The business environment today continues to be very dynamic, and this has, of necessity, influenced the way organizations strategize to achieve the desired business results.
If we look into the outlines of the industry, we will observe a significant shift in job requirements in the market today, especially in the manufacturing sector. It is not anymore about 'how many' you hire to perform the job but rather about 'how much' value you add to the organization.
What are organizations looking for?
Organizations are looking for talents who have received training in emerging technologies. Companies are focusing on recruiting individuals who demonstrate soft skills and multi-tasking abilities with superior levels of disruptive thinking and analytical abilities.
For a manufacturing and engineering company, domain knowledge is a very critical aspect of the business. Domain knowledge depicts an in-depth understanding of business, process and industry. While this is a necessary condition for being hired, the edge comes from the other attributes a candidate brings to the table - a curious mind, a flexible approach, and the ability to take concepts to meticulous execution.
The industry today needs young and talented individuals who can think strategically and flexibly, and are therefore able to change course depending on the fluctuating demands of business. While a large part of this ability is intrinsic to the individual, it also comes from the investment an individual is willing to make in oneself. Seeking knowledge, reading widely, awareness of market and economic trends, willingness to grow using multi-directional paths, flexibility in outlook, willingness for multi-dimensional growth are all aspects that an individual needs to have as a goal.
Role played by Educational institutions
Educational institutions play a vital role in developing these skills in students and making them ready for the corporate world. As far as the manufacturing industry is concerned, Engineering colleges and Management schools are the prime source of preliminary knowledge building and skill development. The knowledge of engineering and business skills for most profiles today are elementary. The days of specialization are gradually phasing out and people with different abilities and skills are getting priorities.
Higher Educational Institutions like Management schools form important catalysts of growth. The direction and investment they make in their students determine the talent that will generate in the next few years. The class composition seems to have changed where the skew on engineering students seems to have increased over the years. The question which arises on the skill gaps emerging from Management schools is -if students view Business Management as an additional Masters Program for employment or consider this as a genuine knowledge addition for a career choice. There is a need for Educational Institutes today to provide the necessary infrastructure, projects and exposure for their students, so that these students are better prepared for industry challenges. One of the biggest barriers in the industrial world while hiring fresh talent from colleges is their "Low readiness to serve and be productive." Due to a long cycle time to develop productivity in fresh talent, a large number of organizations hesitate in hiring freshers. Educational Institutes are in dire need to build a curriculum that is focused on the industry. The curriculum, while including focus on building fundamental concepts of engineering or management, also needs to expose students to real-time corporate situations and projects.
To meet these needs, organizations today are actively collaborating with institutions to identify the potential employees and provide necessary skill building and multi-skilling to match the shift in demand of skill sets.
Individual skill development:
As students plan to enter the business world, they need to groom themselves with knowledge and skills as part of their development process. Some guidelines that would help them in the process:
1. Know yourself. What gives you satisfaction; what would frustrate you; what is your typical working style; what is your personal interaction style. There are a number of psychological instruments that can help.
2. Chart your career. Think through where you would like to be 10 years from now, 5 years from now, 3 years from now. Then identify the kind of skills you would need to help you on this path. Talk to as many people as you can, who can provide you insights on how to embark on this journey.
3. Identify the right organization. The right organization will accelerate your learning and growth, and will catapult you much faster in your journey. So look for organizations that are willing to invest in people, who have the right values, and the right leaders, and position yourself to be attractive to them. It is worth mentioning here, that compensation should never be the driver as you start your career.
4. Own skilling up. Find out what it will take to be successful in the career and the organization of your choice, and start preparing in advance! The preparation will show!
5. Be your own ambassador. Present yourself well. Be prepared for the 2 minute elevator speech opportunity. Remember, you are not in college anymore.
Ingersoll Rand India, is a provider of a wide range of products, services and solutions for energy efficiency, productivity and operations to its clients in the Automotive, Real Estate, Food and Hospitality verticals. Headquartered in Bangalore, the company has close to 2500 employees.