March 14, 2023 - Concern over a looming global recession has skewed the labour market in favour of employers, and the odds of clearing an interview is decreasing rapidly for job aspirants, following the hiring frenzy just a few quarters ago, said industry executives.
More and more candidates are preparing for interviews with the help of coaching firms and are willing to cough up ₹2,500 for two preparatory sessions, they added. Rising demand for mock interviews have prompted job portals to tie up with interview outsourcing firms, which appoint industry executives to train candidates on responding to probable questions and tests.
For instance, Flocareer, an interview outsourcing platform, has partnered job portals for offering two mock interview sessions for ₹1,200-2,500 for candidates who want to apply for a profile. “It is now an employer’s market and we are getting 1,000 candidates per month who are willing to pay to get interview ready," said Mohit Jain, co-founder and head of India operations at Flocareer.
The Bengaluru-based firm started the business of preparing candidates just three months ago and also offers interview panellists to India Inc.
Typically, companies like Flocareer stack up interviews with freelancers or working professionals from a sector where demand is high, to train aspirants. The first session is a technical round while the second revolves around discussions. A candidate looking for an IT sector job may be tested on her coding skills in the first round, and those for the retail sector on the costing proposals of products, executives said.
iMocha, a skill assessment platform, has received several requests from its clients to design stricter mock tests for interviews. “When it was an employee’s market, some specialized skills were in demand, but peripheral skills were not essential. Now, the market has turned and even peripheral skills are included under essentials," said Vishal Madan, head of engineering, iMocha.
In the last three months, 10-15 clients have asked for more questions for the assessment tests and mock interview sessions to make the process better, said Madan. “We expect more requests in the coming few months."
Until a few quarters ago, for IT firms, coders were in demand, but knowing details about the different programmes on the cloud, and certifications, were not essential, but now companies are asking for them, he added.
The reversal in trend for the job market has taken place over the last three quarters, especially for IT firms and the startup sector. Besides, mass scale layoffs and a hiring freeze, most firms have made their interview processes stringent for the must-have job openings. A tougher selection criteria kicks in when the available talent pool is large and the negotiation powers are no longer with the candidates.
In fact, according to Saran Balasundaram, founder of HanDigital, a tech recruitment firm, said rejection rates of candidates have risen by up to 50%. Now the company has started training recruiters on Java, Devops and other programmes, so that they can assess, train, and interview candidates better, Balasundaram said. “ We have started training them for six weeks to bring down the rejection rates from clients’ side."