Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Reflections of the NPA -International Partners Panel

It was a privilege for me to be part of an international panel of recruiters- last week at Sydney at the NPA Asia Pac conference-which had about 130 delegates. Amidst a large Aussie audience, we were a handful -representing Philippines, Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia and India- trying to articulate how the job markets in each of the regions differed and operated.

It was very interesting to note the subtle differences ;

-The professional fees in Japan was the highest @25% of the base pay of the selected employee, while Australia had an average of about 20%. The Asians were more conservative and the rates across Hongkong, Malaysia, Korea, Thailand-hovered at various shades between 15-20% -while India, for reasons I had stated in an earlier blog-was a trifle lower. It was very important for a fraternity that believes in transparency, integrity, and collaboration while making split referrals- to set expectations for their respective partners!

-My own theory is that the above has a bearing on the life cycle of the economy that the nation is going thru. In a more mature economy-where most of the hiring happens as a part of replacement - either a retirement or an employee leaving -the professional fees are higher. In a growing country like India-a lot of hiring happens as turnkey assignments-and obviously with the large numbers, there is an element of cost control-and relatively lower fees!

- Various notes were exchanged in terms of the relative demands of professionals -and the potential traffic or mobility one could expect- by export of manpower from the lesser developed nations!

I was fortunate, that when it came to portray India, I could resort to some hard facts-which were irrefutable-and perhaps may help change, in future, quite a few perceptions of the apparently poor image of Indian talent down under.

-Over the years- the best of Indian talent has migrated to the West, and so it was a bit of an eye opener for most-when the Indian software or technical prowess was evident in the high percentage of Indian techies in NASA, Microsoft, Intel-as well as the large number of Indian start ups in the silicon valley.

-But as I reflect the reactions over the rest of the conference, what caught most people's attention was the sheer population figures of India- which at 1.4 billion-was 70 times the Australian population- or the fact that every year, Indian population grew by one Australia!! Or
the fact that President Bush blames Indian Middle class -was a market that was about 17 times Australia- and the reason for a large number of Fortune 500 firms were showing interest in the consumption!!
-But I guess there could be a larger looming number of Baby boomers retiring over the next 10yrs-that could create a vacuum of over a large number of middle and senior managers across the world- while the Asian population has a large potential for filling in international positions -in challenging times.
Yes, there is going to be a large scale global migration of talent-and especially so for all those with international experience- and multinational exposure!! It is time that HR managers and recruiters started honing their skills to attract and retain topnotch talent-from across geographies!! Are we all ready?

Stop press: I notice that as of today -this blog has been visited One hundred thousand times during the last 20 months of its existence!! I must thank Gautam Ghosh for helping me on this journey-and a whole lot of well wishers-who both online and offline, have been my inspiration as I embarked on this exercise. As I look back, it has helped me personally and professionally, as it has improved my reading -kept me abreast !!

The Web 2.0 works!! Blogging and the linked in profile- has significantly contributed to an increasing readership, better quality of candidates seeking more inputs from me!!Yes, the google-ability has also attracted interest of international recruiters and prospective clients-and I suspect- it has also an interesting by product- increased professional fees and some exclusive retained search assignments in the last 8-9 months.


Joe Neitham said...

Congratulations Menon sir on crossing the 100k hits mark. Keep rocking!

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