Wednesday, February 28, 2007

India recruiters day on March 9th!!

The Indian Recruiter's Day is a day of celebration for the recruiters of India.
A day for all of us to recognise the efforts of our Recruiters, a day to felicitate and honour them. Over 300,000 recruiters from across the country will rejoice in the light of the acknowledgment of their efforts to the Indian economy. On 9th March, ERA is planning a number of activities at each of its chapter locations to bring together all the recruiters.
The day begins with all the recruiters taking a pledge!
At Hyderabad, an "Career Launch: Set The Perspective Right" seminar being hosted by St Ann's College for Women where other college students as well as their parents are welcome too. This would perhaps set atleast a few youngsters start thinking well before they get into a career suitable to them. Another focus is to highlight that recruitments could be looked at as a good career choice that should be pursued.

The afternoon would see about 150 of us from amongst all the Hyd ERA member firms getting together to partake in the fun & joy of being a recruiter. We had an essay contest here " Why I Love Being a recruiter!"
My old pal Joe has written a piece on 'passionate recruiters ' 'passionate recruiters ' which is a good read

My learnings :

Passion + Talent = Success.

Passion is everything in the business of recruiting. Passionate recruiter evolves from being a good recruiter to a great recruiter.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Headhunting..a misnomer for a noble profession?

Whenever some one refers to me as a "headhunter" I have been very uneasy with the tag!! To me , there is a negative connation -a little too grotesque-for the kind of work I do for a living. Looking up the dictionary, I am aghast to confirm that a headhunter is a " savage who cuts off and preserves the heads of enemies as trophies "!!

And to think that I pride myself for having found a profession so close to my passion..helping people find their calling, assisting my clients mind their businesses better by striving for the right solution, the right person for the right job -by recommending the right job for the right person,..

When I explain to my children that I love solving puzzles day in and day out, so much so- that there is a seamless difference between my personal and professional life, and in turn I am trying to help as many as I can-find the same in their lives, it is a little intriguing to note that the perception of my profession is indeed skewed!!

One hears of the lack of "killer instinct" in the inhouse team to justify the need for 'poaching' from competition..

Are we looking at a larger issue of 'instant gratification'? Is the solution to pick the low lying fruits?

I would like to believe it is all about preparing the field right for raising one's crop! There is a certain amount of preparative work that is done before one even chooses the seeds to sow. Does one benchmark against the best practices? Transplant or grow? The fertiliser, the growth nutrients, the right amount of watering, protection -both physical and from pests, and then wait for the harvest..which would be surely rewarding...

Recruitment is all about understanding the clients business, and appreciating the key tasks that need to be performed by different levels. It is about keeping one informed about the best talent that is available in the market...and reckoning how best they can upgrade their skills in an environment more condusive for their growth. It is about matching skills and aspirations. It is about drawing that thin line between some one growing into the role..(and out of it?)!! It is matchmaking of a it involves not just one person-but the dynamics of a team..
And the modus operandi..invest, invest & invest. In people, in relationships, in knowledge and time.. and patience, among others.

Now-instead of a hunter, would I like to be addressed as a farmer :-)?!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Fake Certificates, inflated salaries, ...Indian IT industry smothering itself??

It is really disturbing.

Early this morning, I had a call from a recruiter who, I knew had worked with another consultancy,say XYZ consultants, last year for 3 months. She had called me a couple of times earlier refer a classmate of hers. Today she called to seek a favour. She had applied for a job in a tier III company and was on the verge of getting the offer. The prospective employer wanted to check reference, and this lady wanted me to vouch

1 that she had worked for XYZ for 9 months -at a certain inflated salary-and
2. mention that XYZ has since closed-and so it wd be difficult for me to give them too many details

Earlier today in the papers, I had just read fake CVs are ruining IT and the concerned spokesman was hoping that the NASSCOM skills registry would perhaps be the only solution!!

Right now it seems there is a mad rush to milk the 'general boom' that our Industry is supposedly having...and that to me-is seemingly self destructive!!

As a recruiter, I feel there is too many jobs chasing too little skills-and there is an ecosystem being built up -for all the wrong reasons?

And to think -at the supply end, India doesnt have enough engineering professors in the college to educate the software/hardware engineers of the future. Are we going to see the Indian software industry be smothered by its own success?

Any suggestions?? Any remedies before it is too late?
PS Motorola has already shrunk its Bangalore operations..and has since moved the work to China!!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

What a Technical Resume Should Be !!

I have been receiving several offline feedback on a post I had made last month,- about the tips for writing a resume !

Some of them -from returning Indians -were essentially asking about the ideal length of the resume, as the practice in the Western World is typically an one page brief!

And as I read a recent post by a California based Daniel Parrillo, President of Strategi , I realise he has summed it very well:

1.View the resume through the eyes of the prospective hiring manager.

2. It should speak for that technical person in their absence – speaks of the quality of that person’s abilities and business/technical abilities – being the technical person’s sales and marketing material.

3. Environment: listing technical tools – provides hiring manager a chronological history of your experience using a particular development tool. Include version numbers. The latest version shows your skills are current but older versions document your length of experience (ex: Oracle 2.x – 9i)

The irony is that the average person briefly glides over resumes – the way you peruse your credit card statement or perhaps the contract for a rental car.

And yes, as a person who reads a few hundred resumes a day, here are some requests!!

-a decent covering note on the career plans justifying the aspirations
-highlight any experience in handling onsite/offshore dynamics
-almost 60% of the attachments I receive have a very unique name (resume.doc) :-)!! As a user, it would be so nice if one instead saved the document as a slightly longer file name -say 'Name Designation company location.doc'!!?
-MS Word formats are more user friendly than PDF, text based ..
-the latest jobs are highlighted more than the achievements in the earliest jobs!
-and yes, the best time to be contacted- on phone/mobile or by email !!

Yes, first impressions are for real :-)!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Do not take that call from a headhunter!!

The last one week for me-has been a very hectic week –forcing me to have my first longest break of over 8days of not blogging!! Some desperate deadlines from clients, implementation of a software at work, lot of interviews, apart from structuring an orientation program for new hires..all seemed to take longer time than envisaged.

Ironically, this was also a time when lot happened in the business world- NASSCOM meet @ Mumbai, Vodanfone announcing its plans for India rather with a big bang, and a whole lot of exciting stuff.

However, what takes the cake is the Economic Times interview of Indra Nooyi by Nandan Nilekani which is a delight for any management student. A long freewheeling chat covered issues like business, India, Pepsi’s future plans and some insights into the personal life of a very successful professional,especially in the light of the pesticide halo around the company in the recent past!!

It is a looong interview..and a masterpiece. A must read!

My takeaways? leading from Pepsi's slogan of "fun for you" to "better for you" and now, to "good for you"!!

2.Ms Nooyis ambition of making Pepsi the defining corporation of the 21st century-by focussing on a three point agenda

-human sustainability-ensuring people live healthy and longer
-environment sustainability-making the world a better place to live for our children
-employee sustainability-making the company the best people want to come and work in

3.participating in the theme of 'inclusive growth in India'- by creating jobs in rural areas. Be it chillies, tomatoes, potatoes or citrus, the company has been helping farmers increasing their yield, improving harvesting methods and helping farming in India by driving agricultural production and farmer incomes!

4. tips on how she has managed her personal space-while climbing the professional ladder!

5. Utlimately,it is the people that will make or break the company..not the assets, not the brands!!

And yes, the single most point that she the company so much -so that you dont take the call from headhunters!!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

2007 sees highest salary hike in India: Study

The survey, conducted annually by ECA International establishes actual and predicted salary increases in local markets around the world. It is used by multinational organisations to help them determine future wage increases at home and in other markets.

It is good news for Asians as ‘real’ salary increases are forecast to be 50% higher in 2007 than in 2006, and are well above the global average, according to ECA International’s Salary Trends Survey 2006/2007.

Real salary increases is defined as a worker’s actual annual salary increase after inflation is taken into account

Out of the 45 countries included in the survey, the five highest real wage increases for 2007 are all expected to occur in Asia. Indian workers are set to receive the highest increases, with companies forecasting annual salary increases of 12%, resulting in real wage increases of 7% once inflation has been taken into consideration.

The talent shortage in many Asian economies is most manifest at senior management levels, so it is at this level where the most significant salary increases are occurring, leading to a widening gap between junior and senior management salaries in some locations.
An interesting trend-is that organisations are also strengthening their reward management practices and focusing on pay-for-performance.
Has India begun to shed the tag of a source of cheap labour?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Semiconductor Industry in India-jobs galore!!

I was fortunate that an international conference was conducted by the India Semiconductor Association (ISA) at Hyderabad and so I just got back to work today-after attending the 2 day ISA vision summit 2007!

The meet-was a well attended one-with over 275 delegates from the industry, government and academia. Almost all the speakers waxed eloquent about the potential of India –and the future growth potential-which is likely to create almost ten times the jobs that IT/ITES industry would create by 2010!!

To me, what was amazing –was the quality of the deliberations made by the government right thru the event-and more specifically

-Inaugural session featuring the Minister of State for Defence, Govt of India -Shri M M Pallam Raju, an engineer MBA and masters from Temple University, Philadelphia

- Breakfast meeting being presentd by the Minister for IT in charge –Govt of West Bengal Dr Debesh Das is a doctorate with over 17yrs exp in the VLSI field and academia

-An hour long debate by three aggressive and articulate IT secretaries of Andhra Pradesh , Tamil Nadu and West Bengal-each one making powerpoint presentations inviting investments into their states by listing out the USPs and benefits!! And yes, educational institutions, low cost of living and "attrition levels" too were discussed!

With the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Dr Y Rajasekhar Reddy already announcing the status of clearances for the fab city –he was hoping that Hyderabad would be capital of the semiconductor industry in India

There was also a presentation by Mr Prithviraj Chavan, Minister of State, Prime Ministers Office..who is incidentally a BITS Pilani alumnus and aMS From Berkeley-who gave a glimpse into the vision of the Government to facilitate the process of India’s growth. He even hinted there could be a possibility of FDI being allowed in higher education, so that the compensation of the teaching faculty is in par with the industry-and thereby strengthen the foundation of the future generations.

With a large number of MNCs already in India, and the VC community exhorting entrepreneurs to just think "team team team" in addition to their ideas and business models, one can be rest assured that the proactive participation of the governments in enhancing the eco system, we can see a lot of action in the coming 2-3 years time.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Job hunting vs Salaries, Bonus, Incentives...

Early this morning I noticed three different headlines -which could have repurcussions on the way one looks for a job!! How does one job aspirant choose one company over the other?
Brand, Size, salary? what if the companies are global leaders..does one need to do more due diligence?
Before you think I am complicating matters..just read these articles

1. Google executives to get upto 1.5million dollar bonus

2. GM secondguesses incentives.The automaker has also been reducing its sales incentives in a parallel bid intended to showcase the improvement in its product line up and focus consumers on performance over price.

3. And the another not so pleasant news Michael Dell kills 2006 bonuses -as the fiscal year ended " great efforts, but not great results."
My take on this? Yes the leadership -the markets-and the product life cycle is important! So is competition?
All three are HUGE names...
Or even take the Dell case..The low cost, high operational efficiency, disastrous customer service formula that Michael Dell invented doesn’t work -and the market is changing! The world is moving to a place where the laptop needs to become much more than just a laptop. An integrated mobile device is in the cards, that is the combo PC-Phone-Music Box. May be, even Camera. Dell needs to figure out a way to latch onto this trend, and find a hit product..
But the real issue here..what is the impact on the large number of employees-who are putting the effort..should they be penalised too -for wasnt the vision more critical than the execution??
For an employee -who has an equal chance and opportunity to choose between which company to join..what are the learnings?? I would love to hear from the HR experts!!

India Inc is HOT!! Coming home to India..

I have been a little slack in blogging during the past fortnight!!
It is interesting to note while some of the sentiments mentioned elsewhere on this blog are reiterated -there are some concerns too!!

for eg an article earlier last week in the Financial express summarises the 'India story" very succintly !

A megamart of more than 300 million middle-class customers, India is where global businesses are turning to, to train their CEOs for tougher battles. This is where the action is, and India is no more a punishment posting!

-Enamoured by India, corporations worldwide are looking at not just having a foothold in this country, but to even have their global headquarters here, if recent happenings are anything to go by. The Wisden Group, Cisco Systems, among other IT companies, apart from companies across sectors—auto, retail, infrastructure, consulting, et al—are increasingly having crucial divisions, whether manufacturing or research and development, and their key personnel, driving these powerhouses operating out of India.

- India is one of the fastest growing markets for both online and mobile and new technologies

“The question is not whether we should be in India but whether we can afford not to be in India,” is how Thierry Pasquet, VP, Thomson India puts it. . By sending key personnel to India, it gives them a chance to blend the experience from the established markets with the enthusiasm of the Indian personnel.”

- MNCs are prompted to send some of their best talent from around the world, many of them of Indian origin.

And elsewhere -whether it is the statement given by the RBI Governor or the Economist cover story , there are debates on whether the Indian economy is overheating!!
Well....its all happening , isnt it !!?