Layoffs: A Bigger Catastrophe than COVID-19?

City COVID-19

Rise in concerns over job security among recruited students in the country amidst the corona crisis.

Arti Peethambaran

Bangalore, April 16, 2020 

Students recruited in campus placements have been struck by the threat of layoffs amid the Coronavirus crisis. Usually, most business schools run campus placements every year between December and April. But now, COVID-19has led to the closure of both educational institutions and businesses. Placement processes have been halted or left incomplete at different stages for different institutions.With unemployment rising during these difficult times, fresh graduates are waiting in the wings and looking for their first job. 

“Since my third year, I have been preparing for placements. We have done mock assessments and interviews to get better, and now placements are not happening because of the lockdown in the country. Besides, when we send emails to companies for jobs, they say they can’t recruit students now,” said Mr. Hari Krishnan, a student at SRM University, Chennai. 

Trisharani Talukdar, student at Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) said, “One set of placements took place in December, most of the students did not get placed. All of us were eagerly looking forward to the placements in March; the cancellation of placements is extremely worrisome. Now, we know that there are going to be layoffs all over India and this has shattered our dreams.”

Students are having a hang now that they are going to graduate into a global recession. Many firms have reduced their recruitment of entry-level staff and more than a quarter firms have reduced the number of graduates they hire this year. While some firms are conducting online assessments and interviews, the majority of them have canceled recruitments.

A senior official from ACI Solutions Pvt Ltd said, “During these difficult times, it is really going to be challenging to hire students. We are expecting at least a 12 percent dip in hiring. Also, for those who have been placed, there are chances that the companies might revoke the offer.”

Ramesh Pokhiyal, HRD Minister had requested companies not to withdraw any job offers that have been given to students through campus placements due to the economic issues caused by the COVID-19 catastrophe.

According to a few students from IIT-Guwahati and an internal survey conducted by them, in 2019, 48 percent of the business organizations were looking for full-time employees and more than 50 percent to hire as temporary recruits. Now, the recruitment process has completely stopped. “It is extremely regretful for students facing an employment crisis during this time, but they should not lose hope. Write or send CV’s to as many companies as possible. Explore the startup avenues for jobs. Learn additional skills like a foreign language so when the crisis is over and the time is right, they earn the job faster”, said Mrs. Shakuntala Nath, Educationalist.  


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