Friday, June 24, 2011

IIM-A to convince recruiters to reveal data about salary

The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) plans to take the lead in convincing recruiters to share data relating to the salaries they offer B-school graduates during recruitment. The details, relating mainly to the guaranteed cash component and variable pay, will be used in a pan-India placement reporting standards initiative that is being adopted by various B-schools. This will help in standardising salaries and making the process more transparent. It will also aim to bring compatibility between business schools.

B-school representatives, who met at a conference hosted by IIM-A last week, said it was not easy to get salary data from recruiters because of confidentiality reasons. To which IIM-A placements committee chairperson, Professor Saral Mukherjee, said his institute would try and convince companies, at various for a, to share the data.

IIM-A had prepared a draft for the placements reporting standards in February, and had sought online feedback from all the stakeholders, like students, recruiters, other B-schools and ranking agencies. IIM-A has already implemented the standards on its campus, informed Prof Mukherjee, adding that the institute was able to get the salary data of 210 out of 312 students.

"We will talk to recruiters to get detailed data about the guaranteed cash and Maximum Earning Potential (variable portion) components," Mukherjee said. "If we prepare placements reporting standards only for IIM-A, they will provide transparency and authenticity, but not necessarily compatibility. For that, we need others to do this as well. We have spoken to other B-schools about this, and are open to suggestions from all the stakeholders for the standards."

Some stakeholders are responding positively. Deepika Pandita, Assistant Professor and Placement Advisor for the Symbiosis Institute of Business Management in Pune, said: "I felt that IIM-A was quite flexible. This is the first time an IIM is going ahead with transparency in the decision-making process, with the support of the other, relatively smaller B-schools."

IIM-A has been trying to bring change at various levels. Last year it replaced the day-based placements process with a 'cohorts' system, which helps reduce pressure on both students and recruiters. In October, it organised a recruiters' conclave in Mumbai, where it invited the placements heads of leading B-schools to give their views on the cohort-based placements process.

There weren't that many takers for this, however. "We shared our experience with Bschools during the Mumbai conclave, and we are ready to help any institute take this up," Mukherjee said. "But no institute has contacted us for introducing the cohort-based process yet." Nevertheless, IIM-A has found that a conference or a large gathering of stakeholders is the best way to gauge reactions to a new initiative. Which is why at last week's meeting, it proposed the pan-India placements reporting standards before the participants.

After taking suggestions from the others, IIM-A has made some changes to the reporting standards draft. For instance, a number of B-schools disagreed that since internships are an academic requirement, this should be guaranteed by the institute. The draft was then modified to say that internship data would, henceforth, be segregated, based on whether it was secured through the institute or otherwise.

The conference was attended by representatives from 33 B-schools including the IIMs in Bangalore and Shillong, Xavier Institute of Social Services in Ranchi, Goa Institute of Management, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Taxila Business School, SP Jain from Mumbai and others.

"It is good to see that a premier B-school is inviting all the reputed as well as the not so well-known B-schools for discussion on an important issue," said Prakash Pathak, of the Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad. IIM-A will also organise a two-day event on redesigning the MBA programme in July, and has already invited a number of business schools to participate in this.

Source: The Economic Times, June 24, 2011

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