Recent Trends in Human Resource Management

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Is there a Need of Internal Recruiting at All?

Is there a Need of Internal Recruiting at All?

As the years have rolled by I have become increasingly aware of how poorly internal recruiting functions perform when compared to recruitment process outsourcing organizations or agencies. These have to make a profit or go out of business. They have to operate efficiently and continue to innovate and stay ahead of the demands or questions that clients will have.

Internal functions don’t have to do any of these things. They are entrenched in almost all organizations, and because their function is perceived as incidental to overall organizational performance or success, not much in the way of efficiency is really expected or, unfortunately, rewarded. This means that few recruiting leaders have any incentive to improve their function. In fact, doing so may mean a smaller budget, less headcount, and even less status.

So this leads to the headline question: Do we need an internal function at all? Does it do something that an external provider cannot do? Can it do it at least as cheap or as fast? Can it provide a higher-caliber candidate?

Some thoughts:

1. Internal recruiters who are employees should have one major advantage over any external provider. That is a deep knowledge of the corporate culture and what success criteria are, and also what individual managers are looking for in candidates. The deeper and more scientific this knowledge is, the more it can be repeated, refined, and taught to others. A really outstanding internal function would nurture and develop a core of highly knowledgeable and trained recruiters who would have this knowledge. HP, in the old days, and IBM today, have this kind of built-in DNA that is very hard to replicate. External functions will always have difficulty achieving this level of intimacy with their clients, even when co-located, primarily because their employees have less motivation to invest in gathering this information and may be interchanged frequently. This is one area where length of service and commitment to the culture can pay dividends.

2. To remain competitive with outside providers, an internal function has to be as efficient as or more efficient than an outside provider. This means constantly improving operational excellence, adding appropriate technology, providing detailed market information and coaching to hiring managers, and building a reputation for adding real value through the quality of talent it provides. I have never seen this in any client or organization I have worked in, and I think this is the area of greatest potential return. Internal functions are never very efficient, primarily because leadership is transitory: I am not sure of the average tenure of a recruiting leader, but I would guess it is less than three years. This means there is little to no continuity of planning, no oversight of process improvements, and little opportunity to choose, install, learn and refine technology. Most organizations I have worked with change processes, procedures, and technology with each leader who arrives. Plans that have taken months to create are thrown away overnight. Recruiters know that they can do what they want, for the most part, because there will be no accountability or continuity. This is the area where an external provider, with a profit motive and an efficiency goal, can beat an internal function hands down.

3. Recruiters also need to be retained, trained, and incentivized to perform. External agencies can offer commissions, bonuses, and other rewards for outstanding performance. They can fire inefficient or incapable recruiters quickly. Internal functions are usually tied to traditional reward structures that do not provide the shorter term, efficiency-based rewards that would be more effective. A recruiter can barely perform at all and survive (and even thrive) by courting a few hiring managers or by being a good bureaucrat. And employment laws and internal practices limit when and how a recruiter can be fired, and the process is lengthy. Again, it is essential that internal recruiters be selected carefully based in skills and motivation and offered whatever incentives are available to encourage short and long term performance as well as retention.

4. The emerging prominence of social media should offer internal functions hope. Social media inherently dependent on intimate knowledge about the firm, candid communication, and the ability to take advantage of the networks of current employees. All of these give internal functions an edge.

Yet I am not convinced that this will make much difference. The RPOs and agencies are rapidly adopting social media and are even offering to manage the talent communities of individual firms. Many medium or small firms are not even looking at social media as a recruiting channel, and larger firms have widely divergent opinions and practices.

Effective social media use requires time and dedicated people who can interact with candidates, generate content, provide advice, and screen candidates for individual jobs. These are all strengths that internal recruiters have if they are given the time and charter to do so. Unfortunately again, corporate policy, management’s inability to see the benefits of social media, the fear of litigation, and lack of staff depth usually means this does not happen.

Given the state of recruiting functions today there are few compelling factors to recommend retaining an internal function. I have outlined where they could gain advantage, and a handful are doing these things, but by and large they offer little that would make them indispensable. By negotiating tough performance-based outsourcing agreements and allowing outside recruiters access to hiring managers, firms could eliminate the administrative and benefits costs of retaining employee-recruiters and the function could be reduced to a few liaison folks and vendor managers.

Author: Kevin Wheeler, the President and Founder of Global Learning Resources, Inc.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Things not to do during your Interview

Things not to do during your Interview

Now that your CV has done its job and fetched you an interview call, it is your chance to capitalise on this opportunity. While most of us worry about the type of answers we should provide to the questions asked in the interview, very few of us pay attention to things we should not say during the interview. So let's take a look at some of the things that you should avoid at your job interview:

What salary will I get?

All of us are curious about the salary offered for the position we are being interviewed for but there is more to a job interview than just money matters. Other things like the job profile, chances to grow in the company and industry, doing something that interests you are other crucial aspects.

If you initiate salary discussions, it makes you look money-minded and gives the impression that you will jump jobs for a couple of thousand rupees. Never bring up money matters, let the interviewer make the first move.

What exactly does the company do?

This is one of the most dreadful questions you could ask. You need to study the company (no matter how small it is) and its business before you go for the interview. Not knowing about the company shows your lack of preparation and interest in the job. Even if you don't know what the company does, do not give away your ignorance by asking a question like this.

No bad-mouthing your employer or boss. During the interview you might be asked for the reason you left or want to leave your employer or what your relationship with your last boss was like. While it might be tempting to discuss how badly you were treated by a 'tyrant' or how your boss tortured you with impossible deadlines and late hours, saying derogatory things about him/her will reflect on you. You may be perceived as immature, unable to handle the pressures of work, or just indiscreet. A more ominous possibility is your interviewer and current boss actually know each other, which might mean trouble for you.

And this dude on the phone, like, you know, just would not listen...

A job interview needs to be kept formal, and slang (wanna, gonna, bro etc) should be restricted to more social occasions. Using slang will give the impression of you being immature or simply unaware of the proper etiquette required in an interview. Both of which do not reflect too well on you.

I don't have any weaknesses.

Sure, you can write an 1,000-word essay when asked about your strengths but most of us don't like to admit our weaknesses. However, when it comes to your job and to your job interview, it is Justify Fullimportant to identify your weaknesses and work on improving upon them. In most cases it is better to offer a weakness that is loosely related to your job. If you have offered a weakness that is directly related to your job, remember to mention what you are doing to improve yourself.

I don't have any questions.

At the end of an interview, most interviewers will give you the chance to ask them questions. If you respond by saying 'I don't have any questions', it might give the impression of you being disinterested. If something does not come to mind immediately, take a minute to go over your interview and see if there is anything you could ask about. Make sure, however, that they are relevant to the company and the job you have applied for.

Do not bring up issues like vacation time, bonuses and the like at your first interview with a company. If these issues are critical to your particular field, either let the interviewer take the initiative or wait for the second round of interviews. Questions like these demonstrate a 'what can you do for me' attitude instead of 'what I can do for you'.

There was this deal that went awry, and we lost a ton of money...

Do not discuss confidential information about your last employer, even if the interviewer is the one to bring it up. It is not a good idea to reveal the business secrets of your last employer during an interview. This raises questions about your integrity and discretion.

Traffic was a pain in the a***.

Again, a job interview is a formal discussion. It is not a conversation you are having with your friends where you can use swear words. While some of us use these liberally at work, at an interview it does not show you in a very positive light.

When will you let me know if I got the job?

Try not to be over-eager or aggressive about getting the job. Thanking the interviewer for his/her time and saying that you are looking forward to working with the company is enough to show that you are keen on the job. Do not ask when you will hear from the company and do not ask if you should call later or the next day to find out if you have been selected. If you have managed to convince the interviewer that you are the best person for the job, they will be eager to get in touch with you.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Watch on your Employees! New ways to curb Fraud

Watch on your employees! New ways to curb fraud

Have you ever committed a fraud? Have you ever received more money than you should and have kept quiet about it? Have you asked for more compensation than you have spent, just to get a bit of more cash? The recent survey by KPMG on Corporate India has brought to light that almost 75 percent of all fraudulent activities in the corporate sector, except Intellectual Property frauds, were perpetrated by employees. The Satyam Computer scam has managed to taint the reputation of Indian IT industry and it took some time and persuasion to bring things back on track. This is a serious problem creeping up in corporate world and must be solved as quickly as possible, to be considered as a global player in IT industry.

An entrepreneur or CEO of the company knows an internal fraud can damage the foundations of the company. But the problem in India is, do the owners of company even realize that frauds are taking place in their company. Most of them have no clue about it and don't have necessary tools to find out about it. Here are a few set of things that CEO's should do to ensure that their company does not have a leak-hole somewhere, as reported by Patrick Stafford of Smart Company.

Video Surveillance: Many BPOs who are working for banking processes have learned it the hard way after being hit by frauds done by employees. 24x7 video surveillance of the employees will ensure the record of each and every activity done by employees.

Spyware: Yes, Spyware is a threat to the system but not for those who know how to use it to their advantage. There are a variety of programs that can be installed on computers designed to monitor exactly what people are doing, even in real-time. Other programs such as key-loggers record every keystroke, while firewalls can even inspect emails for any sign of suspicious activity. "The USB stick is small, you can just put it into a computer, and within 60 seconds it downloads a program onto your desktop and then I can remotely view your desktop at a different computer without you knowing," said Josh Pennycott from surveillance equipment retailer Eye Spy.

Internet banking safeguards: Giving one person the authority to manage the salaries of all employees is a risky move. Different software should be used to figure out who is accessing the banking programs and what is being done.

Internet usage: Every single website your employees visit can be monitored and logged, along with every download they make. Browsing software usually tags this information as default, but employers can add to that by making regularly inspections and records of sites being visited.

Data logs: Many CEO's don't know that they check out what websites users are visiting and many other records can be made available. Emails, chat transcripts, logs showing access to certain data systems and detailed call lists is all available for scrutiny if they decide to look for it.

Keycards: Keycards are an easy way to keep a tab on what time an employee comes and goes and which areas he has accessed and should be the first priority of CEO's.

Automatic alerts: Most electronic systems on computers, and other systems such as electronically-monitored doors, cars and GPS systems, can be set up with notification systems. If someone gains access, a report is logged and you can see who was tampering with what, and at what time.

Bag searches: Random bag searches are very crucial as well. When CEO's are spending so much on infrastructure, the last thing they want is to find that things are missing from office. More than that, few people might write down crucial information on paper which might be of monetary value for others. Many companies have successfully implemented such programs by putting up signs saying "you may be subject to a random bag search".

Whistle Blower System: Not everyone is a fraudster in your company, but almost everyone will be scared to blow the whistle when they see the fraud. As a CEO, it is your responsibility to ensure that whistle blowers can expose fraudsters without anyone knowing about it.

The idea behind these measures is to ensure that your employees must get used to working in an environment where everything they touch can be logged and most importantly, they are aware about it.