Saturday, January 25, 2020

Make your hiring logical.

Sometimes, job postings surprise me. A small organization having its office in downtown city asks applications from candidates who are supermen from nice institute, having mind-blowing experience of handling everything. Of course, their salary package is not that mind-blowing. Sometimes their expectations are just unrealistic. I have seen the job post which asks 8 years of experience in certain technology and that technology is only 5 years old. Every company wants their candidate from reputed institute, working in reputed company either in MNC or Indian MNC. When I see these job postings and if I would have been the candidate, I am sure that there are little chances of my résumé shortlisted. There are few candidates who also don’t bother what’s written in the job advertisement; they apply for every position cluttering the inbox of recruiter. Recruiter gets confused whom to shortlist because s/he doesn’t get anybody who is qualified. 
As commonly cited statistic is that women only apply for jobs when they feel 100% qualified, while men are willing to apply when meeting just 60% of the qualifications—evidence of a confidence gap between the genders. But both men and women fall into the trap of taking job requirements too seriously. 

I frequently listen to talent acquisition specialists aka recruiters speaking about selling the job to the candidate. This is because their mailbox in cluttered with irrelevant resumes because of strange job posts and they get very few relevant candidates. It doesn’t mean that there is a dearth of relevant candidates.   

Most of the time such job posts are created by most junior recruiter in a team. Hiring manager will write everything, he dreams of having. They want readymade candidate who will start delivering from first day in the organization. Don’t know when those hiring managers started delivering when they joined the organization. 

Then there is a category of job postings (common in India) which only seek applications from certain institutes (like tier 1), specific gender (to improve the diversity targets given by their bosses) and certain companies like European or American companies. People in American companies think that working in American companies is very tough and employees working in Indian or other MNCs will not survive in “their” companies. And later think the same way. 

In short, they want the best, fast & cheap. This is the rule of three in the business world: whether you’re talking about a product, a service, or a person, you simply cannot have it all. But then what we do in such cases. As a professional we need to calibrate our expectations and you can do it by working on following tips.

Challenge the assumptions: Healthy and challenging discussion is always good. HR professional, talent acquisition specialist and hiring manager should come together. In-take meetings are crucial. TA specialist should ask lot of questions and challenge if manager has some different expectations. For example, most of the time, managers expect candidates from competition. By only hiring from competition, we are creating artificial dearth of candidates, secondly, we are discouraging the diversity and third creating the monopoly for the talent. Same is for candidates from specific college, specific region and genders. 

Recognize & overcome biases:  We have biases as explained above about companies, colleges, gender, community, cast and regions. We need to recognize that, yes, we are bias and then work on to overcome those biases. HR plays an important role here to help the manager by challenging his biases and supporting him to take the right decision. 

Hire for potential: Candidates should not be shortlisted based on their tenure, short or long, in the company. Selection should be based on what experience they gained, how they developed themselves, and what they contributed to the business. You should find out the reason of short or long duration. They may contribute in a short span in one company or multiple contribution in another company. See their growth and pattern of development instead of just experience.  

I know this is not rocket science, but you take a balanced view, you may get a result. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

How to save the career?

keep getting calls and meeting requests from friends and from people in my network to ask my advice about the career. Most of them are in mid-40 or in mid-50. They are looking for new opportunities or looking for some new career because of some insecurities in their current jobs. Some companies’ management has certain views about ageing workforce, especially those who are above 40-45. In case of any restructuring, this is the population which is mostly axed.  

India is a country of young people. It is expected that the average age of Indian will be 30 years by 2020. Unemployment rate in India today is almost 6%. At one side there is young talent ready to come in the workforce, at other side workforce above 45 is becoming costly if they are not acquiring new skills or adding value to the organization. This is a severe problem in service, IT industries where employee cost is the main component of expenses. 

As young generation is easily available, employees who are above 45-50 have not focused to develop their skill sets and competence. Most of the time, once they get a job, they go in a comfort level. Sometimes organizations just exploit their needed skill set with less focus on future development. But when organizations are not investing you, it is crucial that you invest in yourself.

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robots are already coming in the workforce which are replacing human beings. Automation is taking jobs away. If you are in the job of repetitive nature, you are easily replaced by robots (automation). This can happen in account payable where payments can be processed automatically; this can happen in manufacturing; this also can happen in the customer service where customer service executives are replaced with chatbot. Going forwards, there will be no salesperson in the field, and more will be consultants to customers who will sell the value proposition and help customers to improve their profitability. Instead of selling products, you will sell the value proposition to the customer. Customers are much educated and aware about their requirements. They already study the products and make comparisons, only they need to check the look and feel of the product and what value that product will bring to them, their processes etc.

The decision of buying something is made on the computer or internet after discussion with family in case of domestic/consumer product or with team in case of industrial product. In such a scenario, do we need sales managers. Perhaps no, we need a person who is beyond the sales manager, typical marketing manager. This is applicable in all professionals. HR managers needs to be more than just handling generalist HR and same is for finance managers. Nowadays, we need business partners in each profession. They are experts in their profession, but they are also strong in soft skills with leadership behaviours. They need to apply their knowledge which is not done by typical professional. In short if you can think differently, you manage different stakeholders, you understand what customer desires, you know how businesses work and you know how to solve the problems, you have more chances to survive during turbulent period.  

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Love Yourself

Recently there was a big news in media about suicide of Kushal Punjabi. At the age of 37, this TV actor ended his life without no reasons, (according to us). He may have some reasons for the same. Last week one Software Engineer living near our colony ended her life leaving her 1.5-year-old daughter behind. We read, listen many news about such suicides. As per the WHO data India has around 17 suicides per 1 lacs population. This is alarming. Reasons behind may be different like debt, bankruptcy, illness, marriage issues, relationship issues, love affairs, alcoholism, Stress at workplace, fear of failure in studies etc. 

Relations issues, marriage issues are top reasons and men and women both end their lives because of such issues. Our lifestyle is changing, a lot of pressure at workplace, less time at home, having negative impacts on relationships. Every human being is running in the race. Uncertainty in jobs, increased liabilities and lifestyle are creating more stress in our lives. Further bad roads and traffic situations adding it more. People are becoming more self-centred. People are migrating from one place to another, small town to big towns for jobs and career. In this process we are losing the support system which we had in the past. In the past, joint families were the big support system. Nowadays, we have nuclear families. Interactions, family bonds, are fading away. People don’t encourage their friends, families to be with them. Everything is isolated. 

Loneliness is increasing, everybody wants to be in the capsule. Professionalism is taking away friends at workplace. Of course, it is resulting in mental illness and symptoms like anxiety, excessive worry, intrusive thoughts, depression, mood swings and many more. We are a social animal. We need somebody to share our feelings. And the important thing is that is missing in the lives of most people. People don’t have elevations. You have to express your frustrations, feelings, emotions. But because of the social structure and all the above reasons, it is arduous. Now imagine a situation, where the person is in depression and he or she has nobody to share at that moment. Where he or she will go?

We need a society where we feel free to express and have a stress-free communication. Introverted people will find difficult to express but we need that support systems. Parents need to be more inclusive and not push their children beyond the limit. They should not enforce their dreams on their children. Spouses needs to be more mature to understand the feelings of their partners. And we need to make more friends who will come to you when you need them.
And finally, be open and always speak up, express. Life is precious, love yourself.     

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

This year is another chance to get it right, Happy New year!

Wish you a happy new year 2020. 

New year is always exciting. This is because we think we have something new. Universe is not moving and hence time stand still. If you were to stand outside the universe, outside both space and time, and look at your life, you would see your birth, your death and every moment in between laid out as distinct points. From this angle, time does not flow, but is static and fixed. We are aging and moving ahead. However, as the earth is rotating around the sun, we think that time is moving. 

With this moving world, we have some wishes, dreams; we make plans; we have some goals to achieve. However, then we say that we don’t have the time to do it all. We make resolutions every year, but they remain on paper only. We don’t do anything what we have decided because we don’t have that push from our inner self. We don’t commit it to ourselves. In organizations, when you take some goals, objectives and targets, mostly you achieve the same, because your existence in the organization and your job is dependent on that targets. If you don’t achieve your targets, your job will be in danger and hence your commitment comes. Sometimes it is because you want to grow in the organization and hence you have a commitment and hence push from your inner self.

This does not happen when there are not any consequences. If your doctor told you that you had life-threatening disease and if you didn’t walk daily at least 3-km, you would not survive. What will you do? Most of the people, will follow doctors’ advice because it has high stakes. 

We don’t have that big stakes in resolutions. We think that these resolutions are either harmless or do not have an immediate impact on the life.  

What are those resolutions? Waking early in the morning, going to the Gym, pursuing   any hobby, getting some additional skills etc. If you don’t follow these, you will not have any adverse or positive impact immediately. Hence the tendency is to postpone such resolutions. Further, we don’t convert these resolutions in goals and objectives like we do in professional life.

I was a part of one of the leadership development programmes in 2010. This programme was for selected management team members. Good part was that this programme was not like typical leadership workshop. It was spread over for almost 6 months with different learning objectives. We had to take few goals by every week, and we had to report the progress about the same to our internal and external coach. There were 3 types of goals.

Professional Goals: These are goals typically in professional life related to your job and work. 
Personal Goals: These are goals related to your personal life,
Back burner Goals: These are things which you want to do, but you have put it aside because of some other priorities. 

We are good about professional goals and objectives as our survival depends upon the same. Our performance, merit increase and bonuses are based on these goals and we almost die to achieve the same, but we put aside our personal goals.

People ask me how I get the time to write poems, articles, books, reading and attend conferences as a speaker, panellist etc. I think that goals if set properly, can be achieved with some effort. However, we don’t want to put efforts. During above leadership programme, I learned to focus equally on the above 3 types of goals. I never compromised my professional goals to focus on personal and back burner goals. But I started given equal importance to all types of goals. I have to stretch sometimes to achieve these but then when I get the results, I get the energy to do it more. 

Today also I write my all 3 types of goals. Apart of my bonus targets and performance objective, I ensure that I take professional goals by every week along with personal and back burner goals.    

I set goals, I see them regularly, I commit to the goals and I share these with timelines.  
So? make resolutions as you do every year, but this year, convert them in goals and objectives. Write your dreams on your heart and you will have it. 

I wish you and your family as happy new year 2020. This year is another chance to get it right. 

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