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Why some Organizations are reluctant to go the RPO way (and why they should)

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.

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Some of the main advantages to go RPO:

Operational

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

Financial

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)

Strategic Benefits

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.

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Is video interviewing an effective screening tool for recruiters?

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.

Losing great candidates citing relocation constraint? Here’s how you can avoid it

Whether it is a high profile tech company like Infosys or Wipro or an established conglomerate like the Tatas, companies are having a hard time to keep the best and the brightest in the house. With millennial employees willing to relocate for a better job, HR has its job cut out. A recent survey found that young adults under the age of 35, senior executives, business owners, and unmarried adults are likely to consider relocation.

But, organizations need to evaluate how they can balance their relocation incentives with employee desires in order to fill key skill gaps. A failed relocation assignment doesn’t do anyone any good. It’s expensive and disruptive. And what might have started out as a positive experience could lead to a very unhappy employee or the loss of an employee.

HR needs to look beyond financial incentives to entice employees to relocate, underlining the need for companies to include alternatives in their relocation programs. Here are some of the factors to keep in mind while wooing outstation candidates:

Salary: When candidates consider relocation, they are not just looking for a hike in their salary. There will be compensation differences between cities depending on their Cost of Living Index. They become more pronounced when the candidate has to make the move from a Tier-II to Tier-I city, especially if they own a house where they live in. The double whammy of home loan EMIs and rent can take a toll and therefore these factors play a role in the candidate’s decision to join a company. It is important that the HR considers these important factors before they provide a salary offer: Cost of living differences, quality of living standards, benefits in new location etc. Show that you are willing to negotiate the salary, while emphasizing the company’s benefits and other perks such as flexible working hours, transportation facilities, training and development opportunities and paid time off.

Relocation Assistance: Moving homes especially to a new city is not an easy task especially when you have a family, children or your elderly parents living with you. One of the first things that a candidate who’s looking to move to another city will seek is relocation assistance. They will expect the company to cover expenses such as packing and moving, storage of belongings for a period of time, short-term lodging in the destination city, cost of moving vehicle, finding a home in the destination city etc. Keep these factors in mind while designing the relocation assistance. If your company does not provide relocation assistance, you could consider offering candidates a one-time joining bonus to take care of such expenses. You may also help them find a home quickly in the new city by introducing them to property dealers/agents etc. Moving to a new city isn’t easy and the relocation package will provide the candidate everything they need to know about the company’s culture.    

Spousal Income: Organizations hoping to encourage employees to accept outstation assignments should consider an individual’s personal and professional situations from a holistic perspective. There will be a disruption in the household income level and also a discontinuity in the spouse’s career due to the relocation over a period of time. Spousal dissatisfaction, adjustment, and issues associated with his/her career development are the most common reasons for relocation failure. While no company has contractual obligation to provide spousal income, he/she plays an important role in the success of that job. Hence, it is in the company’s best interests that the HR addresses the spousal income issue. You can help by providing job search assistance, or introduce them to other employees who made the move as well; the new connections could help them find a job quicker. Put them in touch with networking resources or organize events and activities to make them feel more involved.

Provide Cost of Living Context: Cost of living is the amount of money it takes to sustain a certain level of living, including basic expenses for goods and services such as housing, transportation, food, clothing and household goods. We would recommend that the HR factors in the cost of living into the salary for the said location, before offering any kind of compensation. HR needs to gather data on housing, transportation, healthcare, groceries, utilities etc. and use that data to adjust the salary’s purchasing power as the cost of living differs from city to city. Remember, the candidate will look to at least match their current standard of living with the new salary and will want their compensation to adequately cover all the expenses in the new city.   

Family Structure: Most relocation packages are focused on the financial aspects of the move. However, other factors such as care for the elderly & children’s education also heavily influence a candidate. Family interests pose crucial challenges and HR would do well to deal with them early on by asking a few key questions: Will the new city have social support structures that the candidate can rely on? Who will take care of their parents? Ask the candidate if they’ve been to the city before. As a hiring manager, you can help alleviate relocation concerns by being more flexible about the joining date or help them with finding the right school/college to tide things over.

Job relocation is a source of stress for the candidate. How the company handles the details will play a large part in determining what employees think about the experience down the road.

Antal International, India launches Antal RPO solutions

Antal India continues to accelerate growth in the Indian recruitment market with launch of Antal RPO solution

Mumbai, August 03, 2018: Antal International, global leader in executive recruitment business is glad to announce the launch of Antal RPO Solutions to provide our clients in India with a valuable recruiting option. Antal India has set up an RPO division in Chennai headed up by Mr. Nikhil Indrasenan who joined Antal as Business Head, Antal RPO Solutions on August 01, 2018. Within the first year, Antal RPO business intends to scale to a team of 50 recruiters focused on volume hiring solutions, who would be ably supported by the 40+ offices & 200 recruiters around the Antal India Network. With the launch of this recruitment solution, Antal now has another option to present to clients who may be seeking low cost per hire, quick scale-up hiring support.

“With customers constantly seeking lower cost per hire models, RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) seems to have quite literally taken over new solution ideas within recruitment. Launching Antal RPO Solutions is a direct response to the increasing market demand for rapid innovation and transformation within recruitment process. Companies are seeking to build teams with a leading edge in the talent acquisition function and therefore they need recruitment solutions that deliver measurable results to meet their business demands quickly. So here we are, extremely excited about the launch of a new solution for our clients seeking a more efficient recruitment engine that lowers their overall cost of hiring, continuously improves recruitment KPIs and is versatile enough for quick scale-up hiring support.” says Mr. Joseph Devasia, Managing Director Antal International India.

Nikhil Indrasenan, Business Head, Antal RPO Solutions: Over 18 years in HRO with Ma Foi, Randstad & Pontoon Solutions in P&L and Sales roles and 6 years as an Entrepreneur.  Helped design and execute several large scale hiring programs across sectors and locations hiring over 5,000 professionals. Involved in setting up and running Ma Foi’s first franchisee operations in India and subsidiary in Sri Lanka from 2004-2006 hiring over 3,000 professionals across Banking, Telecom & BPO. Headed Randstad’s Assessment, Consulting and Training arm before moving to set up the RPO business and lead the Bid Desk. Played a central role in winning several RPO deals across sectors and locations and helped maintain a leadership position in the market. Instrumental in winning Randstad India’s largest RPO. Moved to Pontoon Solutions in 2016, a global MSP and RPO leader as Director-Sales and won their largest RPO with an energy giant.. A keen reader of management & science who follows Formula One furiously

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.

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.

 

 

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