. Ability to learn new things and by self motivation.
o Many a times it’s the ability of the individual to acquire the new knowledge and that becomes the organizational competency. Organisations would welcome people who made their own efforts to learn as teams or as collective information. Eg: whethere the person learned by going to an institute or as a group/individual acquired the knowledge by seeking right information from people who are experts.
• Creative & Innovative: The ability of the individual to think differently and constantly improve day by day.
o The assessment is done based on the creative way that the individual approached to problems. Also assessed based on any individualistic or team innovation in creating new things. Any new projects or products created during the college days would always add value.
• Business Understanding: The ability of the individual to understand the business and apply for the job that is been assigned.
o This is one of the most difficult quality from a fresher to understand the business, but there is no choice. The ability is must for the individual to have a clear picture of the business that the companies he is targeting. Its now-a-days easy to understand the business on Internet and also through references who knows about the company.
• Presentation Skills : Ability of the individual to understand the context and present appropriate information either one-to-one or one-to-many and/or people at large. This is the ability which helps while the person grows in career hence the need to be identified at the level of team member.
o Presentation skills are assessed based on the individual’s presentations made in Seminars, lectures and any of the group activities using Technological support for effectiveness.

The Additional qualities which are essential based on the areas of work that you would get into. For the current purpose on IT the following are focused.
• Development ( Typical Job is to build futuristic products and development of IT products using software tools with a view to help in ease of business processes.)
o Futuristic : Ability to visualize the future of product in line with Business. Able to understand the futuristic and multiple expectation from inviduals to be taken into consideration while developing products.
o Error(Bug) Free Development: The ability to go indepth to make it a error free and trouble free for the user would earn good marks for the development work.
• Testing ( Typical Job involves in testing the products developed during or/and after development stage using automated test tools or writing scripts for testing. )

o User View Point: The ability to understand the user requirement to use the software and test. Test done based on the rules by the user would bear in mind. The lesser the errors at the user end the better the testing by the individual.
o Tools Usage: The ability to use the right set of tools and/or create right set of scripts to test keeping user view point.
• Maintenance ( Typical job involves in managing improvements / modifications / customizations based on the customer requirements from time to time). This is one of the most difficult task in the entire programming field, look at the details you undestand why!!!
o Eye to Details : Since its not the first time that the program is done, the ability to review the thousands of Lines of Code to be cracked for improving and managing.
o Other View Point: It is essential to understand the view point and the understanding of the other programmers who would have written the code before you.
Common for NON-IT and Engineering Careers:
• Technology Adaptation: One of the most critical quality that makes a difference in a fresh Engineer is Appreciation of Technology & Using Technology for better productivity. This ability keeps one ahead in terms of improved productivity and ability to take on more.
• People Management : This is the skill which becomes the part and parcel of the job while at the Team member level. As there are many who are basically in the lower level (blue color workmen) and works operational level of jobs.
Few Hints/Suggestions :
2. Use every opportunity at college to participate and contribute
• If you are a sports person, participating in most of the competitions and specially team events would be of great help. Alternatively if you have participated individually and as a special interest would help to project your initiative levels.
• Being a member of your college committees for contributing your efforts be a great help in team working ability.
• Creating technical working groups which can help enhance your technology and functional expertise in your area of specialization.
• Your participation and/or taking initiatives in creating cultural committee for your annual day or any specific occasion would be of great help in viewing you as a person who can make the environment congenial.
• If you have participated in any of the Seminars done by your college and outside college would also help in projecting your acumen for contribution to newer areas/places.
• Participate in Inter-college Competition related to Cultural or Team Events.
• Any individual projects or group projects other than your curriculum would help in projecting you to be an innovative and creative Bee.
3. Interact with each of the guest faculty who visits your college and seek information that you are interested. Do a bit of ground work on the speaker in advance and list questions that you would like to answer.
4. If you are doing any part time work/activity please do mention it as it would add a great value of understanding the ground realities. For Eg: Private tuitions for college or EMCET students would be great help in projecting you have the ability of teaching (you could be a internal faculty for the company!!!)
5. Form a group of individuals at your own locality who are in Engineering etc., and create a study group for Technology Learning which are not taught in your college curriculum. This would project your self learning abilities and companies can rely on you to pickup the new technology if they hire you.
6. Identify the people who are working in the related positions in organizations and visit them to see the realistic picture at companies.
7. Be a group member of the various Institutes which would help you to give you the Industry perspective or Technology perspective based on their programs.
8. Pickup the projects which are more practical and used by the industry at the end of the program. This would give you the edge to project your ability to contribute to the business if you are hired.
9. Understand all the quality standards that are used in organizations like ISO, CMM etc., This would project your ability to think process oriented manner.
10. Just don’t go by doing every and any course or tools suggested by people (It may be good for them not for you). The more independent and self acquisition of knowledge would give you the job first.
11. Do not choose any function tool training without the expertise is built with experience. EG: The most common mistake is done by freshers is to do a Functional ERP course like HR, Sales & Distribution etc., (which is absolute ZERO value).
12. Skills – what you know and can do whereas Competency is the ability to use effectively your skill.


Nitish said...

I was very impressed by the article. I would like to know more as to how much do extra qualifications like recognised certifications add up to one's weightage of claim to a job and how does a hiring firm view it?

Anonymous said...

What Corporate are looking in Freshers.

1- Smart - Mean Good Learner / Self-Learning Ability
2- Good Communication Skills - Can Communicate with Clients
3- TechSavvy - Know Tools like MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc
4- Team Player - Part of Team
5- Creative & Innovative

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