Some organisations don’t employ Indian Institute of Management (IIM) grads from campus. “It’s not worth the trouble,” says the HR head of an Indian multinational. “You fight with 100 other companies to get the best people. You are insulted when they rate you as a Day Two company or a Day Three company, which means that there are dozens of others who are preferred employers. And then, when you take on board one such superman or superwoman at a very high cost, in six months he or she goes job hopping.”
Corporate India has reason to be disillusioned with IIM grads. A recent study shows that in the past two years, 40 per cent of the IIM- Bangalore grads who had accepted job offers from global firms quit within months. Some didn’t even bother to join. And these, mind you, are at Rs 50 lakh plus salaries with the best names in the business.
It is true that a job offer at many of these places is a sort of trophy which wins you the respect of your peers on campus. It even gets your name into the newspapers.
It is only a little later that realisation dawns. This wasn’t the job you wanted; you got carried away by the hype. Some sign off immediately. Others join, discover that they are a lowly peg in a world of super egos and quit within months.
In the past, it was somewhat different. First, global companies paid much more than their Indian counterparts. So the option to take up some other job was not so attractive. Second, a job with an MNC meant that you could expect a posting abroad, which would improve your career prospects.
Today, it’s the other way around. An MNC would expect you to spend some time abroad for training. But after that, like as not, you’d be back in India. That’s where the action is today. And you were taken, after all, because of your familiarity with India. It’s in the Indian companies on global takeover trail that you can expect a foreign career.
The other reason for this early job hopping is because they can. IIM grads won’t find a problem getting another job. There is great deal of job hopping today. People at business process outsourcing companies change jobs like they change their underwear due to a huge talent scarcity.
Research on MBAs in the West has not been able to come to any conclusions. Way back in 1971, a Harvard Business Review article was critical of the MBAs’ “disposition to change jobs frequently”. This observation was based on impressions. Other more rigorous studies have found that the higher the level of education, the more the chances of job hopping.
Studies in India have shown a range of results. Mafoi Global Search Services reports that job hopping is going up sharply. In 2004, 12-13 per cent of the previous year’s IIM batch shifted jobs within a year. This number rose to 18 per cent and 22-23 per cent in the next two years. Another study puts the figure in two years at 70 per cent plus.
Apart from job content, it’s the salary that’s the biggest reason for disillusionment. Often, a good deal of the Rs 1 crore plus figures being bandied about are in deferred benefits. (You don’t get them unless you stick around with the company for some time.) The monthly take home could be 10-20 per cent of the gross numbers. This is particularly true of a foreign posting, where the cost of accommodation is deducted from your package.
It doesn’t make sense for the IIM grad. Campus placements — on which lakhs are spent by each company — are not making much sense to them either. The time has come for a replacement.
A SLEW OF NEGATIVES
How job hopping colours views
A perception of volatility: People seldom realise the amount of money it takes to bring in and train someone new and set them up within the company structure. As a result, no sane employer wants to take on someone who has a history of disloyalty.
A perception of incompetence: What else is an employer to think when you have work experience at 10 firms' You look bad and incompetent. Reality may tell another tale, but the perception is that you are a job slut who did not perform.
A perception of impropriety: It is similar to incompetence, but much worse. This is the perception that you are not just a risky hire but also a dangerous one.
A lack of structure and growth in your life: Unless you fall into the miniscule minority with the mental fortitude to withstand multiple job changes year in and year out, relentless change is going to take a toll on you at some point. It can hit your friendships, personal relationships and your overall sense of wellness.