Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Professorial Headhunting

In a shocking article under the Investigation section on Businessweek magazine, I read that the jury is still out on whether faculty (and the school) can accept research grants and other sponsorships from corporate organizations in lieu of recommending best students for open positions. It seems that teaching assistants in a number of US schools were lured by prospective employers by freebies into giving up the names of the best in the graduating class.
And I am concerned for
There is big money involved
Where do we put morals and ethics in this scheme of things?

Some recruiters like Valero Energy are quite candid about their utilizing graduate teaching assistants as a quick lead into talented possible hires. There was a time when royalty and government would fund most of new research and would also provide the consulting assignments to academics. But times changed and the corporates took over from them. While professors are the best source for reference and recommendation for fresh hires, there is a sure conflict of interest involved over here.

The question to be asked is how would we question Ethics and Values in organizations if schools and professors are not stable on clarifying their values? While it might work in the favour of most students and recruiters to get the right recommendations, it might not work for the majority when it comes to questions of equal opportunity for all.

In India, with the soaring economy and great demand for Indian managers abroad, making it to the first slots during placement season in the premier B schools is like an Olympic race won for recruiters. Campuses have rules and regulations on acceptable behaviour for both students and recruiters however most of it is managed by students and slips are not too less. We often hear of students getting an unfair opportunity or breaking a rule.
We went to a hallowed institution for hiring the last season and were met by confusing rules, bullying students of the placement committee and unprofessional attitude overall. While we wrote to the faculty in charge and were assured of proper redressal, we, as ethical recruiters are not sure if we got to meet the best breed or if the students we went looking for got information of our opportunity.

Readers may read on in the link below:
The Professor is a head hunter

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