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How Corporates Should Approach Skills Gap Training for Campus Hires and Recruits

Did you know that organizations over the world allocate a substantial budget to train new campus hires and make them “job-ready”? In colleges in India, the campus placement wing functions closely with different departments and faculty leaders to devise an optimal training program that helps prepare students for a career once they graduate. Unfortunately, this is not enough. The Indian academic system in its current form is riddled with problems.

As a society, there is a mindset among parents to let their students become engineers, doctors, lawyers, or chartered accountants. This has led to a situation, wherein engineering colleges have mushroomed across the country. Most of these colleges do not have qualified team of faculty members. Students living in tier-2 and tier-3 towns struggle to meet the rigors of a tough curriculum. This has forced organizations, especially in the I.T. and core engineering streams to devise a training curriculum for campus hires that prepares them to work efficiently. This blog focuses on providing some solutions that organizations can implement to meet the challenges of skills gap training for new hires.

What are the Primary Skills Gaps Observed in Campus Hires?

The skills gap is defined as the gap or distance between the skills required to perform a job or task satisfactorily and the actual skills that the person possesses. The challenge for recruiters when they hire a fresher / young graduate from a college with no or limited experience is to identify the learning capabilities of the individual. As Steve Jobs famously said, “One needs to hire for attitude, skills can always be taught.”

Recruiters report the following as the most common skills gaps:

  • Lack of communication skills – This includes spoken and written English language skills.

  • Lack of basic computing skills – This primarily involves using the Microsoft Office suite of tools like PowerPoint, Word, and Excel and research abilities using the Internet.

  • Lack of subject-specific knowledge – This is dependent on the area of study and work.

  • Office etiquette – This is an important training element. Most young campus recruits remain in the mindset of being at college or university and may not understand how to interact with senior employees at work and follow the rules of the workplace. New employee training and induction programs, usually incorporate a session on office etiquette and understanding the rules of the organization.

How to Address the Skills Gap?

Large IT organizations in India like Infosys and Wipro have designed a strong training program for freshers and new campus recruits that mimics the college atmosphere. Once the student is selected, he or she is sent to the organization’s learning campus, wherein they undergo a subject-specific training program that usually lasts from nine months to a year. The program offers a strong foundation in Mathematics, Computing, and English Language skills. It is designed in close partnership with academic experts and working professionals and includes regular assignments, tests, mock projects, and a final qualifying exam, which tests the learners on all parameters. Only those who clear the qualifying exam, go on to become full-time employees, who are then assigned actual projects.

In pre-Covid times, these programs were offered on-campus at the learning centers of these organizations. The two years that were lost to Covid-19 forced organizations to adapt and come up with digital learning solutions, which would enable these campus recruits to learn from the convenience of their residence. Using a mix of online self-paced learning programs and virtual instructor-led training courses, organizations were able to ensure that learning did not stop and a fresh batch of campus recruits progressed to become properly trained employees.

Now as the world is learning to live with Covid and offices resume with hybrid working models, organizations are getting busy preparing for the upcoming hiring season. News of layoffs in tech and another economic recession hitting us are floating. The saga at Twitter and Meta is just the tip of the iceberg and this is a course correction that is taking place as organizations look to cut losses, offer a clear exit for older employees, and invest in fresh and young talent that will cost them a fraction of the salaries that they pay to seasoned and experienced employees.

Digital Learning Solutions for Skills Gap Training

Digital learning solutions can be used by organizations to foster learning at the workplace and bridge the skills gap in new campus hires to prepare them to meet the challenges of a full-fledged career. Given below are some steps that organizations can take to deploy such digital learning solutions:

  • Set up a learning portal that offers a guided learning path and helps the campus recruits learn at their own pace.

  • Offer a streamlined and structured curriculum that offers a mix of subject and role-specific skills and basic office etiquette and communication skills.

  • Use microlearning and mobile app-based learning solutions with a focus on video-based content to deliver impactful and focused learning.

  • Use learning nudges in the form of email and message notifications to motivate learners to complete their daily quota of learning and assessments.

  • The L&D team should be proactive in giving constructive feedback at regular intervals and help the young recruits acquire learning with a positive frame of mind.

  • L&D teams should also be open to receiving feedback from learners and updating the course content and curriculum accordingly to make it learner-friendly and relevant to the role/skills required.

  • Use elements of gamification and social learning to make the whole process of acquiring knowledge and new skills interesting and rewarding.

  • Use formative and summative assessments and mock or practice projects to test the skills of the learners regularly and ascertain if the curriculum and teaching strategies used are fine.

  • Bring in blended learning, using instructor-led training and virtual instructor-led training, as required to add a human touch to the learning process and give learners feedback in real time.

  • Use a trustworthy eLearning vendor who can create customized digital learning solutions to meet your training needs.

Training – Costs vs. Benefits

Finance Teams will always question the spending of funds and look for benefits to the company and return on investment. Decision-makers in any organization will look at how to increase the revenue of their organization. Training campus recruits and upskilling or reskilling existing employees is an integral part of the whole process of driving learning at the workplace, improving employee confidence, and in turn, increasing organizational revenues.

A Gartner survey of HR leaders found that one key area of focus for HR was to build critical skills and competencies among employees. About 68% of the survey respondents highlighted this point as their key focus area.

Training existing staff can be cheaper than hiring experienced new staff. But this model changes when we consider hiring fresh campus recruits. The cost of bringing a young graduate into the workforce and training them sufficiently to join the organization with all the skills needed to work efficiently will be lesser when compared to hiring and training experienced staff.

An interesting statistic from HR Magazine illustrates the importance of investing in employee training and learning.

Companies that invest $1,500 on training per employee can see an average of 24% more profit than companies that invest less.


Are you looking to train the new campus recruits who have joined your organization? Are you keen on investing in employee learning to upskill and reskill your employees? At S4Carlisle, we work closely with your L&D and HR team to design and deploy impact-driven employee training eLearning programs. Write to us at to learn how we can help you.


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