Specialist Recruitment- from the lens of an Industrial Sales Professional

I started my career in industrial sales. And like every other industrial sales person, I was also trained to prospect with those customers who experience a pain area, and my product/service/solution would alleviate that pain. Only after establishing that I can help remove that pain area, would I move forward with commercial conversations with the purchase/procurement teams.

This process is almost the norm in the industrial sales sector where salespersons develop their knowledge of a sector and at the same time, continue to develop their relationship with the line managers – people who we then used to refer to as MAN- a person with Money, Authority and Need. Even though the term is a thing of the past, the concept remains the same – prospect with the one who has a need and authority.

When I talk to my ex-colleagues who have continued to work in the same space and have grown from the ranks to manage country level operations and in some cases, multi-country operations, I safely conclude that the sales process remains the same and the gestation to become a good sales leader is still a function of knowledge and connections of/within the Industry.

You may be wondering what this ramble has to do with recruitment?

When I joined Antal, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Antal’s market development and sales fundamentals closely resonate to what I learned in my formative industrial sales years- GO TO THE PERSON WITH THE PAIN.

And therefore, we emphasize prospecting with line managers – hiring managers – people who are in real pain because they are missing a team member. These line managers have a department goal/ objectives that contribute to the larger revenue and profitability picture of the company as a whole. Having an appropriate team in place is pre-requisite for achieving the goal.

If the right talent is not available, it puts a lot of strain on the Team Lead/Head and the rest of the team- it means stretching self to breaking point, compromising work-life balance and quality of life, cutting a sorry figure with the management team and some cases not using the best of the Technology.

When I prospect, I am looking for pain – I am trained to look for pain. Even as somebody in recruitment, I am looking for the pain the line managers are going through because of lack of great talent in their teams. And if I am able to present the right candidate who can help not only fix the problem but also increase productivity, market share and increase the morale of the team- I believe my role as a specialist recruiter is justified.

But if only, selling within Recruitment was so easy!!

Into this equation, however, I have to very often deal with, is somebody completely unrelated to the pain, Somebody who doesn’t empathise with the pain of the line manager, somebody who is extremely clinical – sometimes to an extent, that they are only talking about number of resumes,  lowest quote and not the best candidate. This somebody is the Talent Acquisition (TA) team.

I have been a hiring manager myself within IT industry and I do think that more than the cost savings, the TA team also need to be measured against opportunity costs lost to the business, compromise in quality of life, deteriorating health of the line manager because a great talent couldn’t come on board.

I think it’s time to end the thought that talent is the responsibility of the TA team only.

Talent is the responsibility of the direct supervisor, of the department/delivery head, of the CEO of the company. Great talent enriches the company in more ways than one, and the only way to achieve a great talent mix in the company is to give greater autonomy to department heads in hiring, within a corporate governance and ethics framework.

This article was penned by Mr Vinu Nair, Managing Partner Antal Chennai. He focuses on Head Hunting, recruiting key talent and business leaders for my clients in the ITES industry. Prior to joining the Antal Network, Vinu Nair has worked in the Sales & Marketing and IT sector for more than 20 years. He was Vice President at NTT Data, managing their business in India and Middle East region. He played key roles in the SAP delivery team for many years before moving to Sales and Business Development.

Vinu would be happy to hear from you..any comments and rebuttals either on the blogs comment section or through a direct email to him on vnair@antal.com.

Looking to start your own business?

Meet us at the Franchise India Expo, on May 20 & 21, 2017 @ Stall No 7


This summer kickstart your own recruitment business with Antal International.

Antal International is a 24+ year’s global executive recruitment business with 146+ offices across 33+ countries. Antal as a brand came to India 10 years ago and since then we have helped many aspiring entrepreneurs coming from professional backgrounds establish their own successful recruitment business.

Antal International not only gives you an opportunity to earn a significant profit from a relatively low investment (approx. 10 – 15 lakhs) but also grooms you as a recruitment leader & mentor who facilitate the career growth of candidates by coaching them and finding them the right opportunity as well as advice clients on how to meet their business goals by hiring the right people.

As a franchise owner you will be perfectly positioned to develop a profitable business in this low overhead/high return industry. You will launch and operate your business using our globally recognized brand and award winning methodology, all backed by a leading team of recruitment and franchising specialists. When you join Antal you will be joining an award winning Franchisor, externally recognized for their achievements in recruitment, franchising, entrepreneurialism and training.

Why Join Antal International

  • Leverage from a global brand represented across 33 countries (144 offices).
  • Shared business through our global network of offices. Our franchisees add 15-25% to their revenues through sharing candidates, clients and fees
  • Access to thousands of blue chip multinational clients
  • Comprehensive training for you and your staff throughout the full term of the franchise license
  • Regular international networking, training, strategy events and conferences
  • Weekly Antal Now call facilitating business sharing

For more comprehensive information on Antal International Network recruitment franchising log onto www.india.antalfranchising.com

Should you wish to set-up a meeting with us during FRO Mumbai, please contact Ms. Jheel Kacharia @ JKacharia@antal.com or Mr. Joseph Britto @ JBritto@antal.com.






5 great books for Sales Professionals

Long weekends are a great way to relax and there’s nothing better that having a great book to accompany you. This weekend we are giving you 5 great books that you can get your hands on if you are a sales professional, business owner.

With a goal in mind to inspire you and help you improve your sales skills we asked our Franchise Training Director, Ms. Shinu Jose to suggest 5 of her favorite sales books that she believes are a must-read for anyone who is involved with sales on a daily basis

So here’s her list….

Secrets of Closing a Sale- Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar is synonym with sales, if you’re passionate about sales there is a very low change that you may not have reads his books. ‘Secrets of Closing a Sale’ is a must on my list of recommendations because of one of the key things he highlights which I feel that most of us choose to ignore “there’s no room for success in a salesman’s career if he’s taking the fast route, making the quick sale, and then locking the door behind him.” He gives a number of examples through humorous real life situations and thought provoking questions that can be used to influence a yes from your prospects.  He suggests techniques that are easy to understand and apply, yet have a far-reaching impact.

How I raised myself from failure to success in selling- Frank Bettger

This is one inspiring story that someone can relate to, how Frank Bettger failed insurance salesman, to owning his own estate and having the possibility for early retirement. This book is a  journey through his financial stability with examples from his personal experience. Some overarching themes that his book highlights include the best ways to conquer fear, the power of enthusiasm and more. A must read for someone who is going through a rough patch and is trying to find a find their spark again

Influence- the Psychology of Persuasion- Dr Robert Cialdini

Whenever we are asked to purchase something, do something, meet someone we have to be persuaded before we agree. We simply want a reason behind everything we do. As a sales professional persuading business prospects, customers is part of our daily work routine.  In this book Dr Robert Cialdini brilliantly puts down 6 principles of persuasion, talks about why people say “YES” and how to persuade them to say yes.

Negotiation Genius- Deepak Malhotra, and Max Buzerman

A brilliant book by 2 geniuses, who list down proven strategies, principles and habits that can help you achieve positive results in any negotiations. This book is the perfect guide for preparing and executing negotiations – whether its cracking a business deal or negotiating a home deal or your next salary.

Hardball Selling- Robert L Shook

Shook guides sales persons to master hard selling using four basic principles. He focuses on various steps in a sales process such as getting past the “gatekeeper” to the single-minded tactics necessary to close a sale.

Here’s to a great weekend… Happy Reading

Keep Learning, Keep Grow

5 Tips To Fix Your LinkedIN Profile Pic

Having a business profile picture on LinkedIn makes your profile 14 times more likely to be clicked, but not images have the same impact on the profile visitors. We are giving 5 basic tips that will help you take a good profile picture.


  1. You must have a professional LinkedIN profile pic, there’s no 2 ways about it. You profile pic gives a face to the name and makes it easier for the viewer/interviewer/client/prospect etc to relate to you.
  2. LinkedIN is a social networking site for professionals and hence you attire in the profile pic should reflect that. That means you should be dressed like you would to work shirt, tie/ formal dress, limited jewellery & makeup a decent & neat hairstyle, well groomed.
  3. You profile pic cannot be something you clicked on your last vacation – no not a beach pic where you are in a swimsuit or trunks sipping a cocktail, or at a party/roadtrip/trek/gym, no group pics or even selfie, or with your adorable pet, or your family.
  4. When you select a pic for LinkedIN make sure its clea and not grainy, pixelated, blurred.. get a good camera and click a pic where you face is visibly clear
  5. It’s always advisable to click a pic with a white background or even a black&white, avoid brightly lit backgrounds. Avoid clicking a pic in a surrounding that untidy. Avoid clicking pics in your kitchen or bedroom.


Well that’s our advice for you… we hope it helps you and will soon sport a new improved LinkedIn Profile pic soon

Resume Checks You Often Forget

There are a number of tips, do’s & don’ts when it comes to compiling a resume. However there are also tiny bits about a resume that candidates often overlook. These ‘tiny bits’ can cost you your next career opportunity. We have list 5 areas in the resumes that most candidates tend to overlook or fail to realize the damage these errors could lead too.


Here’s our list of the most common faux-pas we have seen in candidate resumes

  1. Proof Read your Cover Letter and Resume before you hit the send button: We very often forget to proofread and spell-check – and check again! A spelling error or grammatical mistake on a resume or cover letter portrays a negative impression. It portrays carelessness, absence of eye for detail, inattentiveness etc. It is always advisable to read the resume twice before mailing it to someone.
  1. Avoid mentioning embarrassing email addresses:Most candidates use email address that were created when they were 16 years old and still prefer using the same email address. Well there’s nothing wrong with it however sometimes these email addresses are embarrassing as they have some funny adjectives that go along with it and as senior professionals you wouldn’t have to be embarrassed because of a juvenile email address. It’s advisable to create a separate email address for professional use only.
  1. Not including your digital footprint on your resume:Networking sites like LinkedIN are considered digital resumes. Just like candidates Google the company or the interviewer before an interview; Interviewers also Google candidates before meeting them, hence it’s good to add a link to your LinkedIn profile to help you interviewer find you easily.  Also a number of professionals use these LinkedIN Pulse or blogs to network, build themselves an online brand as an industry exert. It’s a great practice to include the links to your social networking accounts like LinkedIN and Twitter as well as your blog on your resume. It gives the interviewer a glimpse into your professional network, your industry knowledge and expertise through your post and blogs.  If you are one of those candidates who has a fantastic professional presence on social networking sites or has a blog; including the links on your resume is a must.
  1. Not updating your resume regularly:Most professionals look at their resumes only when they actively start looking for a job or if they are headhunted and hence are keen on exploring the opportunity. The fact is that every time there is a change in your job profile you must update your resume immediately. It could be anything, change on responsibilities, job title, change in contact details in case of phone number etc. Very often professionals send out their resumes in a hurry and miss out on crucial details that could have been avoided.
  1. Make it machine-readable:Today recruitment is going digital and so is job search. It’s all about using the right keywords that enables a cv to found through automation or manual online searches. While you are updating or creating a resume make sure you are using all the right keywords that are associated with your industry/niche, the role you are applying for etc

We hope these tips help you keep your resume update. If you are looking for career advice, interview tips, Job opportunities entrepreneurial opportunities watch this space

Building a Brand called – YOU

“All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” – Tom Peters in Fast Company


Whether you want to sell products, gain subscribers, draw followers, attract recruiters & hiring managers then you’ve got to build a brand for yourself to reach out to these people. Why would someone who hasn’t met you, interacted with you ever want to connect with you on a social (professional) networking platform.  Your ability to encourage any of the above mentioned actions comes from your professional brand — and one of the best ways to build that is through the savvy use of social media. 

We are sharing a few tips in a series of 3 articles, where we will give out tips on how you can set yourself apart from the competition, build your professional brand and create an impressive for yourself within the industry you work in.

The first article in this series will focus on Getting started – Why’s & How’s. Why you can’t ignore social media and How Do I Start

Let’s get started with WHY YOU CAN’T IGNORE SOCIAL MEDIA

  • It’s free – You don’t have to invest a penny to build your professional brand as most of the social networking sites are free to a great extent. All you need to invest in some time.
  • Using filters, hashtags, LinkedIn Groups makes it easier to connect with people from your industry
  • It allows you to reach out to millions of people cutting across geographical boundaries
  • Project yourself as a thought leader within your network. Showcase your expertise, knowledge and experience using SM tools. Reach out to Senior Execs within your industry, Hiring Managers, Recruiters as well as Journalists



We have listed a few questions you need to ask yourself which will help you form a great foundation for your professional branding strategy. When you answer these questions you will slowly start putting together a great plan to build your professional brand name


  • Why create a professional brand?
  • Be visible- Social Media gives you visibility, it gives you a platform to showcase your knowledge, expertise and opinion beyond the four walls of your cubicle. The more visible you are on social networking sites the more opportunities you are exposed to
  • Network – Building your network in your industry. There may not be an immediate intention of a job change. However, you may look at networking, knowledge sharing, understanding the views and opinions other professionals have about the various trends in your industry as well as to keep yourself updated on the latest trends.
  • Job Opportunities – Building your professional brand is like controlling your career as well as the way you are perceived in your industry. Networking with hiring managers, decision makers, understanding industry hiring trends and voicing your opinions about these trends that affect your industry will help you attract recruiters and hiring managers and build your relation with them. So if there is a job opportunity that they are hiring for, they may directly approach you for it.
  • Long term goal of Entrepreneurship – People love reading success stories of founders, how they failed and yet dint stop. Social Media platforms give aspiring entrepreneurs this platform to tell their story and market themselves. Establish yourself as a thought leader, an expert and build a strong network of future clients
  • Who are my target audiences – Industry leaders, Hiring Managers, Senior Managers, HR, Recruiters, potential clients (entrepreneurship), journalists
  • Where will you find them – LinkedIN, Twitter
  • What are they talking about? Are they speaking about Industry trends, Hiring trends, News that will impact their industry, generic corporate trends, market research etc. Use these kind of topics to build your brand, have an opinion on issues that will impact the industry you work within
  • Why would someone read my content? Your USP is your years of experience in your industry, the knowledge you’ve accumulated all these years, your understanding of how the industry functions, your ability to sense the pulse of the industry and the way you share this kind of information is by expressing your views through thought driven content. Poeple love reading thought driven, informative literature.
  • Where would I get content ideas from? News, Articles, Blogs, Books, conversations with other professionals from your industry use this as an inspiration.


If you are seeking a new job or business prospects you may want to focus on optimizing your LinkedIn profile.  Depending on the kind of objectives, you may then focus on maintaining a presence on platforms that will help you to reach the right target audience and build a name for yourself in the industry.

The more specific you are,  the more your focus on your niche, the better it is as it will help you reach out to the right people and stand out from the crowd.

Together Towards Tomorrow – Antal India Owners Meet

The Antal India Owners Meet is a great way to connect with and network with Owners, Support team and Management. It also provides us the opportunity to network, build relations and share business. This year we had 22 Owners attend this meeting from across the country, the Antal India Support Team as well as Mr. Tony Goodwin.

The meeting began with Joe Devasia and Tony Goodwin greeting everyone and articulating a small welcome note. They focused on the need to build relationships through networking and using opportunities like the Owners Meet to network and share business. Post which the group was invited to recite our company’s motto “Sharing Information, knowledge and experience…for the benefit of clients, candidates and colleagues. ” (Watch the video here >> https://goo.gl/hpdxIE) 

  • Joe then updated the owners on the Sectoral Forecast for the year where he spoke about every promising sector that we work within such as Automobile, Real Estate, Agro, Travel & Tourism, FMCG/CD, IT, Infrastructure, Media
  • Joe then presented the Year Gone By & Year Ahead for Antal India.
  • He also spoke about new business and mentioned ATOS, which was referred to Antal Romania through coverage in Indian media.
  • Antal India’s total Media Coverage was valued at 1.25 Cr in the past year, the majority of which was in Leading Publications that Gina worked diligently to get for Antal without any remuneration.
  • He also made special reference to
  • Nagesh Joshi having the highest number of sharing assignments with international offices
  • Antal India Blog appears on the 1st Page on Google Search
  • New Antal India Franchise Website india.antalfranchising.com
  • Boost In Social Media Activities using the hashtags




The key speaker for the Owners meet was Mr. Birender Ahluwalia, who lectured a session on ‘Converting Yearly Plans into Reality’. Mr. Ahluwalia focused on increasing productivity at work by nurturing positive people. This highly interactive and energetic session gave a perfect start to this day long event.

The next session was with Mr. Goodwin who was recently in China to attend the Career International (Our partners in China) 20 years celebration. He updated us about his visit, the celebrations etc.

  • Goodwin focused on Key Account Management and how Owners can build profitable and successful businesses by Ultra-Specialisation (identifying & focusing on a niche). He highlighted various business developments happening across the Antal Global Network. He stressed on the need to constantly look for new opportunities and he brilliantly put this in this line “Don’t see closed or half open doors, just focus on the Opportunity behind the Door”. Show initiatives and take risk.”

Gina  Mascarenhas took the following session on ‘Social Media for Recruitment Business’. This session highlighted the need for Owners building and maintaining a personal brand on various online digital platforms. She gave a few tips on how to create, build and maintain a strong online presence. She also shared tips on how to work on content development

The next session ‘Learning from Account Mining – Owner Storieswas a panel discussion chaired by Ms. Shinu Jose, Director-Training. The panel consisted of the Antal Stalwarts Joseph Devasia, Praveen Dewan, Nagesh Joshi, Mayank Chandra and Vinu Nair. These Owners addressed the forum about how they manage and maintain their Key Accounts as well as the importance on continuously building new business.

LinkedIN conducted a session “LinkedIn for Lead Generation”, where they spoke about the various tools Owners could use to build their businesses as well as key LinkedIn tips and tricks. We also had Mr Anirban from Mettl – a secure, flexible online candidate skills assessments platform. He conducted a session on ‘Creating high performance teams’.

Shinu Jose then took another session ‘A Rigorous Interview Process’ with the Owners on hiring PRC’s for their Office.

Mr. Vinu Nair, Managing Partner Antal India conducting a small session ‘Leveraging capability across offices’ this session focussed on offices working in same discipline can join hands together and sell Antal as one.

Mr. Anil P Dev spoke about ‘Position Specific Terms or Empanelment’ another great session to build profitable businesses.

With this session it was time to ‘call it a wrap’. But before we could ‘call it a day’ we had to pose for a team pic

%d bloggers like this: