Sreeradha Basu, The Economic Times

60% of students choose job security over pay hikes: Unstop 2024 Talent Report

According to a recent survey conducted by Sreeradha Basu, editor at The Economics Times, talks about the Unstop 2024 Talent Report which surveyed over 11,000 students, university partners, and HR professionals, revealing key insights about the job market in India. Among the findings, 60% of students prioritize job security over pay raises, with 53% expressing fear of not finding a job in their preferred field.

Amid concerns around the job market and layoffs, 60% of students surveyed in the Unstop 2024 Talent Report chose job security over pay hikes; 53% said their biggest fear was the inability to find a job in their preferred field.

The survey covered 11,000-plus students, university partners and HR professionals found that only 7% of Indian colleges achieve a 100% placement record.

Meanwhile, the gender pay disparity is alive and kicking, found the annual report by the talent discovery, engagement and hiring platform for students and graduates. In Arts, Science & Commerce streams, the most common offer for men was Rs 6-10 lakh; for women, it was Rs 2-5 lakh.

In engineering colleges, average salary was nearly the same for men and women though in B-Schools, 55% of men received an offer of over Rs 16 lakh, compared to 45% of women.

The report shared insights and trends about the hiring and talent scenario in India, revealing that 81% of HR professionals agreed that their organizations are actively hiring. 88% of HR practitioners expressed a strong preference for Skill-based hiring, prioritizing candidates' abilities over other factors such as experience, academics, references, internships, and projects.

Unstop's report also revealed a drop from the previous year's 14% to 10% of students interested in working for startups, with 45% of B-school students preferring established and legacy firms. In comparison, 52% of engineering students expressed openness to working with any company. Marketing emerged as the top preferred domain for B-school students, while Finance and Analytics topped the list for Arts and Science students.

There exists a significant disconnect between the perceptions of recruiters, university partners (Training and Placement Officers) and students, the report found. While 91% of students believe their college curricula offer an adequate level of preparedness for a job, 66% of recruiters and 42% of university partners feel the skill gap and lack of preparation, respectively, are major challenges in campus recruitment.

"By highlighting the preferences and concerns of students and HR professionals, we aim to bridge the gap between talent supply and demand, enabling more informed decision-making and fostering a more efficient and effective hiring process," said Ankit Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of Unstop in a statement.