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Age is Just a Number – On and Off the Field

A match-fixing scandal, a 2-year ban and a highly publicized debate and trolling on social media for picking nine players over the age of 30 in this IPL season (who were called ‘Uncles’); Chennai Super Kings silenced all their critics by lifting their third IPL title at the 2018 Indian Premier League and proved that experience was key for them and age is just a number.

Modern day cricket, tournaments like the T2O and IPL has found the perfect spot in the lives of cricket lovers who are starved of time and cannot spend the entire day watching a 50 over match. The thrill, the breathtaking pace and twist & turns of a 20 over match format appeals to the masses. It is assumed that this game is for the young blooded, fast paced dynamic youngsters who go for big hits across the boundaries. If we take a look at all the teams Delhi Dare Devils had young blood on their side Kolkata Knight Riders had a couple of under-19 stars but Chennai Super Kings’ choice of players drew a lot of flak among the masses for bringing on board 11 players who were above the age of 30.

However, the age factor did not bother Coach Stephen Fleming, who went on to say “They’re 35-36, not 55-56. A massive amount has been made of it. I’m not here to develop young players, I’m here to try and win the competition for the franchise. And that’s why we value experience, because we think that gives us the best chance. Yes, it is exciting to see young players come and perform. But over a long season, I look for consistency and professionalism. I’ve found that older players who are still motivated, still fit and still committed, they can provide you consistency that gets you up around mid to top table, which allows you to progress in the competition.” 

As a recruiter, I too echo Coach Stephen Fleming’s thoughts when hiring managers make a massive deal while making hiring decisions. There are times when hiring managers insist on hiring young blood – candidates below the age of 30. There is no thought put into such a choice, it’s a choice made on certain stereotypes. There’s no doubt that it’s exciting to have young blood as part of your team and your organization because they bring in the energy, new ideas and enthusiasm but what about the experience, the business maturity that comes with age and knowledge, the confidence and consistency in performance. Mid aged professionals have years of experience developing relationships and strategies for dealing with higher management and various business situations. Most mid and senior roles are best suited for such tenured professionals who possess a mix of confidence and expertise that comes more easily to those with more years of experience behind them. There’s no doubt that youngsters bring in enthusiasm, energy, new perspectives to a business however these are the qualities that anyone who has passion for what they do; would bring to the table.  Rather than making a hiring decision by focusing on the age of the candidate; the goal of a hiring manager should be to hire the best talent with the right potential, expertise, experience and passion. I wonder how higher age, defies any of the above.

This year’s IPL season has proved that age is ‘just a number’; it’s the experience, confidence and passion that makes the difference and this applies to the workforce as well.

For all those age critics out there, who say athletes achieve their prime from 27 to 30 yrs of age, here are a few facts:

At 31: Suresh Raina has scored 413 runs including four half-centuries, despite it being a sub-par season by his standards.

At 32: An injured, Kedar Jadhav who kept his composure, hit a six and a four in the last over. This victory set the tone for a series of breathtaking last-over wins for the men in yellow.

At 32:  Ambati Rayudu who is enjoying the season of his life amassed 602 runs in the tournament, making the most of opportunities that eluded him throughout his stint with Mumbai Indians, and has also earned a recall to the Indian ODI squad.

At 33: Faf du Plessis showed all his experience in a high-pressure run chase in the first qualifier against Sunrisers Hyderabad, to guide his team home in another tense finish. The move of him being retained at the auction through the RTM card was also questioned, but he justified the trust shown in him by the franchise.

Currently at 34: In the first game of this season for CSK, Dwayne Bravo played the best T20 innings of his life to script a scarcely believable comeback

At 36:  Shane Watson seemingly turned back the clock as he scored his third IPL century to set up a commanding win over Rajasthan Royals. And everyone knows what he scripted in the finals for his team, knowing he could barely run he scored another century in the finals.

At 36: Dhoni has been at his vintage best in IPL 2018 while Roger Federer at 36 is still ruling the tennis court.

At 37 & 38 respectively: Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir have also made important contributions by providing control in the middle overs. 

At 38: Sachin Tendulkar became the first player to score 100 international hundreds

Likewise, in the world of work too, I am a strong believer that experience cannot replace youth / vigour / agility. These are traits that are inherent and not defined by a number.

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Why AI will never replace Recruiters

No doubt Artificial Intelligence (AI) has had a huge impact on industries around us and is probably the biggest disruptor in recent times. It has had a significant impact on recruiting processes as well, leading some HR professionals to believe that their jobs were in danger of being taken over by machines. As the recruitment industry grows, new-generation tech start-ups are looking to disrupt this people-centric industry. But can robots replace the human touch?

Before we delve into that question, let’s look at how AI is beneficial in the hiring process today. Much of AI technology is used to help recruiters sort through data and automising the hiring process. AI can help create better job postings, target jobseekers in a personalised way, help in screening candidates faster and conduct background & reference checks. AI systems also can sort through every detail of an application and assess every potential candidate in minute ways. But, it can’t completely dominate the recruitment process.

An AI algorithm will run explicitly as it is told. While AI systems will reply on facts, it is also subject to the developer’s influence and hence is not completely free from bias. AI technology adapts to regular patterns and over time it would recognise that a company has been hiring a certain type of candidate and would alter its algorithms to suit that pattern.

One of AI’s fundamental weakness is that it can’t distinguish between right and wrong. This proves to be a red herring when it comes to assessing a candidate’s credentials and attitude. A recruiter’s job is as much as about selling the job to a potential candidate as it is about finding the right person. Only a human can figure out if the candidate is the right fit for the job and find out if the candidate’s personality is in line with company culture.

A great recruiter looks beyond a candidate’s qualification. They have the ability to think creatively, make split decisions if necessary and learn from their hiring mistakes. An AI bot, on the other hand, will need to analyse millions of decisions before performing a single task. A job interview is also about career progression and recruiters can help the candidate see how their ambitions can be realized.

As long as humans are being employed, AI will never replace recruiters.

Here’s how Your Hiring Process is Driving Away Top Talent

Are your candidates accepting other job offers while you’re still in the process of interviewing them? Maybe you should review your hiring methods and understand if the lengthy, tedious process is the reason you’re your top notch candidates are slipping away.

Slow hiring processes and delay in making a hiring decision have a huge adverse impact to businesses. Our Managing Partners list down the negative impacts on your business due to your company’s  slow hiring. 

Low quality of Hire:  One of the major consequences of slow hiring processes or delay in making hiring decisions is ‘Bad Hires’. Good talent is always in high demand especially in areas of niche skill sets, companies are always on the lookout to hire such scarce talent and they are always being approached for roles. While you are making or delaying hiring decisions, your top candidates will surely receive alternate job offers and will be forced to take up other job opportunities that come their way and you will be left with a few mediocre left overs. Such ‘desperate or last minute hires’ don’t just cause monetary damage, bad hires also can hinder productivity, deteriorate employee morale and adversely affect customer relations – Naresh Sharma, Managing Partner Antal Jaipur

Shows poor work ethics or lack of professionalism: Planning and coordination are important for smooth functioning of any process. Hiring a new employee or an exit of an employee; each every process within an organization needs to be systematically thought through and planned for the smooth functioning of a business. During the planning of a hiring process, one must keep in mind that Line Managers are often busy in their daily activities, they have a team to manage, projects to supervise, various appointment to attend to. Many a times; Line Managers are informed about an interview a day prior or few hours before the interview, which may be difficult for the hiring manager to adjust within his busy schedule. This may lead to an interview being delayed, rescheduled or even being cancelled last minute, which is quiet embarrassing as it shows lack of professionalism or organizing skills and could be a turn off for the candidate as well.

Interview processes in an organization should be well planned in advance. HR manager should check with Line Managers on their availability well in advance and ensure the interviews are scheduled keeping the Line Managers schedule in mind to avoid any kind of embarrassment. – Sunil Kapoor, Managing Partner Antal Gurgaon

Lack of respect for Candidate and no value for his/her time: When companies delay, postpone, cancel or interviews or take lifetimes to make a hiring decision, it shows that the company lacks perspective. It also shows that the company does not respect or value the time and effort put in by the candidate. Slow hiring process and slow decision making can test their patience of the candidate and within a spur of a moment, they are with your competitor, who respected and matched their speed. – Vishal Madan Managing Partner Antal Pune

Loss out on top talent in the future: Apart from candidates not willing to join your organization they also influence others like themselves not joining the company either. This will reduce the number and quality of the applications that you receive. Professional networking sites like LinkedIN, Glassdoor or even platforms like Twitter have made it easier for candidates to express their grievances to a wider audience. Such kind of brand bashing on public domain is sure to damage your Employer Brand. In a digital world where views, experiences, opinions are available at the click of a button on laptop or phone, it’s a disaster to have a slow hiring process.  – Nagesh Joshi Managing Partner Antal Pune

Conclusion: The hiring process and the interview interaction is the first impression of a company work process and work culture.  A candidate makes a decision to join your organization based on the experience he or she had during this process.

You have to put in enough thought while making a hiring decision and evaluate the candidates well. However, you can’t impress top passive talent with a slow cumbersome hiring process nor can you be on top of the talent war with such a tedious processes. Steady hiring processes give your firm a competitive edge in competitive talent driven job market. And by making quick hiring decisions not only will you capture a higher percentage of top performers, but you will simultaneously keep that top talent away from your competitors.

 

 

Why I Like Working with High Performers

Great businesses are made up of great people and by great people I mean ‘high achievers’, the crème de la crème of an organization. You can’t hire mediocre talent and expect them to meet the expectations of high performers. Achieving greatness and making it to the top requires hard work, passion, persistence, determination and discipline; not all possess these qualities. The ICSE results this week, clearly exhibit why some of them are cut-out to be high performers – there are kids who lost homes, lost their mom, no vision in one eye – and yet, they score above 90% marks in their board exams.

All of these athletes are at the top of their sports simply because they possess a few core characteristics which set them apart from the rest. I believe that certain behavioral traits set high achievers apart from the rest of the mediocre talent; even in a business scenario. These traits are the very reason why I like working with high performers

  •  They are focused and have an urge to win/succeed: The success story of any successful business owner starts with a desire to succeed. The enthusiasm to perform at a high-level comes from a desire to advance their career trajectory as well as the company’s trajectory. This desire teaches high achievers to align their mind and body towards their goals. It enpowers high achievers to stay focused as well as face challenges.
  • They are self-disciplined: High achievers know their priorities; they understand the importance of self-discipline and don’t look at it as an inconvenient burden that has to be endured. They realize and understand their obligation towards the business and therefore they are disciplined in their pursuit of their goals as well as the goals of the business.
  • They are willing to put the extra effort – go the extra mile: High performers don’t restrict themselves or their work to their job profiles; they are always willing to put in the extra effort. It doesn’t matter if the job is related to their desk, if it benefits the business – whatever they’re tasked with, high performers make sure they deliver. They are aware of the fact that success never comes like a flash of luck, it comes after countless hours of hardwork.
  • Adversity / setbacks do not faze them: Irrespective of what transpires in their personal lives – be it major adversity, personal setbacks, high performers have the drive to carry on with a dogged determination to cross the finishing line.
  • They are always willing to learn & always look forward to feedback and then work on improving their skills: High performance isn’t an end state, but a lifelong pursuit. High performers are looking to work on and improve their skills every day. They are willing to take feedback. They accept their failures and shortcoming and are willing to work on them.
  • They are always on the lookout for challenges and create opportunities: High performers are born doers, and problem-solvers. If something important needs to be done, they’ll figure out how to do it, no questions asked. While most will be researching, planning and finding out the right opportunities to work on, high achievers will go all out and create opportunities. They believe that to achieve success you can’t wait to bump into the right opportunity at the right time and place, you just have to create it for yourself.
  • Maintain a work life balance: High performers know that they have to maintain a balance between their worklife and personal life. As much as we’d like to believe that our capacity to squeeze everything we want out of work and life is limitless, high achievers are aware that this is not the case. They plan themselves well and know how to plan their priorities. They draw a fine line between work life and their personal life and would never let one affect the other. Their far sightedness helps them plan better and this helps them keep distractions away and work with more focus and dedication.

As American author and lecturer of company sustainability and growth; Jim Collins says; “Great vision without great people is irrelevant”; as a business owner I too have a vision and a goal for my business and it’s obvious that apart from me it’s also my colleagues who help me achieve this goal. I invest in top talent – high performing employees because I believe that the success of my organization depends on how well my team performs.

 

Planning to accept a Counter offer? Here’s what you need to consider…

You are unhappy with your job and start looking for other opportunities in the market. Eventually, you get the job and happily put in your papers. However, your boss begs you to stay and gives you a counteroffer. Then what will you do?

When it comes to resigning, counteroffers are common and accepting them is definitely not a good idea. They can do more harm than good even if you get a higher salary and more responsibilities that can further your career. Most people have strong reasons for leaving jobs. Getting a counteroffer is not necessarily solving the underlying job dissatisfaction issues because they are in all likelihood not going to get addressed that quickly.

When you are being given a counteroffer, is the company really acknowledging your contributions and if so why didn’t they do it before? If it takes your resignation for the company to notice your value, then you are better off being with an organisation that is more proactive in fulfilling your career ambitions.

Employers often use the loyalty card to make you stay. But, do they have a good track record in being loyal to their employees? According a survey by Antal International, 73% were still performing the same role despite a promise to change their job profile and 58% who were promised a compensation hike as part of the counteroffer never got any increase.

In our experience, most people who do accept counteroffers often leave the company in the next few months. The person would have already being marked as disloyal and is no longer seen as a team player. Winning back trust will be an uphill task. Plus, you may find it difficult to get along with your co-workers also as they might feel cheated in the entire process.

While you might feel like you are in a strong position now because your boss has given you a counteroffer, think again. Are they giving you a salary hike or promotion in advance? In that case, you will be most likely overlooked during the next appraisal cycle. In most cases, the employer will talk about salary parity and offer you a very low pay-rise to keep you happy. Remember, your market value is worth much more; that’s why you got a job offer in the first place.

Being asked to stay can be flattering, but it can also deceive even the best of talent.

 

Journeying from Fitness to Entrepreneurial Success.

Mr Nagesh Joshi is a Mechanical Engineering Graduate & Business Management, he took the entrepreneurial leap nd joined Antal India Network in 2010

He has more than 17 years of rich experience in automotive sector. He worked in well known auto Multinationals (fortune 500 cos.) and Indian auto giant in the areas such as Operations, Manufacturing, Logistics, Quality, Process planning, New launches, Developing manufacturing systems , Greenfield & Global launches and has substantial international exposure working on global car launches.

Nagesh is adventurous and likes extreme sports, travelling, trekking, mountaineering and music. The life of an entrepreneur is full of ups and downs. One day things are exciting; the next we have to face a new hassle. In this unpredictable life as an entrepreneur, Nagesh has managed to make time for himself and for his passion for adventure sport as his new found passion for running. Nagesh shares how running has has kept him motivated, emotionally strong, built his bonding skills as well as made him more focused and disciplined in chasing his entrepreneurial goals.  Here’s a glimpse into his journey in becoming more disciplined, focused and persistent

  • How did your journey as an avid marathoner begin: It started few years back when there was a mini marathon of 3 kms for parents in my daughter’s school. I was practicing jogging then but it used to be just a casual workout. I decided to participate in this run and I finished it at 4th position amongst 30 odd parents who participated then. I found the experience quite joyful and motivating. I decided to take running seriously and started practicing on a regular basis. Within one year of practice I participated in Pune International Marathon for 10 kms distance and completed the run successfully in a decent time. There after I participated in various short marathons focusing on improving my performance (pace).

 

  • How has it impacted your life today – Indeed, I think I am more fit person today. From last 3  years there has been no minor and major illness touching my life. I have lots of energy to handle daily challenges. I truly feel I am going in the reverse of my age.

 

  • How has this affected your business: I would say the biggest benefit of running has been shown in the business. Long distance running (LDR) is extremely challenging both physically and mentally. By practicing LDR you are training yourself to handle any kind of extreme challenge and precisely that is helping in our business as well. While you are practicing LDR your focus is squarely on running and you break the mammoth task of running 10kms/21kms/42kms into small goals of lets say half a km or a km. Similarly in our business if you focus on each and every call,activity, interactions, negotiations, meetings etc,  at the end you will achieve the big targets you have kept in your mind. I can draw one more parallel; when you participate in Long Distance Marathon, you focus on your own result, you are least bothered about who is running ahead of you, behind you or with you. As you run more and more Marathons, you start focusing on improving your own performance. Similarly in Business, you compete with yourself and you should always try to be better than your formal self and not compete with others who may be there in business for years who are legends or there are some who are just novice.

Nagesh Joshi on one of his cycling trips

  • What does running mean to you today : Running has become a way my of life.  It brings enormous joy to me. It helps me handle my stress and frustrations in much better ways.
  • Inspite of a busy schedule is it possible to prioritize and take time out for a sport or a hobby:  Running, any kind of exercise or sports are very important part of our life and one should not excuse them for lack of time. Infact make these activities an overriding priority and you will have far better quality of life.
  • Taking up a sport or music or any other hobby; Does it bring a change in your working style: Certainly. you become much more confident in handling any challenging situations, you are more focused and balanced.
  • What’s your advice to entrepreneurs or business leaders who think they are too busy to take up something they are passionate about apart from their profession : I would certainly advise them to take running, weight lifting or any kind of physically & mentally challenging sports as your hobby. You can certainly travel from fitness to success.
LDR Quote

Quote that keeps Nagesh motivated while achieving his personal as well as professional goals

Nagesh Joshi office in Chinchwad Pune largely focuses on sectors around Automotive, Engineering and Manufacturing sector. Highly competent consultants at Antal – Pune are handpicked for the expertise they bring either from the Recruitment / Search background or as a functional specialist from a specific sector. If you’re looking to hire exceptional talent within the above sectors/discipline visit his microsite https://www.antal.com/office/pune-india/115

Here’s how you can maximize your LinkedIn profile

According to one of LinkedIn’s recent reports 94% recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates. If this number excites you because you think your incomplete, dormant LinkedIn profile will attract recruiters .. Well the answer is NO; it surely won’t. Unless you maximize your LinkedIn presence and your profile appears in all top searches for your sector or discipline there is no chance recruiters may find you on LinkedIn.                                                                                                                                                                                       Here’s how you can maximize and make most of your LinkedIN profile so that you could network with the best recruiters and professionals within your niche                                                                                                                                                                                                Having an All-Star Profile: Professionals who have an All-Star rating are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. An All-Star profile contains every single detail – professional profile picture, summary, Headline, current position and the past positions along with job & responsibilities, Education, Skills, Awards, recognitions, certifications, interest, and a great network of connections.
Have a voice: Join industry/discipline groups that are active. LinkedIn allows you to join 50 groups, select groups that are active, genuine and relevant to your industry/interests. Actively participate in discussions, initiate discussion, ask questions, reply to questions your asked, share opinions and views, this will help you establish your credentials and expertise. Joining groups will also increase your chances of growing you network and connecting with the influential people like HR Heads, Line Managers and Niche Recruiters. Participate in or initiate atleast 2 discussions every week.
Become a Thought Leader: LinkedIn gives you a great opportunity to compile and post articles. This is an excellent tool for professionals who would like to share their thoughts, expertise Pick subjects of interest that will attract and engage readers. Industry related news articles from newspapers, magazines, or journals and sharing them with an accompanying note with your view on the subject is always and excellent and effective networking tool.
Engage with your network: Like and share your networks updates. This will increase your visibility and you can then reach out to your contact’s secondary network.
Build Your Connections: Build your network regularly, add people from your industry, people you meet at industry events or meetings, colleagues from previous organizations, batch mates as well as Niche Recruiters. If you are sending a request to someone you haven’t met before, drop a note introducing yourself and why you want to add this person to your network.
Today LinkedIn is not just a social platform to network with like-minded professionals, it’s simply a necessity. Building a strong presence on LinkedIn will help you attract more visibility and attention from hiring managers, recruiters which in turn will lead to many more job opportunities.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This is rightly summarized by Suzy Welch, best-selling management author and CNBC contributor, “IF YOU MAXIMIZE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE, YOU MAY NOT BE LOOKING FOR YOUR NEXT JOB. IT COULD COME FIND YOU.”

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