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Employability and Career development 16 January, 2013

Mr. Sankar Poonthuruthi

Mr. Sankar Poonthuruthi, Independent HR Consultant, Mumbai led the discussion on Online Gurukul on 16th January 2013 with his talk on "Employability and Career development".

The talk was based on Mr. Poonthuruthi’s experience of having met more than 500,000 candidates in recruitment over a span of 40 years.

Shortage of talent

Even though more than 160,000 engineers graduate every year in India, there is a shortage of talent in many organisations within the country.

Lack of General Awareness among the candidates

Mr. Poonthuruthi shared an experience of a campus recruitment drive in Kolkata where more than 5000 students from various colleges in the Eastern region of the country attended. Various IT companies assembled for recruitment in this drive. His company visited the program on Day 5 of the drive. But, he noticed that a lot of people were not happy and looked quite dejected, as they were not successful in getting recruited. The students were quite brilliant and very successful academically. But, their awareness levels were quite low. Even simple questions like who is the Prime Minister of the country or what is the language in Kerala seemed difficult for these students. Automatically companies won’t be interested in candidates who don’t clear a basic awareness levels.


Communication is a very important skill to be deployable in jobs from Day 1. It does not necessarily mean crafting great sentences or being poetic. Factors like how well do you get along with other people, how well do you understand others, how good is your listening capabilities and how well do you react to situations play a role in good communication. It is vital to develop these skills to be employable.

15 to 20 years ago, IT was the most attractive sector to engineering graduates. But, now there are more opportunities such as banking, retail, construction, hospitality etc. Just like China is the leader in manufacturing, India is a leader in service industry and this would require good communication skills.

Self Confidence

Project your self confidence to people and employers. The faith that “I will be ready for it when it comes” is vital for career success. Remember “All is well” in the movie 3 idiots?

Develop Your Skills

There are various intrinsic and hidden talents in all of us. Developing these secondary skills will help us a lot in the long term.

In the beginning of your career in the IT industry, there is a practice of placing the candidates “in the bench”. During this period, you get trained in software of different kinds. Many feel why do they need to study so many things – are they going to be of use soon enough? But, you are not just learning the skills, you are also learning by interacting with other kinds of people in the job.

Learn from others who have done well professionally either within your company or outside. Later, learn to become a mentor to juniors.

Always aim how you can add to the bottom line of the organisation. For this you may need to take an overall view of the organisation and interact more with clients and so on even though it is not there in your key responsibility area.