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Guide to Working with a Recruiter

It’s important to understand how good recruiters work and in turn utilize their way of working for benefiting oneself

Most of my candidates get annoyed when I call them to enquire if they are looking for a job change; with a very irritated tone they reply “sorry, I am happy with my current job” or “I’m not interested in a change” or “Please don’t bother me, and get me off your list, I don’t work with recruiters” .. After which they abruptly hang up before I even say a word.  Hence I decided to pen down my advice to candidates on how to work with good, professional recruiters.

Candidates may or may not be interested in what the recruiter had on offer for them, but they need to realize that contacts with good recruiters may not be handy at present but in the long run it will definitely be an asset.

Most people should have realized by now that recruiters are not only useful when you are changing jobs but also when you are perfectly happy within your current role. It’s important to nurture your relation with a good recruiter and to be on his “favourite list”. For that you need to understand how recruiters function and in turn you use their way of functioning for your benefit.

Send your Resume

Do you get annoyed when you get a call from a recruiter saying “Mr X, I have a perfect opportunity for you, can you give me a brief background about yourself so I can understand you better” or directly ask you for your updated resume, inspite of you telling them that you’re not looking for a job?? Pretty infuriating right??

If you felt this recruiter sounded professional, seemed knowledgeable then what’s the harm in sending it in?? Let’s face it, maybe you’re not actively looking for a job now but you may in the future. Having your details on a specialist recruiter’s folder will make it more likely that the recruiter will call you again when he has another opportunity and maybe you are looking for a change by then.

Avoid tampering your Resume

Some candidates see a benefit in lying on their resume, or to their recruiter or at the interview. Especially when they are desperate for a job. They often lie about academic degrees, inaccurate job descriptions, inflated salaries, fake references, altered employment dates.  Ones who are lucky enough get away with it but once they get on the job they are not qualified for, it’s not too long till their employer finds out the truth about their credibility and they are likely to be fired.

A candidate may find this the most convenient and fastest means to get a job, but they do this by putting their employers business at stake as well as their own careers in jeopardy

A candidate may think that’s it’s only a resume, and he won’t get jailed for lying about his experience or salary. Yes you won’t. But if you get into the habit of constantly altering your resume to suit a job opening you will end up being branded a “Job – Hopper”.

We recruiters are well connected with industry insiders and so are your employers – our Clients. They will eventually find out and do their own reference checks. They have many ways to find out and once a candidate is caught their career is doomed.

Keep it to yourself

The moment I call a candidate saying they have an opportunity for him; he wants to know which firm it is with, that’s what most of the candidates want to know, to which I politely respond that “Sir, I can’t share these confidential details as of now, but I will do that once I am sure that you are the right fit for the job profile.” The bizarre thing is that, when I do say this most of my candidates get offended. Candidates need to understand that the best for them would be to just wait and respect the recruiter’s request. Just like good recruiters stick to complete confidentiality for the Clients we do the same when it comes to our passive candidates. Candidates as well as clients depend on a recruiter’s ability to keep secrets. If a recruiter calls you, don’t expect him to answer your queries first, rather help him to understand your career graph, your abilities so that we can advise you better on your career. You will be given information on an as-needed basis, and you will be expected to keep it to yourself. Don’t be afraid to share personal information with your recruiter. Knowing what is important to you helps us to find you a suitable combination of position, company, and location.

Follow your Recruiter’s instructions and listen

Most important: A recruiter not only places you from one job to another but we also counsel you about your interview, advise you about negotiating the offer, on how to resign from your current job once you’re selected for a new one, how to tackle a counter offer…etc. We are your career counsellors and we understand where you come from, what your strengths and weaknesses are and the expectations you have from your new job. A recruiter is the one who helps mould your career. We know more about the your potential employer, the organisation, what they are looking for and hence we will be able to guide you better. Take note of the advice and direction your recruiter gives you and follow it.

Make up your Mind

The worst thing that could happen to a recruiter is that his candidate drops out of an offer. Such a situation is even worse than a candidate not being selected. This situation puts the recruiter in an extremely embarrassing position. It’s difficult for the recruiter to go back to his client and break the news to him. It shows that the recruiter lacks candidate control.

As candidates, you have to be completely sure about your decision to move; keeping in mind all the key factors that will be affected by your decision.  Be sure that your spouse, parents, kids are aware of your decision and are prepared to adjust to the change. This is one of the most common issues that cause a hindrance in the recruitment process that too at an extremely crucial and final moment.

You have to make sure that other important aspects like pay, responsibilities, designation etc are all at par with your expectations. If there is something you are not happy about, make sure that your recruiter is well aware about it in the very beginning. This saves the recruiter the embarrassment and you being branded as the “Unprofessional Candidate”.

Call Promptly

Call your recruiter as soon as you are done with your interview. Give him your feedback before the client does. A good recruiter will always prefer getting your feedback before reaching out to the client to get his feedback. Use your recruiter to negotiate and express any concerns. This will help facilitate communication and allow some of the details to be handled at a more comfortable arm’s length.

Infact to build your relation with the recruiter, you should keep in touch with him and get some inside news about your industry hiring trends. But this doesn’t mean you pester him all the time, maybe every 6 months…you could call him or just drop in a mail to say hello.

Use social media to keep in touch; this is the best option you have today. Connect with your recruiter on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter. Keep a track of his updates on social media. You never know he may just post an opening for your dream job one day.

Face Negative Feedback Positively

Many recruiters shy away from sharing negative feedback as many candidates don’t take the feedback positively. If your recruiter comes back with a negative feedback about your interview don’t be offended instead be professional and polite, this is for your own betterment. Being rejected on a particular opportunity could be to do with another stronger candidate in the process and not necessarily about you. You have to maintain your relation with the recruiter since he will be the same one who may land you your next job. It’s better to know about your flaws and work on them rather than living with it for life.

Multiple offers

This is the most critical issue, which has to be handled carefully. If you have received more than one offer, it is generally best to let your recruiter know about it as soon as possible to avoid any complexities in the future.

Contemplating on an offer

The longer you take to make your decision, the more likely it is that the employer will think you are not committed and that they have, perhaps, made a wrong choice. We have even seen cases where, due to inordinate delay, employers have retracted offers of employment. Good recruiters also understand that delay in decision-making at this stage could mean you are hesitating; and we will very quickly put in alternate options from our “Favourite List”.

This article appeared in People Matters on Feb 20, 2014

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In panic mode, US-based Indian professionals hunt for jobs back home

NEW DELHI | MUMBAI: US President Donald Trump’s inauguration pledge to ‘Buy American-hire American’ has stoked interest in jobs back home from overseas Indians, who are increasingly reaching out to manpower consultants in the country to explore equivalent options.

Recruitment firms led by BTI Consultants, RGF Executive Search, Transearch, The Head Hunters, and Antal International have reported doubling of queries from US-based Indian professionals over the past few weeks as theRepublican winner to the White House race declares his policy stance after the January 20 inauguration.

Nervousness has also gripped Indian companies that have a significant US employee base: Hunt for Indian talent in the US are now joining the swelling list of cancelled mandates. Kris Lakshmikanth, chief executive of The Head Hunters (India), says that he has got some 30 calls until now from technology professionals exploring opportunities back in India, compared with practically no queries until just a couple of months ago. “This number is likely to increase even more in the coming days,” says Lakshmikanth.

Most of the queries, he says, are at the level of project managers and above – people who have completed three years in the US (after which one gets an H1B visa extension) or about the six-year period — and are unsure about whether they will get an extension of their visa or, alternatively, a green card.

Lakshmikanth cites the instance of a person who recently returned after his visa-tenure ended, and is unsure about his return. “He still has a house there bought on mortgage, but is being forced to look at opportunities here,” says Lakshmikanth.

Joseph Devasia, managing director at Antal International India, says that in the past two or three weeks, the number of queries seeking opportunities in India has trebled. “People are testing the waters to gauge what awaits them at home in case something goes wrong. Most of these people are at the $80,000-150,000 salary bracket,” says Devasia.

Other leading search firms such as Korn/Ferry and Heidrick & Struggles say search mandates are in a waitand-watch mode. They, however, say that Trump’s stance will impact the overall hiring sentiments across all Indian companies in the US.

For RGF, half a dozen searches have come to a halt after the Trump inauguration. “Companies are not sure about the dynamics of the US market. At least, 30% of job searches in the US have been impacted as a result,” R Suresh, Managing Director at RGF Executive Search, told ET.

One of RGF’s clients, a billion-dollar Indian IT company that was looking to hire a president for its outsourcing activities has temporarily called off its search. Another of its clients, an Indian pharma company, is holding on to its hiring decisions.

“The exodus from India will definitely stop. Hiring of Indians in the US will slow down at least for a year,” said Arun Das Mahapatra, partner incharge of Heidrick & Struggles in India.

“There is definitely an air of uncertainty across all companies that have some kind of connect with the US. It is a worrisome time for players in the space of IT, pharma and banking but this may last only up to a year or so as cost pressures will force companies to eventually look at India,” said Kiran Karnik, chairman, CII National Committee on Telecom and Broadband.

While Korn/Ferry International managing director for India, Navnit Singh, calls it the wait and watch phase, Transearch (India Office) managing partner Uday Chawla describes the Trump impact as “procrastination of decisions” in all sectors, leading to an increase in the cycle-time for searches.

This article appeared in Economic Times on February 01, 2017 and carries a quote by Mr. Joseph Devasia, Managing Director Antal International India.
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It’s a wrap!

With some good and not-so-good times, it is finally time to bid goodbye to an eventful year. As we prep ourselves for 2017, here’s a look at what 2016 was like for the HR domain

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There are no doubts about the fact that 2016 has been a year of some path-breaking events and sharp twists and turns. The year has been productive and has also seen some downfalls. But as they say, all is well that ends well, and it is time to bid farewell to 2016. Here is a look at the top HR trends that redefined the people management function in 2016, enlisted by some experts in the field.

Summing up the year that is ending, Adarsh Mishra, CHRO Panasonic India, expresses, “The year 2016 has been productive from an HR perspective as the business climate within the industry has increased considerably. With the implementation of the 7th pay commission and a good monsoon season, we have seen the business ecosystem really expand wholesomely this year. This, in turn, augmented the recruitment process as well in the industry which also saw an increase in lateral hiring. Generally, consumer electronic companies elevate people internally to fill out the vacant positions across divisions, but with the growing competition in the market and expanding capabilities of doing business, lateral hiring was seen in full flow in 2016.

According to Mishra, some of the most relevant HR trends in 2016 were:

  • Hiring through social media: Social media has become an excellent tool to drive business initiatives, they also enable HR to view over subjects which potentially couldn’t have been revealed during the course of interviews. Social media enables employers to get a glimpse of who candidates are outside the confines of a resume or cover letter.
  • Risk takers: Playing it safe is no longer enough to help an employee get a job or stroll through the ladder of success in a corporation. Companies especially consumer tech companies which today function in an extremely competitive environment, now have to have a group of people with the intellectual ability and desire to take risks in crucial moments.

Naresh Sharma, managing partner, Antal International India shares his views on the growth trajectory of various industries in 2016, “India’s logistics and supply chain industry is witnessing a rapid growth in both, B2C and B2B domains. In the past year, we saw lots of e-commerce players getting their business on the growth trajectory and we have seen an increase in demand of professionals in supply chain functions. Though the sentiments in the e-commerce industry in the second half of 2016 saw a major downturn with hiring freeze by giants, there was a steady requirement by other players in the domain. Government’s ‘Make in India’ programme also is boosting sentiments in the industry and we have seen a positive traction in manufacturing including automotive. The retail sector has also seen demand picking up leading to enhanced activities in the manufacturing and distribution space.”

For Sharma, the top three HR trends of 2016 were:

  • Business orientation of HR: HR is no longer considered a support function whose job is to only fill vacancies. We have seen HR getting more involved in the strategic thinking and being equal partner in planning for the future with business outlook. It was heartening to see many organisations analysing their hiring strategy as to how it impacts the business.
  • Succession planning: Organisations are constantly moving towards having a succession plan in place not only for leadership roles but also for all key roles. There is greater awareness to the cost of discontinuity in important roles.
  • Candidate-driven market: Organisations are increasingly realising that getting the right talent is the most important aspect of their business. They need to actively look for appropriate talent and need to realign their sourcing strategy in a candidate-driven market.

According to Thammaiah BN, managing director, Kelly Services India, start-ups that were the poster boys of recruitment in the past year went easy on volume hiring, particularly in the ecommerce sector. Most of the start-ups invested in hiring sales and marketing talent. “IT companies embraced automation in fullest measure possible this year leading to lower hiring particularly at the bottom of the pyramid. However, we are seeing continued significant demand from IT due to high levels of attrition (2 to 8 years work experience). The fall in oil prices meant banks put a squeeze on hiring. Pharma sector continued to be recession proof devoid of any impact. Traditional consumer and FMCG companies saw some talent moving to online retail.”

Thammaiah BN shares the top HR trends in 2016:

  • The hiring model for fresh recruits in the IT sector changed due to the shift to non-linear growth models. Labour arbitrage has shrunk and the reputation of India started moving from IT outsourcing to analytics and product development.
  • Retail, banking and healthcare sectors are increasingly offering flexi work options to women, which will lead to a significant rise in flexi staff workforce from 2.1 million to 8.5 million in the coming few years.
  • With the rise of app-based companies, a gig economy on lines of US is on the rise wherein  freelancers take up ‘gigs’ alongside their regular jobs or multiple gigs. Government initiatives like ‘Digital India’ will further fuel this trend. Acqui-hiring also gained traction among established technology companies and start-ups.

This article appeared in Times Ascent on Jan 18, 2017, it carries a quote by Mr. Naresh Sharma Managing Partner Antal International, Jaipur 

Fintech cos make hay on cash ban, may hire more

Fintech startups are proving to be the biggest beneficiaries of the government’s demonetisation move and with the rise in business, recruitment plans of these companies are likely to see significant uptrend in coming months, experts say.

E-wallet companies like Paytm, PayU India, MobiKwik, and Freecharge have been seeing significant rise in GMV and the number of transactions since November 8 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes, making these notes invalid.

Experts believe that this move is going to positively impact the workforce and hiring needs of these companies. Besides, technology roles will now open up as these companies rush to meet the surge in transactions and there is likely to be a huge opportunity in other functions such as sales and marketing as well.

“We have observed unprecedented growth. Our user base has grown to 40 million and we have added 1,50,000 merchants, which makes us directly available at 2,50,000 retailers now,” Mrinal Sinha, chief operating officer at MobiKwik, said.

“Paytm and Mobikwik have already been in the overdrive to reach out to small traders to commence transactions on their platform and we do see a large number of roles opening up in this space,” Naresh Sharma, managing partner, Antal International, Jaipur, said. agencies

adding that “a number of other e-wallet companies do see this as an opportunity to expand and surely, the requirement of hiring would increase”.

Deals marketplace Little, funded by Paytm, Tiger Global, SAIF partners and GIC, Singapore, is witnessing significant surge in transactions, post demonetisation.

“Definitely, there will be increase in demand for talent, primarily for on-boarding and digitising the payment solutions for offline businesses,” Little CEO and co-founder Manish Chopra said, adding that “we are looking forward to ramp up the team size aggressively in coming months”.
Meanwhile, pre-paid solutions company Qwikcilver has seen significant traction in the pre-paid card segment.

“With the demonetisation drive, we have seen 3 times growth in gifting through gift cards on our Woohoo.in and Woohoo app,” Kumar Sudarshan, Co-Founder and CEO, Qwikcilver, said adding that “we are very positive about the environment and we will continue to evolve our plans around further investments in newer products”.
Ritesh Chopra, Country Manager, Norton by Symantec, has a piece of advice: While e-wallets make financial transactions very easy, one must adopt best practices to avoid any phishing attacks. People should ensure websites with which they transact financial business are secure and they should create strong passwords and monitor bank statements regularly.
“While on-the-go tools such as mobile banking apps and digital wallets make managing financial tasks easy, one must also take necessary precautions and follow best practices while accessing sensitive financial information anytime, anywhere,” Chopra said. PTI DRR ARD BAL
This story appeared in Times of India on Dec 05, 2016  and carries a quote by Mr. Naresh Sharma, Antal Managing Partner Jaipur

Higher pay biggest bait for FMCG talent moving to ecommerce

Nearly 57% of HR heads and hiring managers covered in a survey on the impact of the ecommerce sector on FMCG talent have revealed that over the past three years the attrition ratio in their organisations has gone up. Around 61.2% also agreed that given the boom in the ecommerce sector, it has become a challenge to retain employees.

The survey was conducted by recruitment organisation Antal International Network India among 103 mid- and senior-level HR professionals across FMCG companies that have seen an exodus of talent to the ecommerce sector. Excerpts from the study shared exclusively with ET.

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This survey has been conducted by Nishath Fathema Malvia as part of Certification requirements for Antal Certified Recruiter. This survey was published by Economic Times on Oct 28, 2016  https://goo.gl/qIyUHl

 

Festive hiring may add gleam to overall job scenario. Here’s why

Festival season is here but this time around the celebratory gleam had sparked off even before this season set it. Ecommerce companies had flexed their muscles well in advance for this season, resulting in hiring of about 35 per cent additional temporary staff to cater to the festival consumer demand.

This, of course, comes with an anticipation that hiring and market sentiment will remain upbeat even after the festival season. This year started on a high note with startups taking the crown in jobs, entrepreneurship segment but with startups hitting a rough patch, both these segments have seen a stagnant sentiment too. Will this festive hiring kick start a fresh lease of activity in the employment sector? Will this year end on a high note or a rough patch?

We asked market insiders and their outlook seemed positive.

Festive season hiring detailed out

Joseph Devasia, Managing Director, Antal International Network, India feels optimistic about the entire scenario. “No this is not just for ‘festive hiring’ although the big sale days do need excess resources and the big ecommerce companies have already equipped themselves for the onslaught,” says Joseph Devasia.

Pranshu Upadhyay, Director, Michael Page India also had the same outlook. “Hiring at management level is typically set for long-term and strategic than just festive hiring. Ramping up of headcount ahead of big sale days where retailers pick up around 50% of their year’s sales is more common at the level of temporary hires. There are a lot of recruitment drives that are happening in metros as well to rope in delivery boys ahead of the festive sale. Companies want to be more prepared from an operational standpoint to handle large volumes,” he said.

Is festive hiring an ecommerce phenomenon or general?
“This is more for the bigger ecommerce companies, it is not wholly reflective of India Inc although there is positive movements generally across other sectors,” says Joseph Devasia.

Pranshu Upadhyay feels that though hiring activity has picked up in ecommerce allied sectors as well, some of the other sectors that see an upward trend in hiring are retail, consumer durables, FMCG and logistics.

The hiring sentiment for rest of 2016
“There seems to be positive sentiments although a lot does hinge on the how the K-crisis pans out as well,” advises Joseph Devasia.

Pranshu Upadhyay feels that the general employment outlook is positive for this year. “Organisations continue to focus on replacement hires however the companies closing their financial year in December are waiting for the end of Q4 to have clearer projection on new headcount. This will be aligned to the organisation’s 2017 targets,” he says.

 

This article was published in Timesjobs.com on Oct 06, 2016. http://content.timesjobs.com/festive-hiring-may-add-gleam-overall-job-scenario-heres/?fromsite=toi

 

Employer branding key to attracting best talent : Survey

Attracting the best talent is a challenge given the growing competition in a candidate-driven market, as many as 85.5 per cent startups said in a survey by global executive recruitment organisation Antal International. Not surprisingly then, as high as 83 per cent of them said they are willing to pay higher fees to specialist recruiters to help them find outstanding individuals who can best fit in the company.

A majority of the 76 respondents in the ‘Recruitment Trends among Startups in India’ survey said that attracting the best talent that can help companies scale up needs a strategic vision from the top. In fact, more than 60 per cent respondents admitted that over the past two years they suffered revenue losses which can be directly attributed to wrong hiring choices.

“This underscores the criticality of hiring the best,” said Joseph Devasia, managing director, Antal International.

Employer branding key to attracting best talent : Survey

As many as 91 per cent line managers said that employer branding is very important and key to attracting best talent to their company. Employer branding is not just related to what the market knows about the company’s work culture but also how each individual candidate was treated during the interview. Candidate experience was felt to be a major element in employer branding.

In order to zero in on the right candidates, more companies were seen to be relying on specialist recruiters. According to the survey, 43 per cent were found to be working with specialist recruiters and only 13 per cent with generalist recruiters. Inhouse HR was the No 2 choice for hiring managers in getting talent onboard.

This was followed by 16 per cent respondents looking at job boards.

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