Wednesday, October 07, 2009

10 Signs of an Old-School Recruiter

Here is a simple list that can be used by hiring managers to determine if the recruiters assigned to them are decidedly old school.


1. They don't use text messaging. While only 20% of the adult population utilizes text messaging, over 50% of the younger generation uses it. In fact, they prefer instant or text messaging over email by a significant percentage. If you don't utilize text messaging to communicate with your candidates, you're likely missing a significant portion of this new mobile phone-reliant population that doesn't require a laptop to communicate. If you're not aware of the new IM applications and jargon, IMHO, you are so last year! In fact, the mobile phone is becoming the next must-use recruiting platform for those smart enough to successfully utilize permission-marketing techniques.

2. They don't blog. Having your own blog is no longer unusual, but it's still a great way to communicate your message to potential recruits. Blogs by corporate recruiters give potential applicants a chance to get a real, unfiltered message about the recruiting process and what it's like to work at the firm. They also provide an opportunity to make comments and ask questions before a formal application to the firm is made.

3. They don't have a MySpace or Facebook page. If you are a corporate recruiter and you don't have a profile of yourself as a recruiter (and as an individual person) on a social networking site like MySpace or Facebook, you are a relative dinosaur. Most old schoolers are afraid of MySpace because they've heard about the lurking molesters who can be on it (molesters can also use telephones, but that's no reason why recruiters shouldn't use them). Some think that these sites are for only young people, but the average age range of a user on MySpace is in the 30s. Facebook is the fastest growing of the two, but there are many other social networking sites that allow individuals to learn more about you as a recruiter and as a source of potential recruits. It used to be that you had to have your own personal website in order to be new school, but it's becoming okay to use social networking sites to display your individuality.

4. They are not using LinkedIn. Business-oriented social networking sites like LinkedIn might themselves be well on their way toward becoming old school, but for now, they're still an effective way for recruiters to become known and get referrals.

5. They don't use news alerts. As the amount of information that's available to potential prospects and corporate recruiters expands, you need electronic help in order to keep up with the latest news and what bloggers are saying. If you're not using Google alerts (or a similar service offered by Yahoo!), you'll never be able to keep track of the activities (and then comment on them to build the relationship) of your targeted top prospects. Old schoolers don't visit Google trends or digg.com to keep on top of what's hot.

6. They only use English. As the U.S. becomes more diverse, and recruiting from around the world becomes more common, only old-school recruiters recruit 100% of the time using the English language. Yes, even though the job itself requires English, it's often still a good idea to begin the conversation in the recruit's native language. [VS]: This may not be applicable to our work style.

7. Videos are too difficult.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, think how powerful a "moving picture" would be. A significant portion of the world's population is hooked on visual means of passing information and telling stories (TV, streaming videos, and/or films). New-school recruiters, at the very least, periodically visit their websites like YouTube in order to keep up with the latest trends. The very best new-school recruiters either post their own online videos that visually demonstrate how great their company is or they actively encourage others at their corporations to post their compelling videos. Although new schoolers love all forms of video technology, old schoolers would never consider using online video interviews or reviewing portfolio or video resumes.

8. They don't use podcasts or jobcasts. The majority of new-school recruiting prospects probably don't even know what a Walkman is. Instead, they love MP3s or iPods (if you don't know the difference is you're probably old school). If you think they're just for music, put yourself in the old-school category. Even Walgreens is utilizing podcasts as a recruiting tool. If you haven't made a recruiting-oriented audio or video message available for download on these devices, you are missing a great opportunity to communicate.

9. They've never tried contests. What better way is there to create a buzz than to offer online contests. The top firms have found that these contests not only allow you to identify and hire previously unknown talent from around the world, but they are also a great source to gather ideas and innovations.

10. They don't use nonrecruiting places or websites. While old school recruiters frequently attend job fairs, new-school recruiters, much like their targets, like to hang out for hours at places that have never been recruiting venues, like Starbucks. They see recruiting at these places (especially ones located close to major employers) as an opportunity, whether it means recruiting in person or by placing messages on the protective coffee sleeves that fit outside the coffee cups (Accenture, Sun, FlipDog, and LAPD have all used coffee sleeves in this way). Other prime recruiting venues for new schoolers might include concerts and industry conferences, as well as alumni, sports, charity, and community events. Places where well-paid people (and thus, likely top performers) frequently dominate the crowd. Old schoolers also see no value in spending time in electronic forums or placing recruiting links and banners in frequently visited nonrecruiting websites.


Like it or not, it has become a fact that recruiting all candidates, especially the 5% that are innovators, is closely tied to changes in the way people communicate and learn. As long as those methods keep expanding, recruiters will either adapt quickly or lose their jobs. It's really just that simple.

Continue reading...>>>

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Difference among CV Resume and BioData

People use the words RESUME, C.V., and BIO-DATA interchangeably for the document highlighting skills, education, and experience that a candidate submits when applying for a job. On the surface level, all the three mean the same. However, there are intricate differences.


RESUME

Resume Is a French word meaning "summary", and true to the word meaning, signifies a summary of one's employment, education, and other skills, used in applying for a new position. A resume seldom exceeds one side of an A4 sheet, and at the most two sides. They do not list out all the education and qualifications, but only highlight specific skills Customized to target the job profile in question.

A resume is usually broken into bullets and written in the third person to appear objective and formal. A good resume starts with a brief Summary of Qualifications, followed by Areas of Strength or Industry
Expertise in keywords, followed by Professional Experience in reverse chronological order. Focus is on the most recent experiences, and prior experiences summarized. The content aims at providing the reader a balance of responsibilities and accomplishments for each position. After Work experience come Professional Affiliations, Computer Skills, and Education


C.V CURRICULUM VITAE

C.V Is a Latin word meaning "course of life". Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) is therefore a regular or particular course of study pertaining to education and life. A C.V. is more detailed than a resume, usually 2 to 3 pages, but can run even longer as per the requirement.
A C.V. generally lists out every skills, jobs, degrees, and professionalaffiliations the applicant has acquired, usually in chronological order.
A C.V. displays general talent rather than specific skills for any specific positions.


BIO-DATA
Bio Data the short form for Biographical Data, is the old-fashioned terminology for Resume or C.V. The emphasis in a bio data is on personal particulars like date of birth, religion, sex, race, nationality, residence, martial status, and the like. Next comes a chronological listing of education and experience. The things normally found in a resume, that is specific skills for the job in question comes last, and
are seldom included. Bio-data also includes applications made in specified formats as required by the company.

A resume is ideally suited when applying for middle and senior level positions, where experience and specific skills rather than education is important. A C.V., on the other hand is the preferred option for fresh graduates, people looking for a career change, and those applying for academic positions. The term bio-data is mostly used in India while applying to government jobs, or when applying for research grants and other situations where one has to submit descriptive essays.

Resumes present a summary of highlights and allow the prospective employer to scan through the document visually or electronically, to see if your skills match their available positions. A good resume can do that very effectively, while a C.V. cannot. A bio-data could still perform this role, especially if the format happens to be the one recommended by the employer.

Personal information such as age, sex, religion and others, and hobbies are never mentioned in a resume. Many people include such particulars in the C.V. However, this is neither required nor considered in the US market. A Bio-data, on the other hand always include such personal particulars.

Continue reading...>>>

Monday, July 13, 2009

New requirements at Oracle

Friends,

We are urgently looking for Data warehousing professionals to be based at our Bangalore office, details mentioned below for your reference:

1) Role: Senior ETL Developer – Ascential Data Stage / Information Server
Work Location: Bangalore
Experience: 3 - 6 years
No of positions: 15

2) Role: Senior Developer - Ab Initio
Work Location: Bangalore
Experience: 4 - 7 years
No of positions: 3

For detailed job description please visit: http://ofssl.requirements.googlepages.com/currentopenings

Looking forward to hear from you to the earliest, kindly forward the details to your friends if not interested!

Regards,


Aftab Mohammad Khan | Assistant Manager - Recruitment |
Human Resources Group I Oracle Financial Services Software Limited
Bangalore, India
Oracle Financial Services Software Limited was formerly i-flex solutions limited.

Connect with me:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/aftabkhan send invite at Aftab.mkhan@gmail.com
Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/AftabMKhan
Check out my blog: http://hropensource.blogspot.com/ Continue reading...>>>

Friday, June 05, 2009

Boolean Search Strings

The “real” work of creating effective Boolean search strings lies in the interpretive analysis of the need, determining what terms to include and exclude from searches and in what specific combination, in the analysis of the relevance of the initial search results, and the adaptive process of learning from the results to further refine the Booleans to find a large quantity of highly relevant results - people who are highly likely to be the right match for your hiring needs.

Few search strings I used for my searches and i come across on the internet mentioned below for your convenience:


1) site:www.linkedin.com Java inurl:in OR inurl:pub (This search will give all java guys on linked in)

2) related:www.pentaho.com/ (This string will search all the related companies)

3) site:LinkedIn.com inurl:in OR inurl:pub “looking * work OR job” OR “laid off” OR available SAP ~Consult (will look for profiles that have the word SAP and a variation of “consult” such as consultant or consulting)

4) site:LinkedIn.com inurl:in OR inurl:pub

5) site:LinkedIn.com inurl:in OR inurl:pub “looking * work OR job” OR “laid off” OR available

6) site:ning.com intitle:page

7) site:craigslist.org inurl:res

8) Tilde ~ and Plus +
Tilde in front of a word means any word “like” this word. It needs to be used with care since you have no control over what Google may think is “like” your word. However, if the number of results is small or if you suspect you may not know of some synonyms for your keyword, using the tilde may help.
The plus sign in front of a word tells Google to use exactly this word. This may be useful for two reasons. One, Google typically ignores what they call “stop” words, meaning very common short words like “the” or “in”. If you put a plus + in front of the, it will be included for sure. Two, Google “auto stems” which means that it will look for some variations of a word you include; if you search for manager it will show results with management as well. Put a plus in front of manager and the results will contain exactly this word. (Sorry, this may sound a little too technical, but it’s important to understand how your results are put together.)

9) Asterisk
Asterisk * is a very mysterious symbol in Google. Though it formally means “some words,” in reality (or is it better to say in practice?) it stands for “one word or very few words.” (The symbol * does not stand for a part of a word on Google as it does elsewhere.)
Here’s a quick example showing how it works. Search for “Oracle * Administrator” (plus keywords) and you will find Oracle Database Administrator, Oracle Discoverer Administrator, etc.

The asterisk * is actually a very powerful tool. Here are some uses.
If you are looking for an email pattern for a company or are trying to collect email addresses, you can use
“email * companyname.com” or
“mailto * companyname.com “
Since the symbol * typically stands for one word, you can add more asterisks to these strings and get different results.
(”email * * companyname.com” etc.)
Please note that since Google ignores special symbols, including the symbol @ in your strings is not necessary.
Here’s one of my favorite sourcing “tricks.” You can look for phrases and land on blogs, forums, and homepages, not resumes, but this may put you ahead of the competition if they only look for resumes.
Here are examples of Google searches for phrases. This would bring up pages written by people who work or used to work for or have something to do with Accenture. (Replace Accenture with your target company name.) Add your keywords to these strings to narrow down the searches:
“I work * Accenture”
“I am * Accenture”
“when I * Accenture”

10) site:www.linkedin.com inurl:in OR inurl:pub JDEdward * Functional +India (JDE functional guys in India)

11) (inurl:cv OR intitle:cv OR intitlel:vitae OR inurl:vitae OR inurl:resume OR intitle:resume) JDEdward ("Functional" OR "Financial") -job -jobs .in India

12) (inurl:Jobs OR intitle:Jobs OR intitlel:Opening OR inurl:Opening OR inurl:requirement OR intitle:requirement) Sales ("Software" OR "Financial") -job -jobs .in India

13) (inurl:Jobs OR intitle:Jobs OR intitlel:Opening OR inurl:Opening OR inurl:requirement OR intitle:requirement) Sales ("sales manager" OR "sales") (banking OR insurance) -job -jobs .in India
Continue reading...>>>

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Ten Challenges for Change

Challenges of Initiating
These challeng es are often sufficient to prevent growth from occurring, almost before it starts. They are consistently encountered at the early stages of significant organizational change. The capabilities to deal with them must be developed under high pressure; but in managing these challenges effectively, organizations develop capabilities much sooner than otherwise for dealing with challenges down the road.

1 Not Enough Time:"We don't have time for this stuff!"

This is the challenge of control over one's time. This challenge is represents a valuable opportunity for reframing the way that workplaces are organized, to provide flexibility and time for reflection and innovation.

2 No Help: "We're like the blind leading the blind!"

Some managers believe that asking for help is a sign of incompetence; others are unaware of the coaching and support they need. Meeting this challenge means building the capabilities for finding the right help, and for mentoring each other to develop successful innovations.

3 Not Relevant: "Why are we doing this stuff?"

A top priority for pilot groups is a clear, compelling case for learning and change. If people are not sufficiently committed to an initiative's goals, a "commitment gap" develops and they will not take part wholeheartedly. Building relevance depends on candid conversations about the reasons for change and the commitments people can make.

4 "Walking the Talk" - Leadership values

What happens when there is a mismatch between the things the boss says and his or her actual behavior? People do not expect perfection, but they recognize when leaders are not sincere or open. If executive and line leaders do not provide an atmosphere of trust and authenticity, then genuine change cannot move forward.

Challenges of Sustaining Momentum

These challenges occur sometime during the first year or two, when the group has clear goals and has discovered that new methods save more than enough time to put them into practice. Now the pilot group's real troubles begin. Sustained activity confronts boundaries - between the work of the pilot group and "internal" attitudes and beliefs, and between the pilot group's needs and the larger-scale company's values and ways of measuring success.

5 Fear and Anxiety: "This suff is ----"

The blanks represent the fact that everyone expresses their fear and anxiety with a different form of defensiveness.) How do you deal with the concerns of team members about exposure, vulnerability and inadequacy, triggered by the conflicts between increasing levels of candor and openness and low levels of trust? This is one of the most frequently faced challenges and the most difficult to overcome.

6 Assessment and Measurement: "This stuff isn't working"

How do you deal with the disconnect between the tangible (but unfamiliar) achievements of a pilot group and the organization's traditional ways of measuring success?

7 Believers and Nonbelievers:

"We have the right way!" say pilot group members. "They're acting like a cult!" say their other colleagues and peers.Riding on a wave of early success, speaking their own language, the pilot group becomes increasingly isolated from the rest of the orga nization. Outsiders, meanwhile, are put off and then turned off by the new, unfamiliar approaches and behavior. These misunderstandings easily accelerate into unnecessary, but nearly unavoidable, opposition.

Challenges of Systemwide Redesgin and Rethinking

These challenges appear as a pilot group's work gains broader credibility and confronts the established internal infrastructure and practices of the organization.

8 Governance: "They won't give up the power."

As the pilot group's capabilities and activities increase, it runs into the priorities and established processes of the rest of the organization. This leads to conflicts over power and autonomy and to a destructive, "us-versus-them" dynamic that nobody wants - and that could be avoided if the capabilities are in place for organizational redesign.

9 Diffusion: "We keep reinventig the wheel!"
Unless organizations learn to recognize and deal with their mysterious, almost unnoticed inability to transfer knowledge across organizational boundaries, people around the system will not build upon each other's successes.

10 Strategy and Purpose: "Where are we going? and "What are we here for?"
How do you revitalize and rethink the organization's intended direction for success, its' contribution to its community and its future identity? How do you improve the processes of conversation that lead people to articulate and refine their aspirations and goals for achieving them?
Continue reading...>>>

Friday, March 13, 2009

Attracting and Retaining Employees

Employee retention strategies of the corporate HR world need no introduction. The need of the hour though is a well thought out retention plan from an employee's perspective. The ability to retain talent is a clear indicator for success.


Turnover - facts and myths:

Employee turnover is a serious concern for managements aiming to remain competitive in the global economy.

  • According to Human Resource Management Association, 20.4% of the employees quit organisations every year in the health care industry. Other industries report a 12-15% turnover rate.
  • A survey conducted by Kepner- Tregoe of Princeton, New Jersey on over 1290 employees, 64% states that top managements seldom initiate programmes to retain employees

Top management's attitude towards staff is a major cause for concern amongst employees. They consider that financial factors significantly motivate employee retention. Contrarily, Krepner-Tregoe's report shows that 40% of the employees feel that financial benefits are ineffective in their retention.

Talent magnets
Employees are satisfied and happy when their basic needs are fulfilled. Organisations meeting these needs are considered 'talent magnets'. Attracting employees and retaining them is critical to reap the benefits of a great workforce. Financial factors although important are not the sole retention factors. Meetings, discussions and surveys help to understand employees' needs better.
Retention Factors
Meaningful work

Employees are rejuvenated when given responsibilities relevant in ensuring an organisation's success. According to Studs Terkel, author of Working, employees "search, too, for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying." Such work gives better results than any individual financial benefits.

Talent magnets ensure that their vision and mission statements are adequately communicated to their employees. Thereby employees become aware of their role in fulfilling organisations' goals. These organisations also encourage employees to innovate and keep them abreast of customer feedback.

Medtronics dealing in medical products from Minneapolis arranges annual holiday party where employees meet patients who are completely cured after using its products. Employees thus identify their accomplishments in a social context.

Appreciation
Genuine appreciation for the work accomplished motivates an employee and is inexpensive and easy. Talent magnets clearly distinguish between their annual prizes or awards and day-to-day appreciation, lest its significance should be lost. In an industry experiencing rapid turnover , Meredith Burgess of Burgess Advertising, a Portland, Maine company records high employee retention rate.
Doug Levin, CEO of Fresh Samantha, the natural fruit juice company, gets information from his managers every week regarding employees who perform outstandingly and sends them 'Thank You' notes. Oakhurst Dairy, of Portland, identifies star performers and gifts them dinner coupons or movie tickets.
Learning

A learning atmosphere is vital for employees' true career progression. Acquiring new skills enables them face challenging situations successfully. This is facilitated through training programmes or by assigning new projects or higher job responsibilities. It is an investment that attracts and retains the best employees.
Organisations like Hussey Seating of South Berwick design jobs that demand employees' mental alertness. Employees are also involved in process improvement and decision making activities.

Respect

Organisations can retain their employees by valuing their efforts in keeping the business going. Employees should have the autonomy to take independent decisions on certain issues. By thus trusting their abilities, the management displays its respect for the employees.
Keane inc., well known as a great place to work in encourages employee participation in the decision making process. The mutual respect organisations and employees hold for each other is a sure sign of success.
These indicators are simple and effective. Nevertheless many organisations do not follow them because most managers

  • Are caught up in completing their work within deadlines and ignore even the simple needs of employees.
  • Though competent in technical skills lack interpersonal skills
  • Tend to believe that they know what satisfies the employees better than the employees themselves

HR managers need to guide their organisations to successfully attract and retain their employees. They should synchronise the organisation's goals and objectives with employee needs.
Attracting and retaining employees
No hard and fast rules to retain employees exist. Every organisation, its employees and their needs differ. Therefore, to understand and fulfill their needs organisations must focus on:

  • Constant interaction with employees through meetings, surveys, anonymous suggestion boxes, informal conversations, discussions and by creating an honest and open work culture that encourages employees to voice their concerns
  • Facilitating group discussions and surveys among managers and employees to identify work cultures and practices that aid high performance
  • Offering salaries that are competitive in the industry though salary is not the only single or a major motivator
  • Training managers and supervisors in interpersonal skills and people management techniques
  • Providing growth opportunities for employees and conducting performance reviews to highlight their strengths and enhance performance
  • Encouraging team -work to improve productivity and morale
    Providing multi- tasking options based on their talent. Diverse work assignments encourages innovations
  • Communicating to employees key issues that effect the organisation and employees interests
  • Facilitating learning by holding seminars, meetings and discussions on business journals/articles etc.
  • Defining with roles and responsibilities clearly
  • Recognising employees accomplishments and making them feel an integral part of the organisation

The job expectations of present day employees have undergone great changes. Earlier employees worked primarily for a rewarding compensation. Today, they look beyond financial benefits. Individual recognition, good work culture, career growth and involvement in organisational issues give them more satisfaction.

Though the problem of employee turnover cannot be overcome totally, effective retention strategies need to be adopted. An effective retention strategy is an investment and will increase an organisation's productivity.

Continue reading...>>>

Friday, February 27, 2009

Competent to the Core!

Seven core competencies to develop and sustain a competent workforce


With businesses getting increasingly global, organisations are making considerable efforts to don a global appeal. However, it is hard to win a good bargain in a globalised economy. Globalisation brings with it certain challenges that call for changes in the method of business execution. Organisations operating in the globalised corporate landscape have on them a huge responsibility that entails fine-tuning their existing processes. The major changes envisaged include an overhaul in the workforce deployment techniques, distribution and production patterns and networking with employees, customers, employees and suppliers. The global enterprise of today is positioned to leverage all possible sections of business that look promising from a value creation perspective. Interactions between different quarters of business, that include internal and external stakeholders, customers and suppliers is one of the most critical determinants of success in the globalised workplace. Understanding how different components of making a competent organisation are juxtaposed leads us to appreciate the role of workforce management in the making of a globally integrated enterprise.

Several drivers play a critical role in building a global enterprise. However, it is finally the involvement of individuals and their execution capabilities that determine its success. Hence, undermining workforce management in the globalised corporate landscape can sabotage the process of building an integrated workplace. Having underscored the role of workforce management in building and sustaining a globally integrated enterprise, organisations need to work towards developing core competencies that would help them manage their workforce with a perspective of delivering performance. While every organisation is fighting for its own space in today's era of extremism, only those that manage to build critical competencies, as a part of their workforce management strategy would succeed. Most successful organisations cite two or three factors as determinants of their success. However, experts believe that in order to maintain a sustainable growth story, organisations need to develop seven core competencies. These competencies are critical for developing workforce capabilities and meet the demands of today's dynamic corporate landscape. The onus of developing these competencies lies largely with HR, however support from other functions is important to lend a complete and holistic approach to the process.
The seven havens
As mentioned earlier, a competent workforce requires an organisation to build upon seven core competencies. These include:
An insightful understanding of workforce capabilities
The first and the most critical pre-requisite for building a competent organisation is a clear and insightful understanding of its workforce demographics and capabilities. Leaders need to assess their standing in terms of talent and skills vis-à-vis their requirements. In addition, they should also be able to make predictions regarding the changes that are likely to impact the demographic picture of their talent stock. In order to get the right insight into workforce demographics, HR leaders need to focus on facts that provide information about human capital data, performance graphs and skills deployment. A clear understanding of these workforce parameters is important for HR leaders to make informed decisions regarding workforce deployment.
Understanding the 3 "C"s of labour demand-supply equation
While most leaders appreciate the role of making informed predictions about the future talent requirements, not many manage it successfully. In order to make meaningful and reliable predictions about the labour demand-supply equation leaders have to carefully analyse and infer the components that could threaten to create an imbalance. Experts believe that three factors can greatly impact the labour demand-supply equation, these are: capacity, capability and culture. Capacity denotes an organisations talent inventory and ability to build on it to meet future requirements. Capability is an organisation's competence in terms of skills, strategy execution and knowledge management, while culture underscores the alignment of corporate values with corporate intent. These three factors put together determine the success of making a globally integrated enterprise.
Tapping informal networks
Social networking is an inevitable by-product of formal networking. It is one of the most reliable sources of undocumented information that provides important cues to leaders about how to get work done, who commands respect among employees and what really irks employees. The informal knowledge conduits that emerge as a result of social networking thus should not be disregarded. Instead, it should be leveraged to their maximum potential.

Instituting support systems to enhance employee performance
Organisations should provide employees a congenial work environment that not only supports their work style but also helps them enhance their performance levels. Self-service tools for instance, can be integrated into corporate working to help telecommuting employees. Similarly, organisations should work on creating knowledge banks that can reduce information clutter and cut down on the time that employees spend on gathering useful data. A few techniques to boost employee performance:
Encourage informal collaboration across global locations
Organisations should provide a platform for employees to pursue their personal interests. For this employees must be encouraged to form groups based on their common interest thereby giving them an opportunity to indulge in discussions, meetings and other creative activities to propagate their interests.
Emphasis on employee education
Providing constant inputs to employees through formal training programmes and education tools is important to keep the workforce motivated and updated. Such corporate initiatives can prove to be extremely beneficial in lending companies a sustainable competitive advantage. Research reveals that organisations investing heavily in employee education initiatives enjoy better economic gains than organisations that have a rather conservative training budget.
Institute effective employee performance review and feedback systems Organisations that have a formal performance review and feedback system are far more profitable than organisations that demonstrate a rather casual attitude towards performance reviews. Offering employees guidance and feedback at regular intervals is extremely important to ensure sustainable performance levels. Organisations that manage to successfully develop these seven core competencies are better equipped to face the challenges put forth by increased globalisation. However, leaders and managers have to bear in mind that while these competencies figure as separate entities, they cannot be nurtured in isolation. Therefore, an integrated approach to building these competencies is important for achieving the desired level of performance.

Continue reading...>>>

Performance & Position

A Priest dies & is awaiting his turn in line at the Heaven's Gates. Ahead of him is a guy, fashionably dressed, in dark sun glasses, a loud shirt, leather jacket & jeans. God asks him: Please tell me who are you, so that I may know whether to admit you into the kingdom of Heaven or not?The guy replies: I am Pandi, Auto driver from Chennai! God consults his ledger, smiles & says to Pandi: Please take this silken robe & gold scarf & enter the Kingdom of Heaven...Now it is the priest's turn. He stands erect and speaks out in a booming voice: I am Pope's Assistant so & so, Head Priest of the so & so Church for the last 40 years. God consults his ledger & says to the Priest: Please take this cotton robe & enter the Kingdom of Heaven...'Just a minute,' says the agonized Priest. 'How is it that a foul mouthed, rash driving Auto Driver is given a Silken robe & a Golden scarf and me, a Priest, who's spent his whole life preaching your Name & goodness has to make do with a Cotton robe?''Results my friend, results,' shrugs God.'While you preached, people SLEPT; but when he drove his Auto, people PRAYED’ It’s PERFORMANCE & not POSITION that ultimately counts. Continue reading...>>>

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tips to boost your self-confidence

At times, your level of self-confidence will determine how well you do in life. Here then are a few tactics that could help you increase your selfconfidence:


Avoid feeling guilty: Don’t feel guilty by constantly thinking about stuff that you should have done; if something is in the past, let it pass. Brooding over it will surely not help you to improve your situation. Try using the word “could” instead of “should” for everything. This will increase your conviction to get things done.

Set realistic goals

Setting goals will help boost your self-confidence. Try and set goals that are attainable. Choose something that you can measure, rather than something that is hard to measure. For instance, sign up for a course with the university and chart your progress Keeping track of how well you are doing there will allow you to feel positive about yourself and it will thereby increase your confidence levels.

Surround yourself with a positive environment: If there are things or places in your life that are sure to make you feel down then consciously stay away from these places. If there are people in your life who are constantly negative, its time to reconsider your friendship with these people since their association will only hamper your courage and confidence to venture into new tasks. Surround yourself with people who are optimistic and caring, people who respect you and value you for who you are. A network of supportive and positive-minded people will go a long way in boosting self-confidence

Stop being critical

Stop comparing yourself to others. Refrain from self-criticisms. You will always find something that someone else is better at. Constant self-criticism can make you feel discouraged and less confident. Choosing to focus on your positive traits will help you attain self-confidence.

Engage in some constructive tasks:

Take some time for yourself. Perhaps painting your nails or polishing your shoes will give you some enhanced confidence, especially when you see some wonderful results at the end of it all. These small yet overlooked chores does contribute towards in help you gain confidence. It is important to learn that you are worth making time for. You will never be able to adequately care for another person until you care for yourself, so take time to unwind and relax.

Think positive

If you find yourself thinking negative or critical thoughts, just try and erase it out of your mind. Your mind is like a computer, and you will be able to erase those negative thought patterns with practice. Then, once you have pointedly erased that negative thought, replace it with a positive one.
Further, write down your best traits, abilities, and skills on a piece of paper. Then when you are feeling down you can come back to this piece of paper to remember how wonderful you are.

Continue reading...>>>

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Recruitment in web 2.0 era.

If you're a Recruiter or HR Professional, 2008 may have been the first year that you actually heard the terms Web 2.0, social media or social networking. So you may be a little late to the game, but congratulations - you're here - so that's a start! And just so you know, I'm officially declaring 2009 to be THE year to get to know and effectively utilize social media tools that can help you in your career. To create your Personal Development Plan (gotta call it something you're familiar with so you'll feel comfortable), I'm recommending 10 tools that you need to implement or increase your involvement with in 2009. You'll get 5 in this post, and 5 in a subsequent post. You may already be using many of these tools, and if you're rockin' and rollin' with all 10 of them, then move to the head of the class! (Of course, you're probably already there since using social media tools has likely set you apart from your peers who haven't figured them out yet.)
1. Go where the peeps like you hang out on the web. The best way to get smarter about
something is to surround yourself with people smarter than you. There are plenty of options to choose from, including - RecruitingBlogs.com, HRM Today, ERE.net, and The Fordyce Letter Network - just to name a few. Check them all out, see which one best fits your niche and join at least one. Create a profile and set aside a few minutes each day to explore. Next, add some contacts and join Groups of interest. Work your way up to commenting on blog posts and forum discussions and participating in the live chats. Graduate to posting content and questions of your own as well as helping others. By participating, you'll be able to network with other recruiting and HR professionals who are dealing with and solving similar challenges, and you'll be able to build a community of like-minded folks who are willing and able to help you when you need it. If you're not involved with these groups, you're missing great information like this, this, this and this.
2. Learn how to use (really use) LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a no-brainer these days for business professionals. I'm regularly surprised to find HR or recruiting pros on LinkedIn with incomplete profiles (or worse, no profile), very few connections and no Group memberships. LinkedIn is one of the best on-line tools out there for
Personal Branding, Job Search, Business Development and Recruiting! An effective profile is your on-line business card, marketing brochure, Google-rank helper, etc. Create a great profile, connect to others, join and/or create Groups, participate in Discussions, ask and answer Questions, etc. Need help? Here are some great resources to get you started: Jason Alba's "I'm on LinkedIn -- Now What??" book and blog, the Social Media Headhunter's LinkedIn Recruiting Companion, Shally Steckerl's LinkedIn Cheatsheets, and the LinkedIn Blog for the latest news on what's new at LinkedIn.
3. Read more Blogs by becoming an RSS
Rockstar or Ninja. I started reading blogs early in 2008, and like most, I subscribed via email. Like most, I also get too much email, so I found myself moving blog posts to a "Read Later" folder - which I never got to. After discovering Google Reader (there are others too), I now subscribe to over 300 blogs, and I can skim through or read content at a much more efficient pace (and my email box is happier too). Some people get their info from books or newspapers - I read blogs and feeds. And I learn. A lot. Need some suggestions for your starter kit? Start with FOT's latest Talent Management Blog Power Rankings, Business School Directory's Top 50 HR Blogs, and RecruitingBlogs.com Best 2007 Recruiting Blogs. (You can also find many smart bloggers who syndicate their feeds on RecruitingBlogs.com and HRM Today.) Subscribe to several, and then add and subtract as you go. Pretty soon, you'll be up to 300+ blogs in your Reader too. Or not. It's up to you!
4. It's time to try Twitter. If you've been resisting using Twitter so far, then it's time to give in.
I resisted initially too, but since I started Tweeting in March 2008, Twitter has become one of the best resources I have as a recruiter, coach and talent consultant. Why? Because I connect with thought leaders who share what they're working on, resources, tips, links to interesting articles, etc. Twitter doesn't have to take over your life. Like you, I have a day job. Some days I check in a few times in between phone calls, interviews and client meetings, and other days I'm not there at all. And for those who say the people they need to connect with aren't on Twitter - think again. I deal mostly with senior level professionals and executives, and I have clients, candidates and potential clients/candidates following me on Twitter. Trust me. They're there - or will be. Need help getting started? Check out Why Recruiters Should Use Twitter on RBC, and my post over at CincyRecruiter's World on 10 People All Recruiters Should Follow on Twitter.
5. Figure out how to use Facebook for recruiting. I'm also adding this one to my own PDP for 2009. LinkedIn wasn't necessarily the place to be in early 2006 when I joined, and while recruiters were certainly some of the early adopters, it's most definitely the place to be now. Because I got in early and spent time developing my network and learning to use the tools, I'm ahead of many of my counterparts in using LinkedIn to develop my business, my personal brand and my relationships. I predict that Facebook will become an even more important tool for Recruiters and HR professionals in the future. Many companies are already effectively
utilizing Facebook to connect with and recruit young professionals, but I'm seeing more and more senior level talent signing up and trying to figure it out as well. (Translation - everybody's doing it.) Facebook has some cool tools for recruiting and employment branding. So stop thinking about all of the pitfalls of Facebook and just do it already! And when you figure out how to use it well, share your knowledge on all of the tools above.
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

McKinsey’s 7S Framework


Strategy: the plan devised to maintain and build competitive advantage over the competition.
Structure: the way the organization is structured and who reports to whom.
Systems: the daily activities and procedures that staff members engage in to get the job done.
Shared Values: called “superordinate goals” when the model was first developed, these are the core values of the company that are evidenced in the corporate culture and the general work ethic.
Style: the style of leadership adopted.
Staff: the employees and their general capabilities.
Skills: the actual skills and competencies of the employees working for the company.

The 7S model can be used in a wide variety of situations where an alignment perspective is useful, for example to help you:
Improve the performance of a company;
Examine the likely effects of future changes within a company;
Align departments and processes during a merger or acquisition; or
Determine how best to implement a proposed strategy.

How to Use the Model
Now you know what the model covers, how can you use it?
The model is based on the theory that, for an organization to perform well, these seven elements need to be aligned and mutually reinforcing. So, the model can be used to help identify what needs to be realigned to improve performance, or to maintain alignment (and performance) during other types of change.
Whatever the type of change - restructuring, new processes, organizational merger, new systems, change of leadership, and so on - the model can be used to understand how the organizational elements are interrelated, and so ensure that the wider impact of changes made in one area is taken into consideration.
You can use the 7S model to help analyze the current situation (Point A), a proposed future situation (Point B) and to identify gaps and inconsistencies between them. It's then a question of adjusting and tuning the elements of the 7S model to ensure that your organization works effectively and well once you reach the desired endpoint.
Sounds simple? Well, of course not: Changing your organization probably will not be simple at all! Whole books and methodologies are dedicated to analyzing organizational strategy, improving performance and managing change. The 7S model is a good framework to help you ask the right questions - but it won't give you all the answers. For that you'll need to bring together the right knowledge, skills and experience.
When it comes to asking the right questions, we've developed a Mind Tools checklist and a matrix to keep track of how the seven elements align with each other. Supplement these with your own questions, based on your organization's specific circumstances and accumulated wisdom.
7S Checklist QuestionsHere are some of the questions that you'll need to explore to help you understand your situation in terms of the 7S framework. Use them to analyze your current (Point A) situation first, and then repeat the exercise for your proposed situation (Point B).

Strategy:
What is our strategy?
How to we intend to achieve our objectives?
How do we deal with competitive pressure?
How are changes in customer demands dealt with?
How is strategy adjusted for environmental issues?
Structure:
How is the company/team divided?
What is the hierarchy?
How do the various departments coordinate activities?
How do the team members organize and align themselves?
Is decision making and controlling centralized or decentralized? Is this as it should be, given what we're doing?
Where are the lines of communication? Explicit and implicit?
Systems:
What are the main systems that run the organization? Consider financial and HR systems as well as communications and document storage.
Where are the controls and how are they monitored and evaluated?
What internal rules and processes does the team use to keep on track?
Shared Values:
What are the core values?
What is the corporate/team culture?
How strong are the values?
What are the fundamental values that the company/team was built on?
Style:
How participative is the management/leadership style?
How effective is that leadership?
Do employees/team members tend to be competitive or cooperative?
Are there real teams functioning within the organization or are they just nominal groups?
Staff:
What positions or specializations are represented within the team?
What positions need to be filled?
Are there gaps in required competencies?
Skills:
What are the strongest skills represented within the company/team?
Are there any skills gaps?
What is the company/team known for doing well?
Do the current employees/team members have the ability to do the job?
How are skills monitored and assessed?

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

COMPETENCY-BASED INTERVIEWS

COMPETENCY-BASED INTERVIEWS ( AN OVERVIEW)
Introduction
Competency-based interviews (also called structured interviews) are interviews where each question is designed to test one or more specific skills. The answer is then matched against pre-decided criteria and marked accordingly. For example, the interviewers may want to test the candidate's ability to deal with stress by asking first how the candidate generally handles stress and then asking the candidate to provide an example of a situation where he worked under pressure.
How do competency-based interviews differ from normal interviews?
Normal interviews (also called unstructured interviews) are essentially a conversation where the interviewers ask a few questions that are relevant to what they are looking for but without any specific aim in mind other than getting an overall impression of you as an individual. Questions are fairly random and can sometimes be quite open. For example, a question such as "What can you offer our company?" is meant to gather general information about you but does not test any specific skill or competency. In an unstructured interview, the candidate is judged on the general impression that he/she leaves; the process is therefore likely to be more subjective.
Competency-based interviews (also called structured or behavioural interviews) are more systematic, with each question targetting a specific skill or competency. Candidates are asked questions relating to their behaviour in specific circumstances, which they then need to back up with concrete examples. The interviewers will then dig further into the examples by asking for specific explanations about the candidate's behaviour or skills.
Which skills and competencies do competency-based interviews test?
The list of skills and competencies that can be tested varies depending on the post that you are applying for. For example, for a Personal Assistant post, skills and competencies would include communication skills; ability to organise and prioritise; and ability to work under pressure. For a senior manager, skills and competencies may include an ability to influence and negotiate; an ability to cope with stress and pressure; an ability to lead; and the capacity to take calculated risks.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the more common skills and competencies that you may be asked to demonstrate:
Skills and competencies for competency-based interviews
Adaptability
Compliance
Communication
Conflict management
Creativity and Innovation
Decisiveness
Delegation
External awareness
Flexibility
Independence
Influencing
Integrity
Leadership
Leveraging diversity
Organisational awareness
Resilience and tenacity
Risk taking
Sensitivity to others
Team work
How competency-based interview questions are marked
Before the interview, the interviewers will have determined which type of answers would score positive points and which types of answers would count against the candidates. For example, for questions such as "Describe a time when you had to deal with pressure", the positive and negative indicators may be as follows:
Positive indicators
Demonstrates a positive approach towards the problem.
Considers the wider need of the situation
Recognises his own limitations
Is able to compromise
Is willing to seek help when necessary
Uses effective strategies to deal with pressure/stress
Negative indicators
Perceives challenges as problems
Attempts unsuccessfully to deal with the situation alone
Used inappropriate strategies to deal with pressure/stress


In some cases, negative indicators are divided into two further sections: minor negative indicators, i.e. those which are negative but which don’t matter so much; and decisive negative indicators i.e. those for which they won’t forgive you e.g. not asking for help when needed.
Marks are then allocated depending on the extent to which the candidate's answer matches those negative and positive indicators.
Here is an example of a marking schedule for the table above:
0 No evidence No evidence reported
1 Poor Little evidence of positive indicators.
Mostly negative indicators, many decisive
2 Areas for concern Limited number of positive indicators.
Many negative indicators, one or more decisive.
3 Satisfactory Satisfactory display of positive indicators.
Some negative indicators but none decisive.
4 Good to excellent Strong display of positive indicators

If the interviewers feel that there are areas that you have failed to address, they may help you along by probing appropriately. For example, in answering the question above “Describe an example of a time when you had to deal with pressure”, if you focussed on how you dealt with the practical angle of the problem but you forgot to discuss how you managed your stress during and after the event, the interviewers may prompt you with a further question such as “How did you handle the stress at the time?”. This would give you an opportunity to present a full picture of your behaviour. This is where the marking can become subjective. Indeed, if an interviewer likes you, he may be more tempted to prompt you and push you along than if he has bad vibes about you.

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Sourcing & Recruiting Tips: Google Custom Search Engines

Nothing wrong with search engines, but what about creating your own? Google makes it easy with their custom search engine functionality. You pick the sites you want to search (e.g., your favorite professional associations within an industry niche), and your results will come only from those sites. Use normal booleans and Google-specific commands in your strings, but get more targeted results. A couple of the many recruiter-created examples include www.big5hire.com and, for the top 150 advertising/marketing industry bloggers, www.recruiting-online.com/AdAge%20Power%20150%20Advertising%20and%20Marketing%20Bloggers.html.For Google's own picks, click your favorite category at http://www.google.com/coop/cse/examples/ or try www.customsearchguide.com

For example i have created a search engine put up on top of this blog to search India specific job portals for technology hiring updates as well market info about the companies hiring from the market using different job portals.
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