Sunday, March 01, 2009

Grabbing business in recessionary times!

We are into March already-two months have gone by in this calendar year! There seems to be a poor sentiment about the overall economy-not just in India, but all across the world.

Personally, I am convinced that the sudden drop in demand for Indian goods and services, both domestically and globally, is probably due to companies buying less, and often deferring fresh purchases as :

-in some cases because they have less money to spend.
-some companies that still have cash, are hoarding it because they are not sure how bad things could become in the short term & medium term, and
-some are simply feeling poorer because of their investments (land and stock markets!!) have come down in value!

Cutting prices will do nothing to spur the sentiment!! So, as organisations, one has to re-engineer the work we do, change the business models, and offering new value additions if one has to break the deadlock !!

I can see companies are beginning to revisit their hiring needs. "There is no role for an employee where it is not a business role! How long can one have a social responsibility (to protect jobs) ?" is a comment made by a CEO of a highly visible company!! Some others are re-investing in a different set of professionals who have the skills to navigate the troubled waters!

The mantra for the rest: Improve productivity or perish!!

It is surely a wake up call!!

Interestingly, it was Jim Stroud who tipped me that Chandra Bodapati was visiting Hyderabad!
Chandra has been a pioneer in developing the technology that enables sourcing for leads and candidates on the Internet-with a passion of making average people work like experts!!
An online interview made my job easier-and so I invited Chandra over to speak at our ERA Hyderabad chapter monthly meeting on Saturday!!

Here are some of the takeaways-for me- from the talk as he envisioned the recruiting world to be :

-Recruiters would soon have to pick between either being a "talker" or a "typer"!
Talkers tend to be social extroverts :they feel comfortable with oral conversations because they can gauge the response of their interlocutors in real-time, and they feel the need to hear and use non-verbal cues like intonation. Talkers love phones.

Typers tend to be more thoughtful and introverted, and hate live phone calls because they're time consuming and don't leave a searchable record. Typers tend to express themselves better with the written word, prefer e-mail, IM or SMS. He is involved in online generation of leads by activities like name sourcing, resume sourcing, background screening and data updation. ( A lot of these can be automated-helping research easier!)

-Increasing backlash sentiments against off shoring and outsourcing of jobs may give rise to a new set of jobs for local citizens, whose productivity can be enhanced with automation of some repetitive and low cost activities!

Companies are increasingly keeping an eye on 'cost of hire'. And changing their sourcing strategies, for example:

a) Nurturing candidate pipeline by
-identifying candidates 2/3 years before graduation, and engaging them in relationships.
-rehiring alumni -after a few years of their disengagement -as they a bring a fresh perspective with enhanced exposure.
-leveraging social networks to get 'cheaper' and passive potential employees.

b) Datamining internet -free and paid resume sources, e-groups, mapping conferences and events using tools like twitter.

c) building proactive database of possible hires. Today's active job seeker could become the star passive job seeker a year from now!!

Can we see what a 'talker' with a handful productive tools of a 'typer' can do??!

The challenge of any business or HR leader- is to ensure they address the need for new skills with the changing times!!


Anonymous said...

This is definitely one good post. The recession will really bring out the best in every employee as well as job seekers. It is really a matter of "improve productivity or perish."

Anonymous said...

Pertinent post.
In the long run, it would augur well to feel poor now - if it makes oganisations work on getting hungrier & more productively efficient; and challenge the status quo.

It behooves for the top leadership in organisations to find ways to sustain the business through these muddy waters of the current times.

I for one, have worked on reducing my own chargeable expenses and remuneration by offering my multi category/domain experience to other non-competing organisations in a Virtual CXO role. The works on a Win-Win format for all entities involved
- my existing entity,as the costs get lowered/shared.
- the new entity, as they are able to get a CXO on an almost SAAS mode.
- and me, enabling to leverage my skills optimally.
Thereby, managed to keep the flock together during these times.

best regards,

Pratap Menon.
Chief Marketing Officer.
Mobile : +91 99595-55311
Email ID : [email protected]