The current economic downturn has hit hard on companies’ focus on graduate recruiting. Corporations have reduced recruiting budget dramatically. Layoffs, hiring freezes, and reduced work hours are among the remedies to stave off the downturn. Some offers to new recruits have been retracted. An area hit the hardest have been companies’ focus on campus recruiting.
Dearth of Students
In Asia’s two largest economies, China and India, we’ve seen a dramatic slow-down in campus recruiting. A dearth of students are competing for jobs against millions of other graduates looking for jobs in an environment where there are less jobs to go around. The few companies present have seen a significant increase in applicants vying for the same jobs. Students unable to find jobs last year continue to compete for the current crop of jobs.
In China, graduates are competing for scarce jobs with reportedly some 6.1 million graduates. The government is concern that prolonged unemployment will create frustration and unrest. Students are asked to take on humble jobs, any jobs at all.
Indian MBA grads typically receive several offers in hand by the time they graduate. It’s a stark contrast for this years batch of graduates. Campus recruiting have dropped by more then 50% or more.
Plan B – Back to School
According to the Yale Daily News, the graduate schools are seeing an increase in admissions applications, driven by students looking for a leg up in — and shelter from — the deteriorating global economy. Their international applications grew by 10% this year.
According to an Asia, Inc interview of Business School Deans and Program Directors, the impact of the financial crisis has impacted their recruitment and placement programs. Applicants have gone up for top B-School programs.
- NUS saw a record number of applications — at more than 5,800 for just about 200 places.
- At Asia Institute of Management, their students continue to be hopeful for jobs in the banking and corporate finance, but they will be realistic and will cast their search wide to non-financial sectors such as telecommunications, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, consumer goods, IT and KPO.
- Students at the Universiti Putra Malaysia hope that when they complete their studies, the economy should have picked up and the students should be ready for better positions with the MBA degree.
Ideas to Overcome the Job Search Barrier
This year will be a tough year for anyone looking for a job. One has to work harder and smarter then the next person out there.
- Leverage your social network. Tap on Facebook or LinkedIn but, focus in on alumni and former colleagues you know. Ask them for leads.
- Send out a Tweet. Twitter can help you get out the word fast. It is even better if there is a link to a CV or a personal blog, so interested decisions makers can easily review your profile.
- Blog about your passion. Blogging is a excellent in communicating your passions and abilities to a target audience. It can get your noticed by prospective employers. If not, recruiters scouting the social media will be able to locate you.
- Offline networking. Finding a job is about meeting people. Networking events, seminars, conferences are excellent ways to meet people directly.