“We look for a right balance between skills & aptitude in candidates” Priti Singh, Mastercard

“We look for a right balance between skills & aptitude in candidates” Priti Singh, Mastercard
Aeshwarya Tiwari | Oct 9, 2018 - 12:18 p.m. IST
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Priti Singh, VP- HR, South Asia of Mastercard discusses the various aspects of hiring at Mastercard and the impact of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the hiring process. She also highlighted the drawback of outdated curriculum which does not sync with the current dynamic industry trends...

Q. In a digital world, how has recruitment changed? What do you look for in a prospective employee today?
The fundamentals of recruitment do not change much in the digital world. However, technology makes the processes more efficient and objective. A candidate today does not always need to be a specialist but have the ability to upskill and take diverse business challenges that arise every day. Therefore, we try to find the right balance between skills and aptitude in a candidate. In order to enable professionals from Tier 2/3 cities to showcase their talent, companies are organizing hackathons on important and pertinent topics. Initiatives like these help brands in building a robust pipeline of professionals who result in being the company’s greatest assets with best competitive advantage.

Q. How are you building digital capabilities in your company? Are you hiring big numbers from the market?
Mastercard has an online training platform “Degreed” which caters to most of the training needs of the organization. This platform offers self-paced learning capability to employees. During our hiring process, we use an online assessment tool to evaluate students at various institutes which assists in initial funneling.

Q. How has the quality of fresh graduates changed over time? Why do you think Artificial Intelligence(AI) and Machine Learning (ML) has changed the scenario?

A. The quality of fresh graduates has definitely improved with the access to a plethora of information that is available to them. A recent survey by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), and United Nations Development Program, suggests that the employability score of new Indian graduates improved significantly compared to the last few years. This will lead to three key changes in the market—high competition among graduates, increased demand for high-quality employment, and easier search for Indian businesses to hire a job-ready workforce.
Technology makes the process of recruitment even more efficient and objective. For example, an AI- based program for screening candidate profiles can be extremely effective in shortlisting the relevant candidates. Similarly, machine learning can continue to make the system more relevant based on past experience. This also brings down the cost and turnaround time for recruitment.
However, the importance of human experience and skill for recruitment cannot be underestimated.

Q. Please share your views about the latest trend on campus hiring. Are there any special educational preferences given to candidates?
Today, more and more companies are hiring graduates based on the principle of blind recruiting i.e. less importance is given to the pedigree of college, technical streams in which they do their major, their grades etc. A lot of impetus is given to their problem-solving skills, analytical capability and coding skills which are evaluated through an online evaluation platform.

At Mastercard, we usually hire graduates who have pursued majors in Computer Science and Electronics and Telecommunication for roles in the field of technology as these are important to draw synergies with the roles they play at Mastercard.  

Q. Based on the few placement reports usually, you recruit for Consulting and Analytics role. What are the challenges you faced when recruiting for these roles during placement drive or what are the gaps that you find in terms of skill-set etc.? How do you evaluate them during the hiring process?
The biggest challenge is the outdated curriculum not in sync with the changing industry trends. We further conduct online assessment followed by a panel interview and HR interview.

Q. According to you, what are the major factors due to which students are not getting campus placement and sometimes not getting their preferred jobs?
One of the critical challenges that the students face is the lack of industry exposure early on. Due to this, they often fail to find an industry context and application of their academic knowledge. Moreover, the academic curriculum in the country has not kept pace with the changing demand for skill sets. To bring a positive change in this scenario, there should be a joint effort by academia, industry, government and students to provide more opportunities for students to attain hands-on experience in their future jobs.

Q. Does your organization have any kind of open platform for job seekers?
Our career page reflects all the open roles and these are automatically updated on LinkedIn.

Q. How many students do you recruit from campuses? Can you give us any figures and the names of the top five colleges you visit regularly/every year?
We hire from NITs, IITs and IIMs for technology, analytics and consulting roles at Mastercard. 

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