July 28, 2008

The key to Telecommuting

Telecommuting, e-commuting, e-work, telework, working at home (WAH), or working from home is a work arrangement in which employees enjoy flexibility in working locations and hours.

Many work from home, while others do that occasionally also referred to as nomad workers or web commuters. This lot utilizes mobile telecommunications technology to work from other locations.

Telework is a broader term, referring to substituting telecommunications for any form of work-related travel, thereby eliminating the distance restrictions of telecommuting.

All telecommuters are teleworkers but not all teleworkers are telecommuters.

Teleworking has numerous benefits. Some of which include increased productivity, retention and morale. A telework program can lead to problems if not executed correctly.

A formal telework program has a framework in place where organizations have thought of the various benefits and risks. Most companies don’t like taking any risks and prefer to supply the equipment, as it is easier to enforce the policy decisions on corporate equipment.

If a teleworker is working three-plus days from a home office or other remote location, then the company should pay for everything. The equipments would include – the laptop, the printer, and the phone line as well.

IT support would also be required to be looked into. Occasional teleworkers can bring their laptop back to the office for IT support, but then they should also be provided with an appropriate level of remote IT support. Employers should put together policy guidelines and rules of practice about what they’re going to cover and not cover. They should also take care of another issue which is updating software and hardware.


July 26, 2008

India Prefers Male Bosses – An ASSOCHAM Report

Its official now, we prefer male boss over a female boss. ASSOCHAM (The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India) recently concluded the survey – “Preference of Bosses in Emerging Corporate Culture” which declares that more than 68% men and women prefer male bosses at their work.

The survey result which was based on the 2,500 executives feedback suggest that about 68 percent showed preference for male bosses saying male bosses give more operational freedom at work and are faster in decision-making, while the remaining 32 percent did not have any preference. More interestingly, of the 68 percent executives who voted for male bosses, two-thirds were female. The respondents argued that women approach work with more emotion than men. Also, motherhood and family responsibilities keep them from accomplishing assigned work leading to discontentment among the juniors.

The study also shows that women in the workplace do not just prefer male bosses over female bosses; they also feel more comfortable with male co-workers. Men choices were more evenly split, with 17 percent choosing male co-workers and 16 percent choosing female co-workers.

The survey, which comprised 67 per cent women and 33 per cent men, also found out:

• Women have to work twice as hard to prove themselves.
• Women picked a male boss rather than a female boss,
• More men would rather work for men than women; 50 percent of men chose a male boss and 12 percent picked a female boss
• Most women, 77 percent, agree that it is still difficult for women to get ahead in the workplace; only 43 percent of men feels that way.
• A majority of women, 56 percent, feel that at one time or another they have been disadvantaged in the workplace because of their gender, while 25 percent of men feel the same way.
• The better the bosses, the longer the stability factor is yet another key findings of the survey. On working with strict bosses, majority of the executives said they would opt for an early exist as today there are immense opportunities available


Mukherjee to head TCS global HR

Tata Consultancy Services has appointed Ajoyendra Mukherjee, as the global head of HR. Mukherjee has held key leadership positions and headed TCS operations in Switzerland and South Africa in the past.

Ritu Anand has been appointed as the deputy global head of human resources.

TCS which had only 3,691 employees in the year 1990-91 today has over 1,16,000 employees on its roll making it the largest employer in the IT industry in the country

Mukherjee has said that in the first quarter of this year, out of every 100 employees hired, 61 were trainees and 39 were professionals.

He said the company is planning to use employee referral system to reduce cost while hiring new people. He also informed the attrition in the company is leveling out.

July 24, 2008

The greatest HR concerns

Today, there are a lot of issues and challenges that are foremost on the minds of HR. HR as a function is fast changing, especially in the IT companies. The HR managers here have a multi-task responsibility and they need to manage it well.

Earlier the role of HR Managers was confined to administrative functions like looking after manpower requirements and maintaining rolls for the organization. Now it is more strategic.

Some of the problems that the IT sector faces are managing people, motivation to adopt, recruitment, training, performance management and compensation management.

Managing people

Managing people in knowledge-based industry is critical. Today, the talented professionals enjoy high bargaining power due to the knowledge and skills in hand.

Motivating the workforce

As the competition is growing rapidly, technological edge has become a crucial factor for survival in the market. Various Technological organizations are giving top priority to technology advancement programmes.

Competency development

Human capital is the real asset for any organization, this makes HR’s role important in recruiting, managing, and retaining the best. Incompetent HR managers will have a direct impact on the organization.

Recruitment and Training

Recruitment has become a major function in the IT industry. HR managers play a vital role in creating assets in the form of quality manpower. They also need to put systems in place to make the people a perfect fit for the job.

The trust factor

Low levels of trust inhibit tacit knowledge sharing in the knowledge-based industry.

Critical factors

The knowledge-based industry faces five most critical challenges. One of the most important one is talent management and development.
The growing pace of talent acquisition that creates with it the challenge of smoother assimilation and cultural binding of the new joinees into the organization fold is another big factor.
The most important challenge though is the retention issue.

Source: Financial Express

July 17, 2008

PepsiCo India – Approach to Tap Female Talent

PepsiCo India has taken an unusual approach to recruiting. The company has teamed up with, to exclusively target women who wish to return to the corporate world.

From the time this initiative was made effective, the Web site has received a huge response from female candidates.

The Job opportunities offered include part-time and full-time options.
These are basically into consulting and sales and marketing. Most importantly, they allow the applicants to work from home or have flexible schedules.

The percentage of female employees has increased dramatically in the company and currently comprises 33 percent of top management positions and 15 percent of the remainder of the workforce.

PepsiCo India along with is working to expand the initiative to other multinational companies such as Microsoft India and IBM India.

Source: Diversity Executive Magazine

July 16, 2008

Common Interview Questions

Filed under: Interviews, Latest Trends in HR, Recruitment — Tags: , — Braj Mohan Chaturvedi @ 8:20 pm

This list of Common Interview Questions is based on the interviews I have attended in the past. I suggest all of you to review these typical interview questions and think about how you would answer them.

Here is the list:

• Tell me about yourself
• Why did you leave your last job? Why are you looking forward for the change? What has disappointed you in current job?
• What experience do you bring in to the table in this field? Why should we hire you?
• Why do you want to work for this organization? What do you know about this organization?
• What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
• What is your definition of the dream job? What are you looking from this job?
• Are you applying for other jobs?
• What is your greatest strength? What makes you feel that you would be asset to the organization? How can you be an asset to this organization?
• Can you work under pressure?
• Do you consider yourself successful?
• Do you know anyone who works for us?
• Are you a team player?
• What will your co-workers and supervisor say about you? How much your co-workers and supervisor will rate you on scale of five? Explain why?
• What irritates you about your co-workers and boss? What qualities do you look for in your co-workers and boss?
• How long would you expect to work for us if hired? When are you planning to retire?
• What is your philosophy towards work?
• Have you ever had to fire anyone? Why did you do it?
• Have you ever been asked to leave a position?
• What is more important to you: the money or the work?
• What makes you feel that you would do well at this job? What motivates you to do your best on the job?
• What is your work style? What is your management style?
• What is important work ethics or getting things done?
• What is your salary expectation?
• Would you be willing to relocate if required?
• Do you have any questions for me?

These are the top twenty-five questions around which the HR round of the interview process resolves. Once you have answers of these questions there is nothing stopping you.

How I landed into my dream job

Filed under: Interviews, Latest Trends in HR — Tags: , — Braj Mohan Chaturvedi @ 8:18 pm

I always wanted to be a Journalist. My parents had different plans, and I was sent to do an MBA. The MBA degree landed me in a Corporate with a decent job, but I was not happy. In search of perfect mach I changed two companies in four months. Finally at half of the salary I joined University Press, where I started business writing. I worked with the University Press for three years before responsibility called a quit. In my case, I discovered my strengths in a much early stage. The decision of quitting corporate and joining University press at half of the salary was not an easy decision. I could do that with ease because I had limited family responsibilities.

The mantras of success are start exploring your dream role early, and have clarity of thoughts. It is also important because by doing so you are giving yourself more scope for self- discovery in pursuing your passion. In my case I did not rely merely on my qualification, academic performance, skill, aptitude and a good luck. I worked hard to realize my dreams.

Ten action points which helped me get my dream job(s)
• Explore options early in life.
• Give yourself time to analyze options and develop clarity
• Announce your dream role to every one – friends, relatives, job portals, recruitment consultants.
• Explain what exactly you are looking from the job, and what you can offer to employer
• Enrich your understanding of the industries and the companies which can offer you, your dream role.
• Average to strong working knowledge of English both, written and oral, is essential in the global workplace. Not to forget that one of the regional language or Hindi is a must in case of India.
• In this era of rapid change learn to unlearn old and learn new. People who have desire to keep up-to-date are in great demand.
• Cultivate a range of IT skills to enhance your flexibility for a wider variety of dream jobs.
• Demonstration of teamwork and enthusiasm not only in action but also through body language is must.
• Every job demands formal attire that fits well.

I always believed that everything in this world is at your arms length if you have patience, persistence and planning.

July 15, 2008

US CEO Compensation Trends

The US economy is slowing down. Due to this, the large companies are aiming to link pay to performance. Hence, CEO total direct compensation is also declining.

Based upon the analysis of 350 companies within the Fortune 1000, Mercer has concluded that CEO’s would now have to depend heavily on performance based pays.

Mercer’s database of 350 companies consists of three categories.

• Top 50 with revenue of $40 billion or more

• Large with revenue of $7.4 billion or more

• Mid-size with revenue of $1.2 billion or more

Mercer analyzed median total direct compensation for CEOs, defined as base salary, short-term incentive compensation and expected value of long term incentives granted in the fiscal year.

For CEOs of the top 50 companies, median total direct compensation represented 15.8 percent reduction from the prior year.

The median total direct compensation of the CEOs of large companies did not change much from the previous year.

The CEOs of mid-size companies had a modest reduction in median total direct compensation from the previous year.

In the case of jumbo companies, the dive in total direct compensation was driven by a sharp decline in long-term incentive grant values, down 18.9%.

Over the years, the components of pay varied among the three company categories. The base salary constitutes only 19% of CEO compensation. The base salary increased only by moderate amounts amongst the three categories.

• Increase by 3.9% in the top 50 companies’ CEO

• Increase by 4.2% for large companies’ CEO

• Increase by 3.0% for mid-size companies’ CEO

The annual cash incentives on the other hand declined.

• By 13.5 % in the top 50 companies

• By 16.9 % in the mid-size companies

• By 1.6 % in the large companies

The center of the CEO compensation is long term incentives (in the form of equity). The current trend is long-term incentives (cash and equity) awards based on achieving specified performance goals.

Today, companies are considering strictly the various drivers of long-term economic value, reassessing performance metrics and realigning variable compensation. In this scenario, pay for performance is slowly becoming important.

Mercer’s analysis showed that there has not been much difference in the company-funded perquisites such as personal aircraft use, club dues and personal financial advice etc…

“Shareholders, who are experiencing deteriorating returns, are becoming more activist than ever and want to see compensation outcomes linked to sustained financial and share price results,” said Diane Doubleday, global leader of Mercer’s executive remuneration services.

If the economic outlook continues to be uncertain and unpredictable, there will be debates at many companies about whether they need to adjust, reduce, or even eliminate performance-based equity.


July 12, 2008

Citigroup – Establishing Team Culture

Filed under: Latest Trends in HR, Team Culture — Tags: , — hrcases @ 10:09 pm

Vikram Pandit, the CEO of Citigroup, took over the company in December. Since then, the New York-based financial services company has posted $15 billion in losses and announced plans to eliminate 9,000 jobs.

The CEO has been laying a lot of emphasis on a culture based on teamwork. He has announced for a new regional structure, which allows for de-centralization. Now, the regional CEOs can make independent decisions for their businesses.

Experts are of the opinion that establishing a culture around teamwork will mean a lot of communication and revamping of HR processes.

Establishing a more collaborative culture would help Citigroup, given the fact it has 370,000 employees around the world. But this would require getting the trust and buy-in of employees as a lot of them are concerned about job security and are only focused on their individual performance.

According to experts, the biggest challenge though would be to find an objective way to assess employees’ performance in this kind of scenario.


July 11, 2008

Brain Drain – Britain to India

Filed under: Brain Drain, Indian Students, Latest Trends in HR — Tags: , — hrcases @ 9:41 pm

Professionals from British universities are making headway for India.Currently thousands of people in Britain are facing the prospect of losing their jobs due to the downturn in the British economy.

Apart from Britons and British-Asians seeking employment abroad, professionals leaving the country include migrants from Poland, Nigeria and Australia.

According to The Institute of Public Policy Research, these people may have better job prospects back home, where they can also avoid Britain’s spiraling cost of living.

A recent survey revealed that British graduates were prepared to fill nearly 200,000 jobs in Indian call centers. Their accent helps them perform well in these jobs. For British Asians, working in Indian call centers helps them connect with their roots.

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