An HCL like job drive debacle can happen to anyone! How to avoid in future?

This Monday morning I was dimly greeted with the news in Bangalore Mirror about the predicament at the HCL walk-in drive which happened on Sunday 24th Jan 2016. The coverage in the newspaper stated that ‘8000 candidates showed up for the walk-in when the company was expecting only 500’. As per the news article, the interview had to be cancelled and the company officials had to call in cops to control and disperse the crowd. One of the candidates, who had travelled all the way from Gwalior to attend this drive, said to Bangalore Mirror “I got to know about the recruitment drive through social media. Most of us were sent back without giving an interview. They could have just asked us to update our resumes online. We had to wait for hours in the queue and later they asked us to hand over the resumes and leave. There are people from several states who left after the cops started using lathis to clear the crowd.”

We come across such situations pretty often; I thought of sharing my learnings here.
There are many companies where recruitment drives have resulted in utter chaos. Is it right to make an issue of unemployment as the main reason for such a debacle A situation like this can be taken as a chain reaction of things gone wrong. Firstly, a miscalculation from decision makers in a company to predict numbers can be a decisive reason for things to go wrong. Secondly, the advertisement about the walk-in being put up randomly on various social media portals. Here an important thing to note is that candidates shouldn’t depend on groups on Facebook and other such websites to find information about walk-ins. Also, it is important for the HR to contact portals which can handle walk-in drives in a structured way.

We conducted a large scale drive for an MNC recently. 3000 candidates were scheduled to attend the interview. We started the process from 8 am and we could complete GD, online assessment, technical rounds and interview (HR) by 7pm on the same day! We sent 7800 admit cards in 4 batches. Each batch comprising of 1950 candidates. An average of 750 admit cards were downloaded in each batch and 3000 attended the drive in total at a popular engineering college in Bangalore.

Here are a few things that need to be kept in mind for conducting a successful drive-

Importance of a proper vendor

A comprehensive recruitment partner is the most important part of a successful drive. Many MNC’s that have a dedicated campus team still prefer to engage with vendors like because we have the expertise to conduct drives that are driven by business intelligence. We can predict a turn-up for any drive 3 days before the drive actually happens. These numbers are based on turn-up ratio, reach analysis, brand outlook and location that we have learned from our previous drives.

Structure it right.

We have conducted 3000+ successful drives all over India. Drives are to be scheduled in batches and admit cards of each candidate are to be verified.

Pre-filter and invite only eligible candidates

Invite candidate applications online, pre-filter the candidates based on eligibility and send admit cards only to them to avoid confusions at venue.

Take care of out-station candidates separately

Most of the out-station candidates are accompanied by their parents. Hence invite them only if it’s necessary and handle them in 2nd or 3rd batch as they can comfortably reach in the morning and attend.

Tracking Fake call-letters

We have a full-proof intelligent mechanism to track fake call-letters. Forwarded call-letters are easily tracked. We check the same to ensure that no candidate with a fake call-letter walks in. This has two impacts on the success rate of a drive-

1) Only eligible candidates appear for the recruitment drive, verification /registration time taken is reduced. 
2) Over-crowding can be avoided.

Importance of venue

Conducting a large job drive in an office facility is never a good idea. A college which is easily accessible and has good infrastructure to handle large crowd would be the ideal location. Having good support staff from the college gives you an extra edge on the drive day. With over 5000+ campus connects, we are able to help MNC’s find the best location for the recruitment drives.

While it is always a good idea to engage a vendor for your next big drive, following the above mentioned pointers can make sure that you are able to conduct a successful drive.