Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Here’s to the crazy ones!

Posted: November 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

NIIT is innovative and brilliant. Every year we have a new motto for the whole company to follow. Last year it was brilliantly put as “Be the first choice”. This year, it’s even better – “New ideas, More value” (in other words – get that idea out of your head!) is the mantra going forward. Reminded me of the video that I saw on youtube sometime back that couldn’t resist posting. Here’s to the crazy ones! Enjoy!

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On my way to work a couple of weeks back, I heard about recent study that indicated relationship between higher leadership positions and stress levels associated with it. We have always perceived that – “the higher the position;  higher the stress level”. But two studies by Harvard and Stanford researchers suggests otherwise. Professor James Gross of Stanford and  Jennifer Lerner at Harvard studied a sample of military leaders (O-5 and O-6) and senior government officials (GS 14/15) and found no evidence that the leadership-stress relationship depended on the stability of rank.

According to the studies, cortisol levels which is an indicator of anxiety were lower for Leaders than non-leaders. They also found that the leadership role had lower stress to due an increased sense of control.

Interestingly, these studies indicate that, “the low stress levels of leaders may  both cause and result from leadership that is, individuals with low stress may be particularly well-suited for leadership and as a result, may select into leadership positions”.

About Coritsol: It is a hormone secreted by adrenal glands. Higher levels of cortisol are associated with higher levels of stress & anxiety.

Elizabeth Scott’s article on About.com is also a great place to get some basic information on Cortisol. More detailed information on http://www.cortisol.com
http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/cortisol.htm
http://cortisol.com/the-cortisol-stress-connection/
 
About O-5 and O-6 ranks:
O-5- LIEUTENANT COLONEL (LTC) -Typically commands battalion-sized units (300 to 1,000 Soldiers), with a CSM as principal NCO assistant. May also be selected for brigade and task force Executive Officer.
O-6- COLONEL (COL) – Typically commands brigade-sized units (3,000 to 5,000 Soldiers), with a CSM as principal NCO assistant. Also found as the chief of divisional-level staff agencies.
 
Following is the link to the study:
http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2012/09/20/1207042109.DCSupplemental/pnas.201207042SI.pdf
 

Pursuit for an ideal candidate is not uncommon in our recruiting world. I am sure we have all experienced the following:
1. Our managers and our hiring managers have all insisted for ideal or perfect candidates at some point or other.
2. We have squandered away many hours and excellent opportunities to work with simply “fine” candidates on several occasions.
3. We ignore perfectly fine candidates and are sent on these missions to find that “ideal” someone almost on a regular basis.

Although, most of us have come to terms with the reality that there is “no ideal candidate”; it puzzles me that a large population of our hiring managers is still clutching on to the hopes of finding that ideal ONE. Here are some guesses as to why:

Find the “Perfect” Mindset: The hiring manager has set expectations from candidates and if they fall below that then they are not good enough.

Here is how Merriam – Webster defines “Perfect”:
a : being entirely without fault or defect : flawless
b : satisfying all requirements : accurate
c : corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept

While it’s okay to have a mindset of finding “The Perfect one”; the reality is that no one really fits the definition! It is a subjective term!

Too Many Choices: Too many choices confuse the heck out of us whether it’s standing and staring at an isle in the supermarket with hundreds of soup cans or simply a set of candidate resumes on our desk! I have seen managers staring at resumes of ten candidates that they have interviewed and not being able to make a decision.

The Next One: The hope of “perhaps the next one will be the one” is also a common practice with hiring managers who are unable to make a decision quickly. We have seen this time and again that hiring managers get into this frenzy of interviewing one candidate after another. The problem with this approach is that the next one may not be as good as the one who was interviewed perhaps three months ago before the last two candidates and after the 10th candidate!!! The next candidate may also only have 50% of the skills required and may not have 35% of the skills that 70% candidates have had!!! Not a good situation for either the business, hiring manager or the recruiting team.

Skepticism: It is the state of suspended judgment or systematic doubt as the literal definition says. In business world, we call it the inability to arrive at a decision quickly and live with it. “Maybe – Maybe Not” is the problem here. Too many hiring managers fear – what if this person does not work out! What if this person fails to do the job! What if I am held responsible for this failure! And hence the search for that perfect one.  And saga of interviewing continues.

Unfortunately, all of the above leads to an unfilled spot and more:

1. Business is directly impacted by the delay in hiring.
2. Due to ongoing search the morale of recruiting team goes down over a period of time.
3. The talent pool shrinks as there are not many candidates to be interviewed.
5. If its a high impact position and if the process goes on for months; the company loses its credibility in the market – as candidates eventually start talking about the fact that position has been open for a long time and the company cannot make a decision.
6. And finally, candidates who fit 80% of bill and are excited about the job, eventually lose interest and move on.

After all is said and done, I am sure most of you will agree that the pursuit for an ideal or perfect candidate is futile.

While Superman is highly desirable, I think ordinary people who meet most of the requirements should be able to do any job!

Enjoy Recruiting!


Dear Job Seeker,

You are looking for a job and we are most certainly looking for you! Whether you are an active or a passive job seeker, please make sure  that we find you cause we are in some ways your key to that exciting job.

Lets talk about Linkedin.com  today- the giant professional network. Why because linkedin is the single largest presence on web that is all about business and network. According to Quantcast.com, about 4 Million people  in the US and 9 Million people across the globe visit the site  almost everyday. These are all professionals wanting to connect with others. Just a simple search for the word Recruiter in Linkedin brings 363,754   results (6/14/11). That’s amazing cause that’s how many of us are there on linkedin looking for people like you. Mentioned below are some tips that will help you in your job search.

1. Take the first step:  Open an account on Linkedin – Your profile on Linkedin is your very own free “professional web page”.

2. Content: Add content to your profile that is clear, precise and professional. Its your resume online!

3. Picture: Add a picture to your profile.  Avoid pictures from the party or you holding a beer bottle or at the beach. Also avoid pictures of your pets. A nice looking picture will complete your profile.

4. Contact information: Very important! You are looking for a job and so provide some kind of contact for recruiters to reach you. Email/phone – whatever you are comfortable with. If you are worried about your privacy, please create a new email address just for your job search- creating an email id on yahoo, google or anywhere else is free- you pick. This is very important cause it will allow recruiters to send you an email directly. With no contact information on the profile, it becomes difficult for recruiters to reach out to third degree contacts.

5. Connect: Linkedin provides you with an opportunity to connect with other professionals and so start connecting with people you know and then people they know and extend your network.  Please be polite and courteous if you are sending an invitation to someone you don’t know. Ask if they are accepting any invitations and be okay if they don’t accept your invitation. Connect with people in TOPLINKED.COM group on Linkedin. Also look for LION and OPEN NETWORKERS and connect with them. This is the easiest way to get connected to a large number of professionals.

6. Groups: Join groups in your field of work or that interest you. Recruiter post tons of jobs on these groups everyday. We also look for candidates on these groups. Groups are also good for discussions in your field. You can post discussions in your field of expertise and know what others are talking about via weekly or daily digest.  Click on “my settings” within the group to change these settings.

7. Phone numbers or email address: Jump at the opportunity to get in touch with a recruiter. Some recruiters mention their phone numbers or email addresses for candidates to reach them. Please don’t hesitate to call cause that’s what they want you to do. Its better than sending your resume and waiting to hear back.

8. Companies: Most companies have pages on Linkedin. Follow them if you are interested in what they do. Choose your notification settings to make sure that you receive updates about their job postings.  You can change your settings to get weekly or daily updates.

9. Participate and Help: Participation is important to become visible. Hiring managers and recruiters do come across any or all information you are publish on the web, groups, boards etc. And so please participate on linkedin groups by posting questions or answering questions or surveys. Help others in your network and seek help. After all that’s what social professional networking is all about.

10. Don’t lose hope: Linkedin.com and other social media sites may look complicated but these are out there to help you and us. For us to meet others with similar background and interests. Play with it and I am sure you will find it very useful not only to find jobs but also to make great friends and learn new things.

Enjoy Recruiting!



We have, over the last couple of years understood the immense potential that connecting with others has. In fact, we have known about benefits of networking all  along; internet has just made it easier. We are all on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Plaxo, Jigsaw and a million other sites. We obsessively  check our mails and phones for mails, tweets, updates, texts etc. We are breathing interactive media and living it every minute of our lives.

But amidst all this chaos and activity, we should perhaps pause for a moment and ask ourselves this question – As recruiters- are we truly connected or are we a mere presence on the web? I have asked this question to myself several times and I am diligently working on answering it! I remind myself again and again that for me as a recruiter, every connection is important. As important as the other one! I also remind myself that off-line etiquette also applies on-line. Here are some pointers for us to reflect upon.

Initiate connecting with as many relevant people as you can: Successful recruiters go where candidates are and so why shy away from connecting with any lead or candidate or recruiter. Take a leap and send an invitation. You never know how this connection might be able to help you in future. You will look back someday and give yourself a pat on the back.

Be open to connecting with others: Received an invitation to connect! Don’t know the person! Not sure what to do! These are some of the questions that run through my mind when I receive an invitation to connect over social media. If you are worried about privacy; keep your personal accounts separate from professional. Its also a good idea to open two facebook, my space or twitter accounts. That way your family is separated from your work. Going back to that invitation; take a moment and look at this person’s profile. Everyone has something tangible or intangible that we can benefit from. On Linkedin please don’t “I Dont Know this  person” (IDK) anyone. Ignore or archive but 5 IDKs will blacklist this person who is simply trying to connect with you. Also, Off-line etiquette applies to all on-line interactions. If you receive an email from a connection seeking help or advice; please reply back. I am sure if you are in need and need help; you would expect the same from others. And also because that’s what we would do under normal circumstances.

Say Hello! Just a quick “hello” can go a long way. Say hello to your candidates and connections once in a while. Its hard to stay in touch with people, when you have 500+ connections or several hundred friends on social networking sites. But a quick  thumbs up to their posting or reply to their posting will definitely help in staying connected.

Please Don’t Spam! Its easy to get carried away when you are connected to a large community of professionals. Please don’t send repeated emails to people asking them to fill out questionnaires and polls. Please don’t send them requisitions and requests again and again. No one in your professional network wants to know what you had for breakfast or what your kids have achieved at school or that you are coming home after 2 weeks. Please don’t end up alienating people in your network or very soon you will see people fleeing your network.

Convert! On-line contacts are great but if you are connected with people in the local area, then why not meet them. That applies to meeting with other recruiters and candidates or really anyone with similar work or interest as you have. Sit down with them and convert that contact from an on-line to a real life contact. Meeting people one on one will give you an idea about what they are doing, about the industry or region or understand what is new in recruiting. We have all known all along that there are numerous benefits of knowing a person in-person than online. And so lets take that first step.

Finally, as recruiters let’s enjoy connecting and make long lasting workable relationships.  In this recruiting life; lets not be a mere presence on the web!


We have come a long way from considering in-person interviews as indispensable to treating phone interviews as the only way to recruit candidates. From flying-in candidates for that final interview to flying-out to meet candidates; recruiting has constantly kept us engaged with its ever-changing “ways”.

With dollars assigned for flying-to and flying-in the candidates almost gone; we have resorted to meeting candidates online. We have been using Skype for sometime now and have found it to be the best “low-cost” way to meet your candidates. Its practically free! Skype also gives an opportunity for the candidate to meet the representative (s) of the company that he or she will be working for. I have used skype for several years now and have seen the quality of audio-video improve significantly since these features were introduced. There is one small drawback though – while Skype is allows several people to conference in a call; it only allows the webcam feature for two. I hope they will add multiple cam functionality in future.

Skype was founded in 2003 and has grown rapidly since then. It’s based in Luxembourg, with offices in Europe, the US and Asia. According to their website; at peak times, there are up to 20 million people online.

Its real time, easy and quick. Try it! If you haven’t tried it yet. You will love it. Its an extra step but I think its great to put a face to the voice and know your candidate as a person rather than just the voice.  I think, its an incredible way to add value to your recruiting process in this recruiting life.


Is recruiting an art or science?

Most of us have never paused to think about this but as I start to dive deeper into recruiting models, methodologies and doctrines; its starting to become clear that recruiting is a “subject” in itself.  A field of study, which is not merely a practice but a subject backed by a body of knowledge.  Lack of formal training and non-availability of ample training programs in the field has also kept us away from thinking of recruiting as a “subject”.

While a majority of us have known recruiting as simply a practice or profession at the operational level; USAREC – US Army’s Recruiting Command, stands out in treating recruiting as a subject  and in satisfactorily answering the above question.  USAREC not only provides manpower to America’s army but also transforms exceptional soldiers into A Class Recruiters. Backed by a formal training program and book of knowledge, this institution has mastered the art of generating successful results through its recruiters. Their recruiting doctrine clearly defines recruiting as both an Art and Science.

“At the headquarters, USAREC practices almost pure science: Demographics, market share, and so on. In the station, recruiters practice almost pure art. Recruiters use their interpersonal and conceptual skills to win over America’s young people and promote the merits of Army service”- Army recruiting manual 3-0.