Saturday, April 22, 2017

Random reflections on visas, jobs, skills

You pick up any paper, and there is a huge media speculation of job losses, and impending doom due to the visa restrictions.
Not just USA, but we see reports how UK (ref Brexit), Singapore, and this week, even Australia and Singapore seem to have upped the ante'! And passionate counter statements from IT companies in India, how they are not taking away jobs but are actually net creators of more jobs, and how they
- have invested billions of dollars in setting up facilities in the US, directly employ about 100,000 US citizens and support jobs for three times as many Americans
-Over the last four years, job creation by Indian IT companies in the US grew 10% annually compared to a 1.7% cent overall job growth in that country.
According to online job posting data compiled by the US-based The Conference Board, in March this year, computer and mathematical science ads increased from 16,900 to 524,800. The supply/demand rate was 0.26: that is, there are four advertised openings for every job-seeker. In other words, even when companies want to hire locally, there aren’t enough skilled IT professional in the US to take them up.
What one forgets -is post the 2008 subprime crisis, and due to technology, automation and AI etc, a lot of jobs have simply vanished- and a totally new set of job skills are in demand. The World Economic Forum has brought out a series of surveys and reports on the Future of Jobs. And one would be prudent to look ahead, and plan. And be prepared for the changing demands of the VUCA times.
There is a huge notion that host nations are tightening their immigration policies only hint at 'locals first'. Because the locals are displaced because their jobs are poached by foreign companies winning contracts via lower bids and thus replaced by citizens from abroad. On the contrary, host nations acknowledge the need of local skills shortage and hence are willing to pay equal to or higher than locals salary, if no local talent is available. 
What we are seeing happening globally is countries once again restoring the good faith in hiring. As an active member of an international recruitment network with over 470 partners across 41 countries, we are privy to the stringent demands that our clientele for the hot skills, and it is apparent that it is the fittest who will survive!
I think the need of the hour is changing the perception of the Indian knowledge worker and focus be on discerning the demand of the new skills, and strategizing on leveraging the supply of the best & brightest on short term without the labour bondage & no wage discrimination.  After all, in a world where technology and finance capitals are becoming level playing ground, it is the quality of the human capital that is going to differentiate between the winners and the rest.
In this hype, one gets a feeling that nations & policy makers are in a time warp. For if one were to simply look at the last decade- there have been so many disruptions that have happened -the world has changed!
And even in the tech world, and internet specifically, the GAFA (Google Apple Facebook Amazon) have been given a big run by the NATU (Netflix, Airbnb, Tesla Uber) innovations. All businesses that have grown despite regulation or bureaucracy!
So why all the hue and cry for visas & curbs?
We might just be better off re-thinking about the concepts of work, jobs and leisure? Time to take charge of one's own life :)!?

Thursday, April 06, 2017

10th anniversary of Recruiting in India - Revisiting a video produced by Jim Stroud

It is exactly 10years to the date that I wrote a blog post after Jim Stroud had featured me on his Recruiting podcast!

Recruiting in India- Jim Stroud & Achyut Menon . It is uncanny that it was just last Sunday, that I discovered the video after 5 years I had saved it 'privately' on Youtube..and had been trying all kind of boolean searches to unearth it from the internet!!

It was courtesy an introduction by my blogging guru Gautam Ghosh  , as Jim visited Hyderabad, and wanted to kill time -and so we had a free wheeling discussion, to compare notes about everything under the sun-as we recorded a 20 minute video-a first one for both of us.

Well this is what I felt in March 2007

In hindsight, I came back from the meeting -almost like a kid returning from a magic show-excited to implement all that I have learnt, and unearth with ease, a dot net project manager here, a C++ guru there, a VLSI design engineer from the depths of a conference, etc..and have since spent a few hours searching!! Well, searching is a euphemistic expression, for I am yet to see the fraction of the results that seem to emerge when Jim was weaving thru the internet :-)!!

I still feel the same with Jim Stroud as he has moved on to become one of the most influential sourcers on the planet, constantly evangelising the best practices-and predicting a more magical world ahead of us.

In hindsight, as Thomas Friedman educated us, the world changed forever in 2007. Am I glad I have been able to reinvent myself, just to stay relevant??

I have since become a hiring consultant, helping companies find talent they cannot find themselves, as we are in the midst of the most happening decade in the history! From a person specialising in hiring returning Indians, I have expanded my network-(yes, I did join NPAWorldwide in 2007!!) -and now have over 470 partners across 41 countries helping our respective network find the right local talent globally!

In world that is inundated with information, next month, I would have completed 5yrs, honing my networking skills with the BNI, the world's largest referral network, with an extended trusted reach of  over 210,000 members across 65 countries, helping create a better impact to more lives, changing the way the world does business!

Personally, I have also embarked on a consulting gig AskMenon, to help give customised advisory to small clients and individuals a ringside view of the changing expectations of careers.

Are we prepared enough-is anybodys guess. With global events like Brexit, Oil crash, and changing attitudes to migration of talent, most countries are becoming 'anti-globalisation'?

I for one, think while technology and finance are level playing grounds for all -the quality of the human capital is going to make the difference between the winners and the rest.

What are your thoughts ? Do feel free to share your impressions, observations, and how do we equip ourselves for #futureofwork

PS Jim also did a cartoon on the Indian software professionals penchant for cricket!! Did you know IPL too happened only in 2008?? Probably some of us were born a couple of decades too early to make a career in cricket??
cartoon for me -based on his knowledge of th