When “Brexit” news was hitting all across the globe two weeks back, my memory was taken back 8 years during “Lehman days”. Those were the days filled with fun and hectic schedules just when we entered our second year of MBA. All of a sudden the “Lehman Crisis” hit the market in September 2008 and we were like how does it matter.
The immediate calamity was obviously Lehman India which used to visit lot of top B-Schools and recruit graduates in large numbers. The bad news started coming down one after other when all of the top finance and consulting companies had either gone into a recruitment freeze or cut down their campus recruitment in large numbers. Things became more difficult when Indian Banks and finance companies also stopped visiting some campuses. Panic was norm and people who got Pre-Placement Offers (PPO) were seen as luckiest of all. That was also the time when all top B-Schools in India opened their slots and gates for the major public sector companies and banks who were willing to try out the best talent that a B-School had to offer.
Why Recruitment literally lags when economic crisis hits the market
The main issue with any company’s recruitment policy is not the economic problem but the uncertainty associated with it. Most companies, which recruit at campuses, do so based on some planning and how they see their business growing in coming years and accordingly plan for recruitment from campuses. When economies are tumbling, there is always an uncertainty on how it might impact the company. The decision to recruit becomes a judgment call which many managers were not comfortable with. The result – either freeze the process or cut down the numbers in large number.
What the booms and busts had taught us:
- We, as individuals, are limited in our capacity to predict business boom and busts
- Recruitment cycle follow the same trend as that of the economy or any industry
- The best talent in the country are not fully equipped to face the uncertainty which an economic meltdown brings
- There are many things in life which were not taught at a B-School but they should
How do we cope with this?
- Irrespective of booms and busts we should always have a list of options or sectors which we want to enter
- look for the profile rather than money (I have seen many cases where people shifted jobs multiple times because of lack of clarity)
- Re-structure your education loans with banks if you feel the need to have some breathing space
- Enjoy your decision and always look for learning something new