February 9, 2009

Sample Survey to verify Satyam Headcount

Filed under: Fiasco, Headcount, Satyam, Scams — Tags: , , — hrcases @ 11:51 am

The Income-Tax department has mobilized a large number of staff members from its local offices for a comprehensive investigation into the fraud in Satyam Computers. The investigations would not be a routine scrutiny but go deep into various issues.

These investigations are basically aimed at finding out how the fraud was committed and where the money was siphoned off.

To verify allegations of fudged headcount, the Income Tax department will do a sample study on 1,000 employees. Based on the address mentioned for the income tax returns filed in the 2007-08 fiscal, the IT officials will visit each house and make inquiries.

A sample of 1,000 employees would be taken up for verification and based on its results further investigations would be done. Though the timing of the study would have a surprise element.

The I-T officials will also verify whether tax deducted at source (TDS) of 53,000 employees was paid as claimed by Ramalinga Raju in his confession. Letters have been sent to different banks to check the genuinity of bank statements filed by Ramalinga Raju and his aides to the department in the tax return filed by them.

Income tax officials said identifying fictitious accounts was difficult based on permanent account number (PAN) as many unknowingly file their tax returns with wrong PAN number. As a result, the Investigation would not be done based on PAN number.

Source: The Times of India group.


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


June 27, 2008

Human Capital Measurement

Management of Human Capital has become one of the key HR objectives for many organizations.

What is Human Capital Management?

The term ‘Human Capital’ means – “the knowledge, skills, competencies and other attributes embodied in individuals or groups of individuals acquired during their life and used to produce goods, services or ideas in market circumstances”

It can be summed up in a formula devised by Consultant, Thomas Davenport:

Ability, knowledge, skill, talent + behavior x effort x time = quality of labor (human capital)

Human capital management involves getting the right people, with the right skills, in the right position, at the right time, rewarding them with the right incentives to perform the right function in the right environment, to most effectively perform the work of the organization.

Human Capital and Profitability

Watson Wyatt undertakes a study of the link between HC practices and competitiveness and performance. The Watson Wyatt HCI is an index from 0 to 100 awarded to surveyed company, based on the responses to a wide range of questions about the organization’s human resource management practices, including pay, people development, and communications and staffing.

The research shows that five key HC practice dimensions are associated with a 90% increase in shareholder value:

• Clear Rewards and Accountability

• Excellence in Recruitment and Retention

• A Collegial, Flexible Workplace

• Communications Integrity

• Prudent Use of Resources

Importance of Recruitment and Measurement

Effective recruitment has a positive impact on a company’s management of human capital. A study by Bernthal and Wellis showed that the cost of replacing an employee ranges from 29 to 46 percent of the person’s annual salary.

Despite its importance in HC calculations when it comes to measurement, Recruitment is one of the factors a company shies away from measuring.

Why are Companies not Measuring Recruitment Effectiveness (Quality of Hire)?

Recruitment has always been a poorly measured metric, with very few companies even recording the source of the candidates to recruitment campaigns, let alone the quality of those hires.

The reasons for this fall into 4 groups:

• No tradition of measurement

• Difficulty of measurement

• Lack of pressure from senior management

• The importance of measuring quality is underestimated


• Surveying Line Management

• •Performance Reviews

• Productivity

• Turnover

• Screening and Assessment Tools


Business performance and recruitment excellence are inter-linked. Most of the companies have been slow to measure Quality of Hire.

The good news is that in reality Quality of Hire can, with a little planning and determination, be easily measured, and it should soon start moving up the HR agenda.

June 26, 2008

Different perspectives on Recruitments

In the current scenario, recruitment is becoming even more critical as there is dearth of highly skilled workforce around. The best organizations succeed not because of their people, but, because they have the right people. Skill, knowledge and attitude—in one word competencies—in the workforce are a critical input for success of an organization.

Recruitment has today shifted focus from contractual employment obligation to skill and ability-based hiring. Present day organizations understand the strong links between attitude and performance of employees. Investing in human capital is the most desirable business strategy as only a talented workforce can give the company, a competitive advantage.

Competency-based recruitment is in buzz. The onus on human resource managers is significant and their method of recruiting the right candidates has a critical bearing on the quality of workforce.

Behavioral interview techniques are most common nowadays. The principles and techniques of behavioral observations can be effectively converted into the interviewing process. These interviews try to gauge the motivational and attitudinal inclinations of an individual.

Competencies focus on the key behaviors that are expected out of an employee for effective performance in a particular role. These behaviors are consistently demonstrated by good performers on the job. Competencies differ from skills and knowledge. They include only behaviors.

The building blocks for high performing companies are—recruiting right and retaining the recruited talent. Productivity and profitability of the business enterprise is best served by recruiting right at the very beginning.

Traditional interview methods are not equipped to identify talented employees. The traditional interviewing method which focuses more on resume, references and past experience fail to capture the complexity of identifying the right candidate for the right job. Such interviews focus on knowledge and skill while behavioral interview lays stress on behavioral aspects.

Competency-based recruitment through behavioral interviews focuses more on the right fit between the organizations and the individual. Whenever the organizational and individual fitment is right, it results in outstanding performance and job satisfaction.

David Cohen in his book, The Talent Edge, explains how behavior and behavioral tendencies function in the complex personality of an individual.

An onion is easy to peel on the surface, but it has many layers. The top layer represents the person’s skill and knowledge. This particular layer is changeable depending on circumstances and conditions. It has very little impact on the future performance of the individual. At a slightly deeper layer, but still close to the surface, are the ‘can do’ factors that indicate the person’s background and experience. Interviewers need to make more direct enquiries to reach this level of observation, though this level does not adequately reveal how the candidate will apply his or her experiences on the job. At the core of the onion, are the ‘will do’ factors that drive the actual behavior. ‘Will do’ factors are stable and tell the interviewer the extent to which individuals will use their knowledge and skills on the job and how they will do so. ‘Will do’ factors are what people mean when they refer to behaviors or behavioral competencies. Whether the person will actually exhibit a behavior is not so much a function of ability as it is of motives and values.

The goal of any kind of interview is to understand the candidate’s abilities and skills and forecast his likely behavior on the job. Behavioral interviewing uses ‘competencies’ to analyze behavioral qualities. Competency is any skill, knowledge or other attribute that is observable and leads to excellent performance in a particular work context. It differentiates the star performer from the average performer.

A behavioral competency is intrinsic to a person. It is transferable in nature, meaning that competency exhibited in one circumstance is likely to be exhibited in other similar circumstances as well. In today’s highly competitive business environment, the psychological pressure to perform well is considerably high. For those facing the challenge of hiring, finding the right fit between the organization, the job, and the candidate’s skills and behaviors is the key to hiring right.

A competency-based approach offers several benefits to an organization. The vision and mission of the organization becomes effective. It helps in creating empowerment, accountability and alignment of coach, team member, and employer in performance development.

The approach has two fold effects. For managers, it helps identify performance criteria to improve the accuracy of recruiting process. For employees, it help in identifying behavior standards of performance excellence required to be successful in their role.

Tools for curbing attrition

Filed under: Attrition, Latest Trends in HR, Retention — Tags: , , — hrcases @ 9:04 am

In today’s scenario, Organizations’ worldwide are making all attempts to minimize attritions. There are a lot of retention strategies that can be used to curb attrition.

Some of them are listed out here. –

Compensation should be attractive

Fair compensation does to a large extent guarantee employee satisfaction and loyalty.
For e.g., a process at FedEx, called the Pay Exception allows managers to recommend and give exceptional pay hikes to the performing employees.

Quality benefits should be provided

Benefits are not a key reason why employees stick with a company, but they do help in uplifting their morale to some extent.

– Performance based quarterly incentives

– Insurance Scheme & Personal Health Care

– Corporate Credit Cards

– Cellular Phone / Laptop & latest technology on-board

– Interest free loans for higher educations

– Flexi-timings / Telecommuting

– Flexible Salary Benefits

– Wedding Day & Birthday Gift

Train the frontline managers

To make sure that the managers aren’t driving away the technologists, the organizations should invest in human capital irrespective of ROI.
For e.g., In Whirlpool Appliances, there are highly selective leadership development mentor programs.

Detail employees on their roles.

Make sure that the employees know what is expected of them. They should be given enough time to settle down in the system before they start performing.

Opportunities to grow and progress.

A clear professional development plan gives employees the professional boost to go on. The career path of every employee in the organization should be well laid out.

Offering retention bonus

Employee longevity is well rewarded in most of the organizations. They could be offered other seniority-based rewards such as a paid membership in the employee’s professional association after one year, a paid membership to a local gymnasium and clubs after two years, and full reimbursement for the cost of the employee’s formal dress.

Employee engagement practices.

To check the pulse of your organization, conduct employee satisfaction surveys on a regular basis. Go in for its analysis and implementation.

– Capture Voice of Employees

– Value addition (Attitude, Skills, Knowledge, Practices & Trust)

– Stay Interviews & its implementation

Cross functional teams

It takes efforts to build an effective team, but the result is greater productivity, better use of resources, improved customer service and increased morale.

For e.g., Sapient Corporation has a practice known as “Team Storming”. When a project team or an internal team has worked very hard, teams from across the office get together and storm the team with a ‘goodies’ basket to recognize the team.

Fun@work initiatives.

Organizations should celebrate successes and recognize their employees when milestones are reached. Buffet lunches, birthday parties, and employee picnics will help remind people why an organization is a great place to work.

Job enrichment.

Identify your employees’ talents and then encourage them to stretch their capabilities into new areas. Every employee should have a Mentor assigned.


Management should always keep their employees well informed of every happening.

– Communication creates the right kind of environment

– The employees should know how business is carried out

– They should be aware of all the issues

Encouraging higher learning.

Create opportunities for your key performers and technologists to grow and learn. Encourage every employee to learn at least one new thing every week, and you’ll create a Work force that is excited, motivated and committed.


Employees will be loyal to organizations that make their lives more convenient by offering on-site childcare centers, on-site hair styling and dry cleaning, flexible work hours, part-time positions, job-sharing or involving spouses in CSR activities and promoting ownership culture.

Effective induction program.

Every Organization should have a formal orientation program and include a thorough overview of all the departments.

Value your employees.

Recognize outstanding achievers publicly. Make sure that none of the chances to reward or recognize employees is missed out.

June 24, 2008

Cisco – Innovative Recruitment methods

In 1995, Cisco, found that despite hiring an average of 1,000 people every three months during the year, the company still had hundreds of openings. The recruitment pressure further increased the following year, when Cisco hired more than 1,000 employees every quarter. When Cisco’s sales soared, the company planned to double its workforce.

The management realized that it had to adopt innovative recruitment practices to bring in the best people. They adopted the first of its kind online recruitment called the ‘Friends program’. Cisco recruiters also began to target passive job seekers. These were the people who were content and successful in their existing jobs.


Cisco was founded in 1984 by a group of computer scientists at Stanford, who designed operating software called IOS (Internet Operating System).

In 1985, the company started a customer support site from where customers could download software. In 1990, Cisco installed a bug report database in its site. The database contained information about potential software problems to help customers and developers.

By 1991, Cisco’s support center was receiving around 3,000 calls a month which increased to 12,000 by 1992. In 1993, Cisco installed an Internet-based system for large multinational corporate customers. In 1994, Cisco launched Cisco Information Online, a public website which offered company and product information. By 1995, it introduced applications for selling products or services on its website. This was done mainly to transfer paper, fax, e-mails and CD-ROM distribution of technical documentations and training materials to the web to save time for employees, customers and trading partners, besides broadening Cisco’s market reach.

In 1996, the company introduced a new Internet initiative, ‘Networked Strategy’ to leverage its enterprise network to foster interactive relationships with prospective customers, partners, suppliers and employees. In early 2000, Cisco introduced the Integrated Commerce Solution (ICS), which provided a dedicated server fully integrated into the customers’ or resellers’ intranet and back-end ERP systems.

In mid-2000, Cisco entered into a distribution agreement with FedEx to manage orders and maintain inventory levels in a cost-effective way. ‘The Cisco City’ in San Jose, emerged as one of the biggest Internet economy industrial parks with around 13,000 employees.

Cisco believed it required the best people in the industry to remain the Leader.


The company followed a policy of hiring ‘top 10-15%’ people in the networking industry. This was a mechanism to remain the industry leader.

Its vision statement was, “Attracting, growing and retaining great talent is critical to sustaining Cisco’s competitive advantage.”

The company began to use newer techniques like the ‘build-the-buzz’ strategy, which was centered on the primary market for its products, i.e., the Internet.

Cisco’s recruiting team identified the candidates whom they felt the company ‘should hire,’ and then figured out the way those potential candidates did their job hunting and designed hiring processes to attract them to the company. The recruiters targeted even passive job seekers–people who were happy and successful in their current jobs.

Cisco changed the way it wanted advertisements in newspapers. It listed specific job openings and featured its Internet address in its ads and invited prospective candidates to apply. This helped in directing all job seekers to its website where it could inexpensively post hundreds of openings and provides information regarding them.

Since most people visited Cisco’s website from their jobs, the company could identify their place of work. The company attracted happily employed people through focus groups. These focus groups targeted senior engineers and marketing professionals in other companies and found out how they spent their free time. These insights helped the recruiters.

The website also offered features through which applicants could fill their resumes online or create one with the help of Cisco’s resume builder.

The focus group’s exercise ensured that a candidate would approach the company if he had been informed by a friend about better opportunities at Cisco. This led to the launch of the friends program in April 1996. Cisco also organized art fairs, beer festivals and certain annual events in which people from Silicon Valley participated. These places proved to be very ‘fruitful hunting venues’ as they attracted young achievers from various successful infotech companies. Cisco recruiters mingled with the crowd, collected business cards from prospective candidates and spoke to them informally about their careers.

More than 1,000 Cisco employees volunteered for the Friends program, attracted by the referral fee, which started at $500 and a lottery ticket for a free trip to Hawaii for each prospect they befriended and who was ultimately hired.

In this program, Cisco employees were matched up with people who approached the company as prospects and who shared similar backgrounds and skills. The Cisco employees then called the prospects to inform them in their own words about life at the company.

Cisco also found that applicants and recruiters were not totally comfortable with, the time-consuming recruiting process. To speed up the process, Cisco hired in house headhunters to identify qualified candidates for managers.

It encouraged internal referrals for recruitment through a program called ‘Amazing People.’ This facilitated the employees to refer their friends’ and acquaintances for positions within Cisco. Employees earned a referral bonus if the company hired the person they referred. After streamlining its recruitment policies in 1996, Cisco conducted an Employee survey to find out how the new recruits felt on their first day at work.

This exercise stemmed from the company’s belief that new employees typically treated the first day as ‘the most important eight hours in the world.’ Cisco launched Fast Start, an employee orientation initiative. It installed software, which tracked the hiring process and alerted the team about the new recruit’s arrival. As a result, every new recruit started with a fully functional workspace and a whole day of training in desktop tools.

Fast Start not only eliminated all problems but it also enabled new recruits to know about ‘life inside the company.’ Every new recruit was assigned a ‘buddy’ who clarified all doubts and answered questions about Cisco. New recruits also had a two-day course called the ‘Cisco Business Essentials,’ which covered company’s history and business units. The managers of the new recruits received an automatically generated e-mail two weeks after their new recruit arrival. It reminded them to review their departmental initiatives and personal goals.

Reaping the Benefits

Cisco believed that its new recruitment philosophy should also be made a part of the overall corporate culture. Cisco’s job site was recording around 500,000 hits per month. The company generated a stream of reports about who visited the site. Cisco’s hiring cycle also came down to 45 days. The recruitment costs were also below the industry average. Referral rates at Cisco were twice the industry norm. The retention rate of the Company had also increased.

Analysts claimed that Cisco’s innovative and aggressive recruiting initiatives were to a large extent responsible for the company’s expansion at 40% per year and recruiting 250 employees every week.

Industry observers feel that other players should also modify their recruitment policies to take advantage, like Cisco did.

June 21, 2008

Recruitment – Trends

Filed under: Latest Trends in HR, Recruitment — Tags: , , — hrcases @ 7:25 pm

Historically, in our country trade was either inherited or learnt from the master craftsman directly. Before the Industrial Revolution, the villages were self-sufficient. Business was carried out through the barter system. This division gave rise to the CASTE SYSTEM. The caste system gradually became deep-rooted due to the fact that the skills imparted were transferred from father to son. The Industrial Revolution in Britain created a need for both, the raw materials required to run the factories and a market for the finished products. For this, the raw materials were bought from the British colonies at cheaper rates, while the finished goods were sold back to the colonies at lower prices. The Industrialization era created greater employment opportunities.

Meaning of Recruitment

In Industrial terminology, to recruit has come to mean “to fill up a vacancy” and recruitment is the process involved in it.

With the rise of Industrial Revolution, the demand for skilled labor grew, giving rise to greater opportunities in terms of the number of skilled personnel required for the job.

People from all sections of society now learnt and pursued different trades of their choice. This was the beginning of a social transformation, which eventually rid the society of the evils of a deep-rooted caste bias.

Pre-Recruitment Stages

Recruitment is the function of the Personnel Department, which identifies the vacancies based on the need expressed by the concerned department.

The Personnel Department takes sanction for filling up he post from the management.

There is a fundamental shift from “the approved manpower planning” to the requirements of manpower and finance originating from the business plan.

This shift is due to the change in the operation of business. Today, the market is driven by consumer preference, and consumers no longer merely take what is produced. The need for a variety in the skilled manpower originates from the growing customer expectations.

Modes of Recruitment

The traditional system of recruitment depended upon the recent applications sourced from the company employees’ children. The application contained a column which required the prospective candidate to state whether she/he has any relative working in the organization.

The modern organizations scout for bright candidates across the globe.

Sourcing through Newspapers

The common method of sourcing prospective candidates is by advertising for positions in the newspapers.. The newspaper advertisement carries a short profile of the company and the position with a job description.


Tele-recruitment is a method wherein candidates are interviewed over the telephone, selected and recruited. The employers check the skills sets and experience of the prospective candidates before interviewing them.


The spread of Internet has enabled employers to search for candidates globally and has made the recruitment process easier. The employer can browse the profile of candidates from the Internet and the candidates can be accessed through e-mail.

Recruitment through Placement Consultants

The placement agencies invite resumes of prospective candidates. They also interview candidates and shortlist those according to the criteria laid down by the respective companies. This helps the employers to interview a limited number of potential candidates.

June 14, 2008

Recruitment and Selection – An Overview

The role of talent in any economy raises various issues. In the early years, it was the employers who had dominated the market, and employees were in abundant supply with no shareholder’s activism. As we moved on, the financial power assumed more significance. However, the Human Capital is now becoming the most dominant force in the business.

Recruitment and Selection of the right candidate considering the vision, mission and strategy of the organization, is increasingly gaining significance.


Rynes defines recruitment as, “Recruitment encompasses all organizational practices and decisions that affect either the number or type of individuals who are willing to apply for, or to accept a given vacancy.”

The focus of recruitment and selection is on matching the capabilities and inclinations of prospective candidates against the demands and rewards inherent in a given job.

Effective Recruitment and Selection

Recruitment Strategy focuses on the following –

• When to recruit

• How many to recruit

• Where to recruit from

• Which channels to tap

When to recruit

The recruitment practice of any organization varies, depending on the life cycle and size of the organization. It also depends heavily on the Manpower planning.

How many to recruit

The quantum of recruitment varies according to the organizational structure.
An organization with a long hierarchical structure might recruit large number of people at the time of its expansion. On the other hand, an Organization which has a relatively flat structure, might recruit lesser number of people, considering its resource constraints.

Where to recruit from

The larger organizations usually recruit internally across all the managerial grades. This is in contrast to their smaller counterparts. The larger organizations tend to have a larger pool of potentially suitable candidates.
The newer entrants with little or no knowledge mostly involve in External recruitments.

Which channels to tap

The possible sources of attracting potential candidates for recruitment –


Organizations having less knowledge in the existing market tend to opt for newspaper to explain who they are and help people make a choice. As there is already a known domain competency for established organizations, they would not make much use of Newspaper as a possible source.


Assuming the same logic as explained above, newer organizations in an existing market would make more use of this source.

Online Recruitment

The scope of online recruitment is wide open. It provides information on job vacancies, conduct online interviews, psychometric assessments, interactive tools for communication, interactive application forms, electronic mailing lists, etc. It is slowly becoming the most reliable source.


Well established organizations use word-of-mouth promotion of the organization through its employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is a form of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) where an employer outsources or transfers all or part of the staffing process to an external service provider. Many organizations lack the internal expertise and resources to acquire the talent needed to remain competitive.

RPO solutions achieve improvements in four areas:

• Quality

• Cost

• Service

• Speed


Selection involves screening applicants’ abilities and traits in order to assess the degree of success and compatibility of the individual in the organization. This is the phase of the recruitment strategy where the communication between the employers and job seekers is crucial.

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