It is that time of the year when the selection process of the future Placement Coordinators (PCs) will be underway with the present PCs passing on the baton in a few months’ time.
One thing that everyone is aware of is the fact that PCs are responsible for helping the Placement Centre in providing job opportunities to the students and facilitating the process of placement. But they are pretty much oblivious to the selection procedure and the responsibilities associated with a PC. Team MM took the initiative of clearing all the doubts and myths of the future aspirants and giving an insight into the selection procedure, duties and the qualities required to be a post holder in the placement committee.
PLACEMENT COORDINATOR (PC) SELECTION PROCEDURE
- Form Filling: The process starts with filling of a form where the applicants need to put in their details and answer questions concerning their awareness regarding the placement procedures. Two students from each branch are selected for the next round, which is duly accepted by the Head of Department (HoD) and submitted to the TnP. There is no fixed procedure pertaining to the selection of those two students. There may be formal elections held with students putting forward their agendas and plans or the HoD may conduct interviews for the aspirants. The selection of the two candidates should be preferably on the basis of their ability and a common consensus has to be there on their performance capabilities.
- If there is a scenario where only one student is interested to take up the position, then all the students of that branch end up with a unanimous choice. Such an instance was witnessed during the selection of PC candidates for Mining and Industrial Design branches.
- After this procedure, the aspirants have an introductory meeting with Prof. B.B Biswal, Mr. R.K Sinha andthe current PCs to eliminate all the myths surrounding the placement cell and its procedures.
- Tasks: Seven to eight tasks are then given to the contenders, out of which two to three of them will be individual tasks and the rest to be done in a team. All of the tasks are to be completed within a short period of two weeks.
Example of an individual task: Collecting contacts of companies within two to three days or organising mock GD sessions or mock interviews with your branch competitor.
Example of a team task: Collecting contacts of some sectors of companies with other PC aspirants.
- Interview rounds: First interview is with the current PCs, where they review the tasks and grill the contenders to test their patience and ability to handle pressure in extreme situations. The interviews may span from 15 minutes to 2 hours. The final interview is taken by Prof B.B Biswal and Mr. R.K Sinha where they question the candidates in both the academic and non-academic areas as well as their plans if selected as a PC.
After all the above procedures are completed, the candidates are reviewed and the final PC list is taken out. There can also be a situation where none of the candidates after the interview rounds are selected for the post. In that situation, the whole process is repeated for that branch and task by the new candidate has to be done in one week, instead of the usual two.
SELECTION OF POSTION OF REPONSIBILITY IN THE PLACEMENT COMMITTEE
There are presently six positions of responsibility (PoR) within the placement committee.
- Secretary (known as the Chief Placement Coordinator or CPC)
- Two Joint Secretaries
- Joint Secretary for Higher Studies and Internship
- Two Joint Secretaries for Interface
The Secretary and the Joint Secretaries are the post holders who are the overall leaders of the placement committee. The selection of the above posts starts after the final selection of PCs has been done. The interested ones might have another interview with Prof. B.B Biswal.
WORKING OF THE NEW PCs DURING SUMMER
The working of the new PCs starts immediately after being elected. They have to come in contact with the outgoing PCs, considering that the knowledge of the previous PCs come in handy for the new ones. Meetings are held with proper agendas and targets are set for the upcoming year.
One important work that is done during the summer is the placement brochure, which is to be completed under the guidance of Prof. B.B. Biswal. Databases of companies are refreshed as HRs change their job frequently. Drafting of official mails and invitation is also done during this time.
WHAT SHOULD BE THE QUALITIES OF A PC?
The most important quality is that one has to be selfless. He/she should not be a PC who wants to hold a position just to get a good job. Team management and maintaining rapport with other team members is another important trait which should be present in a PC as there are many chances that two PCs may end up calling the same company for their respective branches, hence leaving a bad impression on the possible recruiters. But patience is the stand out quality required by the PC to survive. They may have to do and listen to things which may not be very pleasing. It is a tense job and should not create conflicts when it comes to important decisions to be taken.
Punctuality is very important in this job. A PC can’t afford to turn up late for a recruitment process. Logistics arrangement needs to be done timely. Procrastination has no place in the life of a PC.
Good communication skills ensures better interaction with the HRs of companies and helps in resolving issues which might crop up during a process. Team members can have different take on a single issue. One must argue with reason and take the entire team along when a decision is made. A PC must be impartial in every situation. One must agree to keep the work of placement committee as the topmost priority, much higher than clubs or societies of which he/she may be a part of.
In the end, perseverance is the key to convert a prospective recruiter to a campus recruiter. It might take several weeks and months to convince a new company to recruit from the institute. One must not lose his motivation and keep following up until the company agrees.
PCs have to work round the year and surely there is no Sunday.
BENEFITS OF BEING A PC
According to the present PCs, it is the satisfaction of doing such a noble job that brings contentment to them. They are of the opinion that they got to learn a lot many things and have got accustomed to working in pressure situations, which would be helpful to them in future. It is not entirely true that a PC would have an advantage over others during the recruitment procedure, though the previous rapport with the HRs while coming into contact with them may help a bit.
- Leave from classes: Though the PCs have to sacrifice their classes to give their time to their duty in the placement cell, leave from classes is given by the TnP.
- Reimbursement of calls made to companies: It is a wrong notion that the PCs are reimbursed for the calls made to the companies. Though there is a telephone in the placement cell for the official work, most of the PCs resort to using their mobile phones to call up companies.
- Date clash of companies: Dates are decided after mutual agreement with the companies. If the PCs foresee any clashing of dates for two companies, they try to shift one of them to a different date. Generally, two companies coming for the same section of students do not come on the same date. If it does happen, then the students either have the choice of appearing for both the companies if their timings do not clash or give priority to one company. PCs try to ensure that a person is able to appear for both companies by clever management of the interview or test schedule.
- Placement co-ordinator is completely responsible for the success or failure of the placement scenario of their branch: It is absolutely not true. Market conditions are an important factor that determine the placement scenario during that year. If the market conditions are not good, then irrespective of the work put in by the PC, the placement scenario will not be up to the expectation. For example, Mining department suffered because of change in the company’s recruitment policy which wasmass recruiter for them. Adding to that, the shutting down of coal blocks furthered the problems.
- Secretary is usually from a branch having larger number of students (CS, Electrical, and Mechanical etc.):There is absolutely no rule that the secretary has to be from a branch having more students. If a candidate has a capability and can manage a team, then he/she stands a chance to become the secretary, irrespective of the department.