Today we are in conversation with Mr. Deepak Jain, Managing Partner Antal Gurgaon, Sohna Road. Deepak signed up for Antal Franchise in June 2018. Deepak is a Commerce graduate from St. Xavier’s’ Kolkata, a Chartered Accountant, Cost Accountant & Company Secretary by profession. With a career span of 23 years, Deepak has worked across sectors such as Jute, Petrochemicals, FMCG, Gas & Speciality Chemicals, Media, Automotive (OEMs) and Apparels & Retail sectors. The last decade of his career was spent as Head of Finance / CFO levels.
He chose to kickstart the 2nd innings of his career with Antal as an Antal Franchise partner. Today he shares his story with us –
- Why did you choose recruitment franchise business? What are the good things about working in the recruitment industry?
I was looking for a Business opportunity (coming from a Business family) where I could “Be My Own Boss”. After more than two decades of corporate work experience, I was looking for something which was challenging and a well-established brand. The Antal franchise opportunity met my criteria and after a bit of some contemplation I signed up for it.What actually convinced me to plunge into this opportunity is that recruitment industry gives you an opportunity to interact with people – all from different strata, geographies and beliefs and I am a people’s person all through, I like interacting with people, understanding their goals and aspirations and I felt this would go hand in hand with what Antal was offering.
- How did you hear about Anternational? And what made you pick Antal of all the choices you had?
As a Decision Maker during my corporate career, I received sector shots from Antal offices, I also spoke to few recruiters as well as Managing Partners to discuss business and from those conversations I realized, Antal methodology was very different from most of the other Recruiters. I found Antal unique from the rest and therefore I decided to launch my own venture. I picked the phone and spoke to Jheel Kacharia (the then Franchise Development person at Antal) and got a fair degree of understanding about how the model works. Apart from that, the specialization theme at Antal made it even more appealing as I would still retain my touch with my profession specializing in my own domain. Apart from that, the proud feeling with being associated with a global brand made it even better. So it was a net result of all the above which drove me to sign on.
- How were your initial days in the business?
What are the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them – Initial days were exciting as well as challenging. However, the training during the induction and weekly follow up calls with the training team helped me a lot. Coincidentally, I had already started speaking to some of my potential candidates and managed to land a couple mid-level roles. There would be an element of ambiguity on some days but the positive vibes helped me, it sail through the initial days. Getting across to candidates was tough at times. Some profiles getting rejected outright before discussion was disappointing but I sailed through it. Some introspection, reference to training materials, guidance from the training team specially before signing terms with a large Corporate gave me the required confidence. Apart from this, being an ex-CFO gave me easy access to my network and I had the means to reach out to my professional circles for good references.
- How is your business functioning now?
When did you make your first placement? My first offer was released in the second month and the joining happened in the fourth month. The best part was getting a candidate from overseas to be placed in a Corporate down south of India. This was a challenging task and once done there was no looking back. Since I don’t have a team yet, closing 7 roles (some in sharing terms with other partners of the Antal Network) has boosted my confidence, there have been a couple of dropouts however there was so much to learn from them as well. March looks exciting as quite a few roles are up for closure. So to summarize, if I have to score my performance; I would give myself 7 on 10. Since I am a number person, I have already put in my target for next year – both in terms of accruals and cash.
- What are your plans for the next years?
I am in the midst of building my team. I strongly believe in the TEAM (Together Everyone achieves more) framework. In terms of numbers… I want to cross a crore in the first full year 2019-20 and am driving my self towards that. Long range plans for my office will be worked out mid 2019-20.
- What do you like most about Antal?
The one most important asset is the power of the Network, globally and locally. As a new Owner, I seeked advice from the Antal veterans and of course, a large network also gave me added business. This is a win-win situation to all within the Network. Apart from this Antal’s process-driven culture which one must not forget as it is a “Success Mantra”.
- What is the key advice you would give to other prospective franchisees that are considering this kind of self-employment?
If you have the determination to work in a Network and are willing to go that extra mile in process compliance, there is no looking back – this is the place to be associated with. This is not a job it’s your own venture and you have to be your own Manager.
- What’s your fitness mantra?
Strictly speaking I’m a diehard foodie – as my family and friends call me. My fitness is around an hour’s walk each day at least for 6 days a week which helps me concentrate on the inner self and gives me freshness for the work day ahead.
- Tell us something about your family –
My immediate family is my wife Sangeeta who is a homemaker turned Business woman running her own small Coaching Centre and my two angels Shivangi & Sneha both out of school currently studying CA.
- How do you balance your professional & personal life?
Work Life balance has never been an issue for me. Have driven my teams into it for the years I have been as a team lead. The matter here is quality time both sides- at work and with family is what really is important to me.
- Which is your favorite holiday destination?
Well, I like travelling to hills and so Himachal has been ultimate in that.
- Your Hobbies –
I love watching movies, listening to old and melodious songs and Ghazals and spending quality time with my angels.
- Your proud Antal Moment –
A candidate presented by me in August who was put on hold and in November was made an offer as a standalone candidate (Have had quite a few of them where a single candidate has sailed through the entire process without a blemish)- kept him warmed and gave him good counselling making a win situation for both the client and the candidate. He joined 20 days ahead of the scheduled date.
- What keeps you motivated to do the same job every day?
Have been doing the desk job for years in corporates, the role with Antal allows me to interact with different types of people – either the client or the candidate. Sometimes follow ups become a drag but perseverance has always been my success factor and apart from that my better half is always throwing challenges at me being a Co-Director in my Company linking my performance to the numbers so all of this motivates me to work each day afresh.
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made & hiring isn’t an exception”
How many of you credit your current job to a female recruiter? Or how many of you have been interviewed by female HR Managers? Not many of you will have ‘No’ for an answer. All of us at some point have spoken to female recruiters and discussed our career aspirations with them.
The recruitment industry is comprised of 75% women. At Antal International, India, 72% of our recruiters are women. What is it that makes this industry so popular and lucrative among women? Well, there are many factors and we have listed a few.
Eye for Detail: Women tend to look into details, they scrutinize and analyse every aspect of a potential candidate or a job profile. This gives them a better insight into the long term goals of their candidates as well as their clients business. This also allows them to spot potential red flags much faster avoiding a lot of damage that can be done in the later hiring stages.
Building Relationships: Recruiting is all about networking, building and maintaining strong trustworthy relationships. female recruiters are friendly and converse on a personal level which helps to keep the communication real. This helps them to understand what their clients and candidates are expecting and what they can offer them. This helps them build healthy personable relations.
Persuasive and Articulate: The ability to persuade/convince someone is extremely critical especially for a recruiter. Based on their research, data, reasoning, female recruiters have to convince a client that they can find him the best talent or convince the candidate that they have a great career opportunity for him/her. Female recruiters know how to frame and deliver their messages across; they choose the right medium, the right words etc.
Money: According to Greg Savage, an acclaimed keynote recruitment speaker; who believes that money plays a big motivator for women in the recruitment industry. Mostly, recruiters get paid on results (incentives). And in a world where women routinely earn less than men doing the same job, that’s very attractive indeed.
Antal International India is a testimony to the fact that the recruitment industry hires more women. Our India network comprises of 72% women recruiters. Recently one of our Managing Partner, Mr Saseendran Ayikkara, Managing from Bangalore; who heads an ‘All-Women Team’ won was awarded as the Top 5 companies in DivHERsity Awards 2019 an initiative by JobsForHer to celebrate gender diversity in the workplace; shares why he thinks women make better recruiters and how he is working on building a work environment for women recruitment leaders.
“Women usually give more attention to detail, they are approachable and empathetic. Patience, a trait which allows women to suspend judgment long enough to make informed decisions. We continue to empower women working in recruitment by creating an environment that is inclusive of everyone, at all levels, where women feel inspired to collaborate and ideate as leaders!!”
2019 started with inducting three highly energetic and visionary entrepreneurs into the Antal India fold. We are very pleased to introduce the newest of our brood:
Antal Chennai – Cathedral Road
Ramkumar Narayanan comes with a work experience of over 2 decades across a broad spectrum of roles in business and technology, with a special focus on the BFSI and Healthcare domains. He has worked for premier services and product companies, including HP, Wipro, HCL and Athena Health. He believes in dovetailing the micro insights into the big picture of strategy and business objectives. He believes in a dynamic balance between directional steer and enablement and keenness to listen to diverse viewpoints. Ram likes to dabble with crossword puzzles.
He is based at the Antal office at Cathedral Road, Chennai, with specialization in Business Analysis, Product Management, Presales, Solutions, Architecture and Design, Delivery and Product Engineering, for the BFSI and Healthcare domains.
Antal Gurgaon – Sohna Road
Ashish Mahajan joins us with over 22 years of rich & versatile experience in Retail Sales Operations, Business Development and Top Line & Bottom Line Profitability functions. He has been at the forefront of initiatives in streamlining operations, invigorating businesses, heightening productivity & enhancing internal controls. He was pivotal in adopting a pragmatic approach in improvising on solutions and resolving complex issues in dynamic business environments.
A consummate professional with well-rounded business acumen, he is committed to continuing professional development along with managerial excellence. He has been adjudged as a key contributor in various organizations entailing Mahindra Retail Pvt. Ltd., Devyani International Limited, VF Arvind Brands Ltd. & so on.
Ashish specializes in Sales & Marketing and Operations functions in Retail and FMCG Industry.
Antal Thane – Hiranandani Gardens
Poorvi Joshi has 16+ years of experience in IT & ITES into Operations, Software Development and hiring for large organizations with their strategic requirements, decided to join Antal International network. She believes “the hallmarks of an entrepreneurial enterprise is in knowing your passion, working hard to keep it alive, enjoying it, every minute of every day even when the going gets difficult.”
If you are keen on knowing how you can launch your own recruitment business just like they did visit https://india.antalfranchising.com. Alternatively, you can call us at +91 9930099216 or DM us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. You can also visit https://lnkd.in/fhJV2a8 and book an appointment.
A new year brings with it, a renewed hope and vigour. It’s the right time to channel these energies positively into your business by reviewing and setting goals for your business.
At the onset, do take a moment to appreciate all that good happened in your business- financial, social standing, success stories, new technology/ infrastructure, office expansion, working with clients who put a smile on your face.
Springboard from these moments and launch into what 2019 should look like for you?
Consider from various perspectives, what you want to review in March 2019- begin with the end in mind. Here are some points for you to get started:
- The first big one is your Financial Achievement: what would you like your profits and revenues to look like in 2019?
- What are the profit margins you want to see in your business, and what factors could contribute to it?
- Take a stock check on both costs in your business and the revenues earned-what are the factors which can be better controlled to deliver your intended profit margin?
- Take a thorough look at the Client Relationships you have- which needs to be nurtured, which needs to be pruned off?
- Clients who have shown mutual respect for the partnership, have been open and honest in communications, have listened to your advice and paid you on time- what can you do to strengthen such relationships in your business?
- Conversely, the set of clients who have not been kind to you, did not consult you and lost themselves a great candidate, those whose payments needs to be chased up on, identify them and prune them from your business?
- Who are the customers you want to work with, who are not clients yet? What initiatives will attract and encourage them to work with you?
- Stock check your Product Mix:
- Think back to last year, were there opportunities to offer a different product/service/solution, but you couldn’t for various reasons?
- Is the market looking for more diversified services? Do you spot a financial opportunity?
- Is your current product/service mix profitable? Do your salespeople know how to differentiate and sell these services?
- Consider the Marketing Initiatives, both online and offline which you want to initiate or strengthen this year?
- Basis the strategy you want to follow from points above, what marketing initiatives will complement your efforts?
- What marketing initiatives will form the core of your offline activities? How will you want to go about it?
- What online initiatives will resonate with your vision and mission and how do you want to be known in your market? What’s your niche? All marketing communication needs to diverge from this focal point? So, take a detailed view of this aspect of your business goal.
- What Technological Investments do you want to make this year for the business?
- Technology has pervaded almost all aspects of recruitment, it has helped in increasing productivity and process efficiency- what investments would you want to make this year regards this?
- What about the existing technology- is that enabler or disabler?
- Consider the People aspect of your business.
- This is the most critical success factor for your business- and must be considered from expansion, retention as well as letting of under-performance.
- Evaluate your business inside-out to find out both best practices and gaps when it comes to creating a performance driven culture.
- What are the current practices for hiring? Does it need change to reflect the performance-driven culture?
- What are the parameters on which individual performance is currently being evaluated? Is there a buy-in for it?
- Are expectations clearly communicated? Is everybody well trained to perform their jobs to the best of ability?
- What are the rewards, recognition and career advancement aspects of your business? Is everybody clear on how to achieve it?
- How is retrenchment on performance lag handled?
- Do keep an eye out on Macro Factors, usually outside the business control- these include major policy changes by Government, sectoral disruptions, upcoming general elections in the country.
- Though not in business control, what can you do to offset the possible disruptions- work out a contingency plan!
Being in any business is exciting, being in a recruitment business is even more so. So, get your thinking hats on and chart out the best year in your business.
Here’s to an inspirational, successful, rewarding, all things nice and bright 2019!!
Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) first emerged in the 1990s and has gained remarkable traction in recent years to become a $4+ billion global industry today.
Yet, some organizations tend to hesitate to take that much needed RPO leap. They fear to transfer all or even a part of their recruitment process to an external service provider. There is a perception that RPO’s suit only certain organizations and industries. Hiring the best fits for your organization means you need to have the time and the expertise all the time. That’s what specialist service providers bring to the table.
Some of the main advantages to go RPO:
RPO’s also skilfully handle all menial tasks of the recruitment process. Sourcing is their core competency and they have the resources, technology and methodology to attract talent for you more efficiently and effectively. They know where to look and what to look for better than anyone else and make sure your organization is presented as you want it to be.
A rigorous screening process ensures matching of skills, motivation and culture fitment. An RPO becomes your augmented talent brand representative reaching out to various communities continuously.
RPOs are dedicated to you and therefore accountable to meet your hiring plan. In addition to traditional recruitment skills that they provide you, they also bring a host of metrics and dashboards to help you monitor your recruitment process, costs and brand power and a flexible engine that can gear up or gear down depending upon business needs. Why build your own recruitment infrastructure when you can’t be 100% certain of your hiring plan in the next 1-5 years? You do not want to be saddled with higher fixed costs that cannot be deployed meaningfully all the time when you can access dedicated recruitment infra whenever you want with certainty
Cost management is a top priority for every organization, irrespective of size and industry and recruitment costs can add up before you realize. Costs are not just your in-house team but also job-sites, machines, travel, printing, communication, assessment tests, technology, etc. many of these remain fixed all the time. If you can get all of this done better a pay only for actual usage you would ultimately save costs and reduce your cost per hire (and if you are unable to measure this an RPO will ensure you can and control it)
Imagine having your own recruitment set-up that you can use leverage at any time for any skill for any location all the time? It will instil confidence with your business leaders to grow their business with any hesitation on talent availability. An RPO service provider brings talent intel right to your table – today’s and tomorrow’s. Talent leads your business and if you know where and how to tap this you will stay ahead.
An RPO engagement ensures you lock into the right talent at any time and be top of mind recall.
In the war for talent, accurate assessments of candidates and positive evaluations of interviewers are essential. Candidates who evaluate their interviewers more positively are more likely to accept a job offer. While modern technology has provided organizations with a slew of communication tools such as Skype, FaceTime and Google Hangouts that are used to recruit talent, nothing beats an in-person interaction, especially for the middle- and top-level jobs.
According to a study by Degroote School of Business at McMaster University in Ontario, applicants who were interviewed using video conferencing were less likely to get the job compared to the ones who underwent in-person interviews. Often, the resumes and the cover letters are written in a very formal manner, not providing much insight into the candidate’s personality. A personal Face-to-Face (F2F) interview is essential for gaining a good understanding of a candidate’s personality and motivation, which are key factors in predicting his or her success potential.
Video interviews are, of course, helpful when it comes to mass screening. They are particularly useful in assignments where a lot of the candidates, especially remote candidates, meet the basic requirements on paper and screening down to a few finalists would require a lot of interviews. But remember, as a recruiter you still have to go through all those videos to figure out the right candidate. Besides, a not-so-great internet connection can play havoc with the process. The candidates’ tech-savviness might also influence your impression even though it may not be directly related to the job, thus putting the candidate at a disadvantage. On the flip side, it puts less pressure on the candidates and allows them to communicate in a much more open fashion.
Besides, organizations don’t really save time with video interviews compared to telephone interviews or in-person interviews, except for the transportation time (on the candidate’s side). Another supposed benefit is that video interviews save recruiters the hassle as they help in sorting through the candidates faster. But, recruiters will still have to set apart time to listen and watch the interview videos. While recruiting for the middle or the top level, asking for a video interview can send a wrong signal to the candidates as it might mean that the company does not want to bother meeting people.
Additionally, it is also easy to become distracted whilst on video interviews and give the interviewer the wrong impressions. For example, the temptation to watch the little box at the bottom can give interviewer the impression that you lack confidence and sincerity. Looking into the camera will create the illusion of direct eye-contact, which is always a huge contributing factor in a F2F interview.
Video interviews are dehumanizing the interview process and while it may strike a chord with the millennial generation who have grown up with such applications, many mid and senior-level professionals still prefer the human touch. Cyberspace is a non-committed area of reality where you only have the facts and figures to guide you. People can be any kind of persona there and not show their true, authentic side. It works the other way too. When a candidate comes to your office, they too get an impression of you. How does the place look? Is the environment modern and clean? Does it look like it has a conducive atmosphere for reaching excellence? Bring in the candidates and give them the tour of the office, take them through multiple rounds and maybe a lunch. This would allow for multiple opinions on the candidate formed by various colleagues and provides a more wholesome picture about whether the candidate will be the right fit for the company.
F2F interviews allow for more in-depth data collection and comprehensive understanding and gives the interviewer more room to probe for explanation of responses. It allows the candidate to build a rapport with the interviewer, which will in turn help the latter pick up body language cues and facial expressions. This is more difficult in a video interview. An in-person interview is the best form of screening for the final decision-making round, particularly for the mid- and senior levels because as a recruiter you want the candidate to have the right culture fit. The DeGroote researchers found that candidates who were interviewed via video conferencing were rated lower by interviewers and were less likely to be recommended for hiring. Interestingly, even candidates rated their interviewers as less attractive, personable, trustworthy and competent.
F2F also makes it easier for the candidate to seek more answers to their queries or clarify questions that seemed confusing. Interviewers are able to connect with the candidates and show more empathy. When the candidates feel understood, they let their guard down, open up and share emotions.
One of the oldest forms of market research, F2F still holds good in this age of advanced technologies simply because there are inherent aspects, features and possibilities in a F2F interview that cannot be captured or replicated by any other method. That is why it is vital the talent acquisition function doesn’t lose the human touch. Recruitment, after all, is about finding the right person for the job who will be dependent on human relationships and intuition. At Antal International, we believe that enjoying the best of both worlds is key to successful talent acquisition.
While India has seen women in leadership positions in politics and industries like finance, the tech sector can’t say the same. As software increasingly becomes pervasive in our lives, it’s important more than ever for builders to be representative of the people being impacted. Women are equal users of technology and yet they do not equally participate in its development.
For example, more women are seen at entry-level jobs than at senior roles than their male counterparts and also make less than them. In fact, Only 5% of leadership positions in the technology industry are held by women. More than 70% of starts-ups have no women on their Board of Directors. Even women tech entrepreneurs receive 50% less VC funding.
There are many reasons for this state of affairs. They could range from women taking a break from their career owing to family, marriage or other personal commitments. However, increasingly we are seeing more women dropping out of the tech workforce due to fewer/or lack of opportunities. A World Economic Forum research estimates that 57% of the jobs set to be displaced by technology between now and 2026 belong to women.
Plus, there are also the inherent societal biases and influences that stop women from pursuing a STEM career, which in turn affects any tech company’s ability to build a good pipeline of women leaders. The lack of women in senior positions results in the lack of role models for women to look up to. A recent Harvard Business Review study proved that women have to fight the implicit bias at the workplace, which stopped them from being given promotions. Earlier research has shown that while men are perceived to be more responsible when they have children, women are seen as being less committed to work.
So, what can be done? Joseph Devasia, Managing Director of Antal International, says, “With women taking more of the burden at home and juggling demanding careers, it is important for organisations to have flexibility that allows women to continue working. There is a myth that lesser number of hours worked would result in lower productivity. However, those who work flexi-hours actually are more efficient in those fewer hours. Companies have to look at this new way of engaging women colleagues, if they need the talent necessary to grow.”
Tech companies, especially organizations with a strong following, a wide reach and high-profile leadership, need to do a lot more to fix the skewed gender ratio. They need to normalise the idea of women in tech. For that, there needs to be a multi-pronged approach to the problem. Just attracting more women to write code won’t help. Companies need to approach gender inequality as they would any other business problem: Use hard data and stop depending on anecdotal surveys. Only then they can move from debating the causes of gender inequality and move towards finding a lasting solution.