Monday, February 20, 2012

Swarming, Collaboration, Social...but Recruiting!?

  Hive mind: Working around the clock in hyper-connected 'swarms' - is this the future of work?

The article by Tom Austin, VP, Gartner on the Changing Nature of Work -as part of the BBC Future of Work Series is a must read for any professional. He lists about 10 key ways on how work will change-that include de-routinisation of work, collectivity among others, as the trends to stay. But while it is easy to theoretically  relate to the likelihood of such events, practically, most often we practitioners are hesitant to over-rule precedence !!

As part of NPA, The Worldwide Recruiting Network, we enable our respective clients hire LOCAL talent GLOBALLY across 25 countries.We are an affiliation of more than 400 recruiting firms with sound, high quality business practices adhering to strict ethical standards, specialising in a large variety of industries & covering an extensive range /reach of technical and managerial disciplines. It is a no-brainer-when it comes to the power of collaboration & expertise...which we share for a split in the referral fees that accrues.

Given the globalisation, and the geographies, we see novel experiments being rolled out by companies operating across multiple regions. However, the challenges are there too ; it is increasingly difficult for most of us to admit the 'half life' of the best practices we are presently used to!

For instance-it would be interesting to study how one approaches the Professional fees for the recruitment -considering the existence of a Provenance Paradox of the fees! Traditionally the Executive Search fees for assignments in the West (US, Europe and even Asia Pac) is significantly higher than in India- not just due to currency conversion, (or the Purchasing Power Parity factor) but also the fee percentage that is the norm.

Yes, in 2012 itself, there have been some interesting discussions with clients-based in India- for hiring professionals for their international operations... and ironically, all of them -where we have had successful record of domestic placements!!

Case 1: An European MNC whom we have had been servicing for positions in India- has recently expanded -thru acquisition, in Asia Pac-and wished to hire a local native there-with the specific skills. While we at Options, were quick to dive deep into our NPA network and arrange a shortlist of the best local talent in the region, the hiccup was the 'contractual fee'!

Would the rate be the same if an European firm had hired in Thailand? What would they pay a Thailand based firm ? Both would be paid market rates, right? Since the service provided is the same, why deny an India based firm provided the same fee :)?!

Case 2: An Indian conglomerate wishes to hire an Expat with a specific skill set-as the company is embarking on a couple of projects-of the size & complexity not matched within India so far. While they are willing to to pay topnotch dollars for the right person, they were constrained to introduce a 'cap' on the fees- in line with an equivalent Indian salary- to keep costs in control. The 'benchmarked figure' shocks the NPA partners in Europe -for that's equivalent to the fees they would have received for a middle management placement!!

Case 3: An Indian MNC wants to roll out a project simultaneously in 4 different European markets-and needs professionals of local origin -in each of those markets, to be 'one point contact' for the client & the company. The Indian talent acquisition team would like to keep the 'hiring cost' in line with their domestic practice!!

It is anybody's guess-to predict the decision maker's pick. Recall the adage " “no one ever lost their job buying from IBM."?

And in a world, where we partner with clients -and are influencing (not controlling!), it is a conundrum -worth reflecting :)!!

PS: I am transported back to the 80's & reminded of my Professor during the MBA days-who drilled us the basics in management accounting.."Cost is a concept. Pricing is a Policy". How would you approach the dilemma, if you were a HR manager? Or as a recruiter? Looking forward to your insights, as usual!