Thursday, July 02, 2015

Traditions, stereotypes..? Women driving business histroically associated with Male Bastion.

“Tradition becomes our security,and when the mind is secure it is in decay.”Jiddu Krishnamurti

Earlier this year in May, the Economic Times Magazine section featured an article on how more and more women taking up jobs in sectors considered male strongholds in India.. And it had a quote attributed to me-amongst some outstanding examples of few women who have been breaking the glass ceiling & some of the challenges that they have faced.

As a person who has now been in the industry for over 30yrs ,& fortunate to have had a ringside view of the changing economies, I personally feel that most of the issues raised-are perhaps going to be moot points/redundant- as we are often prone to forgetting the context and are quick to generalize the sterotypes!

In the next 5-6yrs, I will be really surprised if women are not increasingly taking leadership roles. Merit really cannot be ignored -in these days of analytics & increased metrics :)!

Here are my thoughts-on a few things trending in parallel:

-Change in the power of choice- from the employer to the employee: The industrial economy -had given way to the intellectual economy (the 90s saw the emergence of the IT/ITES & the services economy), and is perhaps being overtaken by the interconnected economy (thanks to internet, globalisation etc). Already we see lesser mortality of companies /employers -and employees having to take charge of their own careers and the onus there of.

The nature of jobs itself has changed, and many new roles have emerged in the past decade. Sunrise industries have been employing folks who have transplantable skills, so, the tenure is no longer as importance as competency, or the ability to manage change. No longer is quantity of years of experience as relevant or the quality of the experience. Hence I feel seniority is passé'. And as a result if promotions were earlier given to those who lasted longer in the system, it is the meritorious that make it thru the glass ceiling

The generation that has entered the work force in India post liberalization-has seen large scale employment in the services-and the financial gain (& independence) has made the society appreciate the double income family, and accept it. And there are enough role models of well educated and financially sufficient women pursuing professional careers and high level positions, putting personal /work life balance on lesser priority.

Especially so-in the war for talent, companies are increasingly conscious of the gender diversity (out of necessity and not merely giving lip service), and are able to find enough talent pipeline of potential leaders by encouraging flexible work schedules, improved parental leave policies, and opportunities for women to rejoin the workplace after short interruptions.

Anyway with increasing use of technologies...the delta growth/ dependence of the male bastions -that perhaps emphasis on brute power (manufacturing, engineering hardware, telecom) is likely to be tapering off. 

With more women at all levels -and even if organizations continue to have pyramidical structures, they have a great pipeline of gender diversity for posterity! And in the increasingly trend of career ladders giving way to lattices (with matrix organization and remote location employees), there would be no glass ceilings in future!!

And yes, isn't it time we stopped going ga-ga over one day dedicated to Mother's day? Ironical though the above article did coincide so!

Would love your thoughts.

Finding "people for jobs" vs "jobs for people"

Anytime at all,
Anytime at all,
Anytime at all,
All you've gotta do is call
And I'll be there.
Those of us born in the 60s..will easily resonate to the Beatles number!!
However in today's world, does the modern recruiter have the luxury of 'being there'? How I wish it was true :(!
Most jobseekers do not see understand that the business of 'finding people for jobs' could be different from 'finding jobs for people'!
And especially so, in today's VUCA world-where the expectations are very specific! The margin of error is very low. And the clients are expecting us to showcase the best –who are available to join at really short notice.
I will leverage on the candid post made by the NPA Worldwide President Dave Nerz, on 3 reasons jobseekers should not expect a return call from recruiters,  using the analogy of a BMW expert and a Mercedes enthusiast!!
Dave sets expectations for candidates to be realistic, as ’most focused contingent recruiters cannot and will not be accommodating to every candidate.’
-Recruiters have limited time. Are you asking the recruiter to spend time outside of a core area of focus? Not returning your call is a calculated business decision.
-You want to CHANGE careers. Are you telling a recruiter that you want to change careers? If so, consider this: recruiters help people move into roles they are very qualified to do and where there is a proven track record of results. They are not typically career coaches helping you move from one profession to another. If they see a call as a coaching session, they will not return it.
-Your resume is on too many job boards. If your “car” is already being sold online and listed in every enthusiast’s magazine, then the recruiter needs to move on to candidates that are not as well known. Recruiters do not get paid a fee when employers can grab your resume off many different job boards. If you have not established a win-win relationship with a recruiter, they will not take the time to even present you to a client. They need to know you are talented, looking for a job in an area where you excel and not posted on every job board out there. If your resume is all over the web, you may not get a return call.
My firm Options Executive Search specializes in hiring middle & senior management professionals for MNCs setting up Indian operations, and focus on  identifying the right professionals with international experience, and Indian roots..the ‘returning/returned Indians”. And so all our work is mandated by the specific growth plans of our clients!
We work closely with clients in IT product space, Manufacturing /Automotive, and Infrastructure industry, and are privy to the mandates aggregated by our extended network of NPA Worldwide of over 500 associates-globally-across 29 countries.
So, in the case I do not return your call, as soon as you expect, please understand I am perhaps juggling some urgent critical assignments and closing in-and just can't afford to take my eyes off the task I am focussed on !! Please feel free to mail me ( [email protected]). You can be sure I will be haunting you, as soon as I find your profile interesting to my clients!
Btw.To cater to the business of finding ‘jobs for people’, I have a dedicated service vertical, – a (paid) career coaching service. There is only so much one can do-in a 30 minute session. And so, I also do a day long workshop every month –Turbocharge YOUR Career series- to help one become more in control of their career- by getting FOUND by prospective employers. Come over and schedule a consulting call at a mutually convenient time!!
Let me know how I can help!!

Saturday, August 02, 2014

3 things that sets apart a good IT recruiter

We have noticed over the years that setting apart a great IT recruiter from a not so great one is very simple. However, application of the right attitude and values to be a great IT recruiter is something only 1% of IT recruiters commit to. If you want to be in that top 1%, here is the secret sauce.

#Technology savvy

In this era of technology, no professional can excuse themselves from being technology savvy. Moreover, having made the choice of being an IT recruiter, you need to love technology to meet people in that sector. If you abhor technology, you will not like the people you interact with. This will be the end of every beginning. You will know why that would be the case when you read the next value you need to adopt.

Great recruiters use technology to create great solutions.
“If your recruiters don’t know the difference between Java and Javascript, for example, the candidate will have a low opinion of your organization.” Jennifer Sheets, CEO of MasterStaff

#Love people

If you are not a people’s person, being in the recruitment industry does not make any sense. Recruitment as a function involves dealing with people and handling relationships. This is not at all a ‘job act’, but a genuine and natural way of approach imperative to an aspiring recruiter. Recruiters, irrespective of the sector they choose really love talking to people, hearing out to little things that they share and offer them career solutions. They are genuine with what they speak and how they interact with job seekers.

#Know the job thoroughly

Great IT recruiters don’t stop at reading the job descriptions, they go beyond that. They want to achieve the best for the people, they interact with. This requires a recruiter to understand the sector of operation, no.of vacancies to be filled, why are they being filled, what is the company expecting out of the candidate and what is candidate looking for through a change. A recruiter plays the role of a charming magician and a marketer.

It takes immense skill to build relationships, identify right talent for given needs and help job seekers. We are looking for people with such skill sets who can drive recruitments and build more happy careers.  If you are internet savvy and a peoples’ person, who can identify talent in the IT sector for different needs, drop in your resume to <email id>

We are looking for someone who:

> Can handle recruitment requirement independently
> Needs to be internet and social media savvy
> Can build relationships and drive vacancy closures
> Can close 2 to 3 positions every month.
> Can hire resources for product companies

Who is Hiring?

Options Executive Search is a 20 year old leading provider of personalized HR recruitment and consultancy services with a specific focus on finding the right job for professionals with over 5 years of experience in 3 industry sectors – Information Technology, Manufacturing and Infrastructure. Over the last two decades, Options has worked with hundreds of startups and established companies (Indian / large multinational corporations, venture and PE funded companies and others) identify and hire their core team to drive their respective businesses in India. Explore at:  

Friday, June 20, 2014

Exciting opportunity for finance professionals in MNC Auto Major

Would you know any Qualified Chartered Accountants & Cost Accountants-with experience in manufacturing companies?

Our client, a leading passenger car manufacturer is looking out for topnotch professionals for their manufacturing plant based at Chennai, Tamilnadu.

Opportunities exist for
GL & Reporting - Senior Manager & Assistant Manager
Inventory - Manager & Deputy Manager
Material Control (Costing) - Manager & Deputy Manager
Costing - Asst Manager
Custom - Senior Manager & Deputy Manager & Asst Manager
Taxation - Senior Manager & Manager & Deputy Manager
Manufacturing Control (Costing & Budgeting) -Manager
Treasury - Manager & Asst Manager

Please feel free to reach out to me and I shall be glad to provide more inputs for helping you take the right career decision

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Is Recruitment trending towards Marketing?

A question that is asked by most recruiters is if recruitment as a skills needs to be treated as a marketing subset. Answers to this question have been provided by a panel on India HRLive. While answering this question the panel also shared their insights on building a career site, lessons for recruiters and marketeers and a path for recruiters to build their career.

10 key take aways for recruiters is a best mix from Google Hangout hosted by #IndiaHRLive.
Building a career site

@theHRbuddy points that people just “window shop” when they get onto a career site. So what are the ingredients required to brew the right talent combo for the organization.

@Mattcharney says that there is no passive candidate for a company. (there is no such person as a passive candidate..everyone today is open to opportunities)

@Sharlyn_lauby recommends to have a career site that is easy to engage, easy to use with simple navigation and great user experience and easy to share.

@Achyutmenon Don't expect too much out of a career site. Fish where the fish are and hence go find the candidates where they are. Bring in the human element and don’t be too overwhelmed by the technology aspect.

@GlobeSlother mentions with her experience that the whole idea to bring in social media is to be social hence send out your recruitment manager in that world to go and engage with talent communities. Bring in the need for recruitment for the not so active candidate instead of calling them passive candidates.

Lessons for Recruiters from Marketeers

Know your audience and learn to communicate with them in the way that they want.

Listen more! Avoid assuming a lot of things about the candidate. Listen to them before we say we understood them.

Make the Employer brand story exciting enough for the candidate to be a part of it. Core product has to be good but the communication has to be equally engaging.

Get to the basics of marketing of applying the 4Ps to the recruitment process.

Advice to recruitment professionals to build their career

Unfortunately the recruitment industry in India is nascent than other western countries. This has made people choose recruitment as a stop gap instead of pursuing it as a serious profession. To avoid this approach and to take up recruitment as a serious profession what is your advice:

@Mattcharney A recruiter needs to have basic understanding about ‘business’. Most times recruitment is not to be made opportunity centric making it sound more like it is about getting value to the organization than to the candidate, but it should be about genuinely knowing more about the person.

@Sharlyn_lauby Irrespective of the recruiter being a generalist or a specialist, they need to know everything about recruitment. Recruitment process is not just about interviewing it is more about strategy.

As a recruiter you may also want to know what are the ways a job seeker uses social media and where would you find him. Here is an e-book about Social Media Recruitment for Job Seekers that would help you understand a job seeker’s hub for recruitment action.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Minutes from a tweet jammed session on #RecruitmentMarketing

Dated April 2014

We had gathered tips and tidbits about social media recruitment for Job Seekers in one of our recent e-book. Some of the themes we didn’t deal in the book are showcased and discussed in a Google Hangout hosted by #IndiaHRLive that brought into light the evolution of recruitment marketing, use of social media in recruitment, candidate experience during the recruitment process and mobile recruitment.

What still remains esoteric and yet to be discovered in how to define quality of candidates and the ROI out of the social / mobile recruitment process. Each of the panelists shared their views on the following topics:

@Sharlyn_lauby How did the role of recruitment marketing role evolve over the past five years?

The strong connection between recruitment and marketing has always existed but it is only over the past 5 years that the industry has seen a specialization take place.

Recruitment Marketing. What’s the buzz all about?

@Achyutmenon Recruitment marketing is it a jargon?

People are using the term ‘recruitment marketing’ more as a jargon than as a valuable, tactical process to find talent. There is a talent war out there among companies to get the best talent. Now the recruitment globe is moving all over where employers are hunting for jobs and at the same time candidates are trying to find the best deal out of the opportunities expressed in the market.

@Sharlyn_lauby What are people doing about the talent war?

You see websites of companies where they define more and more about their corporate culture and create better definition is describing a job role. Recruitment marketing is setting out as a strategic pattern rather than a simple process introduced in an organization.

@GlobeSlother What is the challenge that recruiters face while marketing?

The challenge is to find the right talent and to interact and engage with talent communities which have passive talent. People who might be a great fit but with whom there is a need to create a sense of excitement for the opportunity.

When does the candidate experience start and end?

@Mattcharney Social media could be a terrible place to look for candidates but would a great place to advertise and let people know about the emerging opportunities. Track the difference between use of an ATS and social media for the purpose of recruitment.

@Sharlyn_lauby Candidate experience never starts or ends. Candidates are like customers. Candidate experience is not just about with reference to full time employee, but also is applicable to part timers, seasonal employees and interns. Because what they think is how the employer brand is affected. Candidate experience is about consumer marketing.

Use of an ATS and the flow of it.

@Achyutmenon ATS enables the recruitment process from a technical role but it the person who is using the technology that matter because recruitment is more about human interaction than use of technology. ATS depends on the ability to match keywords.

Mobile Recruitment, how big is it?

@Mattcharney Mobile recruitment is very different in USA than in India because of the saturation of mobile market here. All the buzz about mobile recruitment may soon fizzle out here in US.

@Achyutmenon Mobile penetration in India is about 73% with 1.2 billion in population. However there is not great use of smartphones where mobile recruitment can be deployed. It is still nascent in India and we are yet to see the growth.

With these insights you may be asking for some key takeaways. We will have another post that would have a condensed version of building a career site, lessons for recruiters from marketeers and advice to recruitment professional to build their career.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

As a Recruiter, are you looking for Internship experience?

Before 2012, internship was a choice for a student but now it has turned out to be a eligibility criteria on their fresh resumes. This statement is supported by facts released by a survey conducted by an Indian internship firm, Twenty19. This report reveals a growing trend in hiring interns for temporary and experimental projects where cost is a high quotient determinant. Internships are more like a test drive for students to figure out which roles are most comfortable to them.

Here is a quick note for recruiters applicable to two different phases:

Recruiting Interns for a project

Objective based internship programs: It really matters if you are bringing an intern on board to evaluate them as a full timer or get some mechanical and operational work done to complete a project. Recruiters need an objective to have an intern on board. Without much value being added to the intern’s experience as well as to the organization, it remains as just another recruitment menace. No matter what the intern’s role is, it needs to be driven by a basic objective of employability, which has been extensively dealt in another article on our blog. The objective for an intern needs to be big. Steven Spielberg started his career in the movie industry as an unpaid full time intern at Universal Studios and now we all watch his movies.

Time tested process: Though interns are required for experimental and innovative projects, ensure that you are handing over an intern to a mentor who has already worked with time tested processes. The need or project could be innovative but not the process. Pre-existing supervision and redirection over a process always helps is better resource management.

Manual with a Mentor: The survey revealed the need of assigning a mentor to a group of interns and we reiterate the need. Apart from a cohesive job description, operational manuals for the intern’s study  during the internship is equally important. These job guides and manuals are to be documented, managed and known by the mentor who would interact with the intern.

Evaluating Interns as a full time employer

Do you have this is your agenda?: As mentioned earlier, do you have the objective of absorbing an intern into a full time employee at the end of the project. If yes, then the internship should be designed around HR KPIs for the specific job, you intend to recruit them for.

Trends turn into Process: The report reveals top roles for which interns are being hired. Some of them being content writing, marketing, SEO, research, app development and so on. This just shows that companies want to try out the happening trends with interns and eventually establish these trends into value added processes for the organization’s growth. The so called new projects are hence being created upon identifying an industry trend or an unexplored process. It re-emphasizes that, hiring interns is not just about experimenting new processes but about bringing in new, trained talent onboard.

Initial screening of interns and creating an employable talent pool enables creation of strong team at the base of the organizational team pyramid. In this era, this recruitment model most helps the companies operating in engineering, mobile app and marketing space. The most promising tenor is about letting interns grow with the expansion of your startup. This can be supported by how Xerox CEO Ursula Burns started out as an intern -- years later she became the first black woman to head a Fortune 500 company.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How to enjoy a job in the Asian subcontinent? "Expats and NRIs turning desi".

Congratulations on your new job and home coming to India!

Welcome back. Times have changed and the economic landscape of India has shifted since the first few years in the 90s. Culture and lifestyle would influence your stay with your family in India to a greatest extent.

Over the last two decades Indians settled abroad, initiated Bollywood clubs, celebrated Dussera with Dandiya concerts and engaged in conducting Carnatic music and yoga classes as an aftermath of Brain Drain. Now, we have already started to experience the after effects of reverse brain drain. Gated communities, international schools, mall culture and celebration of mother’s day  are some trends that Indians imported to their country with years of international exposure. Having identified these traces, is it enough for you to pack your bags and move back to India? Is it as simple as it was when you went to a foreign country to establish your career? The answer may be no.

You may face some shocking, interesting and annoying instances, which could be joyous, funny and adventurous with a little bit of acceptance.

You should factor traffic time and not travel time. Leave early to work. You should be doing this because it gives a chance to beat the traffic. Traffic jams could be painful at times but with technology it becomes the most productive time slot. Use the traffic time to answer quick emails and cuddle your iPad or Kindle breezing through fantasies, news updates and self help tips.

Do you find Starbucks? Do you want to schedule a meeting in a coffee shop. Indians call this  CCD which is the acronym of Cafe Coffee Day. A popular and successful chain of coffee shops mushroomed across cities, towns and highways in India.

Did you hear someone say “I have to be at work on a Saturday”? Yes, a reasonable number of private and government offices are open and fully functional on Saturdays too. Don’t be surprised if a client, vendor or associate schedules a meeting on a Saturday.

Domestic help and assistance is a must. Don’t hesitate to hire domestic helpers, cooks and drivers. Indian employment has a vast spread. People make a great living out of these professions and you receive assistance for a smooth lifestyle.

India is colourful. Your HR manager or boss will send a list of holidays spread across the year. People celebrate many festivals all round the year in smaller bits than relaxing over longer vacations. Be prepared for holidays in bits and pieces.

Larger families and their involvement in your job. Though you have been used to small and nuclear families, be prepared to meet a lot of people over weekends. Companies have also recognized this cultural strand and have designed events for employees which involve their families too. Companies encourage involvement of employee families. You will find the same at your child’s school.

There are a lot more to share, but we do not want to give it all away. An element of surprise adds more excitement and thrill all through your move and stay. This exercise of understanding the cultural shift would have preceded with career planning and evolution. Having been a part of such phase, you may enjoy learning What stops people from changing careers and the recruiter’s role?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Opportunity to share one’s learning as a ‘Returning Indian’

We spotted an Opportunity that feels more like your heart’s calling. Especially to those who intended to return to India, bring back their years of lessons and share a slice of global exposure to the next generation. Here is how it reads...

Job Title: Passion combined with years of earned wisdom.
Job Description: We invite brave youngsters who stepped outside India few decades ago and have grown into wise men and women. Are you one of them? If you are, we invite you to bring back insights gained over your stint at different organizations. Here is an opportunity to stay in your own country and serve it in a noble way. We invite you to share our campus, grow with us and make a difference for our nation. We welcome you.

Share your skills and knowledge in your field of expertise. Your job involves responsibilities like:
  • Shaping your country’s future citizens with relevant and up-to-date industry experience.
  • Making the best into better beings
  • Introducing discipline for perfection
  • Adding hope to the future of nation
  • Listening to virgin thoughts from youngsters
  • Mastering the art of re-learning
  • Mentoring dispassionately

Does this drive you to guess the job? If you were unable to guess it, but have been inspired to take up this job, then the description has achieved its objective. If you have guessed that this is something to do with teaching, then you already have it in you.

We will connect you to this institution, which is opening doors for three streams of education viz, Engineering, Management and Science. The institution is a vision being realized by a renowned company in India and is looking for faculty in these areas and for quality PhD candidates with teaching and/or industry experience. They are offering accommodation on campus with basic amenities. The campus holds a strong student base with CBSE background.