Wednesday, December 17, 2008

IT firms hike referral bonuses

By -siliconindia news bureau
Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Though recession goes on worsening, some U.S. firms in India are on a hiring mode for outsourcing jobs and they are increasingly hiking referral bonuses for existing employees. Referral bonuses are supposed to be given to employees who refer talented people to the company. U.S. Firms like Deloitte, ADP, Pegasystems and Broadridge in India have hiked the referral bonuses already, reported The Economic Times.

Deloitte, which employs over 6,000 people in India, has doubled its referral bonus to employees last week. The employees will now get Rs. 10,000-50,000 for every person who they refer, depending on the level at which they will be joining the firm. The company has also increased its campus hiring by 20-30 percent this year.

An industry analyst said, "This is the right time to hire as salary expectations of people have become realistic and referral system helps identify suitable people. Besides, expansion of India operations will help the firm cut cost significantly and mitigate the risk of the U.S. slowdown."

"Most firms in the West are trimming down workforce there to cut cost. This is expected to bring more offshore work to India. This could lead to an increased demand for people especially the high-end talent pool," said, Prashant Srivastava, HR expert & managing partner (India), The Gallup Organization.He also mentioned that firms are under pressure to scale up faster and the referral system provides a cost-effective way to get people with right-skill and attitude. Compared to the recruitment process through executive search firms referral will be at least 10-15 percent cheaper.

Pegasystems, a U.S. based business process management (BPM) software provider is looking to hire 60-80 high-end talent-pool for its R&D center in Hyderabad in six months. "Our referral bonus ranges from Rs 25,000-75,000 per person. As we want to scale up our operations at a faster pace, we have increased this bonus by Rs 50,000 for referring a person at certain positions like tech lead. Hence, if a candidate is selected, an existing employee can earn up to Rs 1.25 lakh, which will be beyond his salary.

We will give this extra benefit for the next six months," said Suman Reddy Eadunuri, MD, Pegasystems Worldwide India.Similarly, ADP, the $9 billion business outsourcing solutions firm, is looking at recruiting 400 people in the next six months at its Hyderabad and Pune centers. This year (June-December), the company added 400 people. Of this, about 52 percent were selected through referral process as against 45 percent last fiscal.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

HR Payroll Software - Why It's So Hard To Get A Price

By Expert Author: Clay C. Scroggin

The topic of this article is to describe why getting a price for an HR Payroll software application is not as easy as getting a price on a house, a car, or a new pair of shoes. Think of all the decisions you would have to make, before getting an accurate price, if you were going to build your own home.

Using Google Adword’s keyword tool, I did a little research into how many people in an average month are searching for the price of HR Payroll Software. The resulting numbers are lower than I might have expected. Still, per month, just on Google it appears that at least hundreds of people are searching for the cost of HR and Payroll software based only on the keywords I uncovered below.

Keyword Average Searches Per Month
• HRIS Price 12
• Cost of HRIS 58
• HRIS Costs 170
• HR software pricing 36

HR Payroll software prices depend on too many variables to simply offer a quick quote

When I was selling HR Payroll Software systems, I worked with one HRIS product that offered 15 unique product options, two platform options, and two purchase options. The cost of that system for a 200 employee company varied tremendously. This price could have ranged from $3,000 to well over $40,000. So, if someone simply asked for a price, or even a ball park price, it was hard for me to present one without knowing exactly what options they were interested in and what their needs were. Often times the prospect did not know either until I performed a needs analysis and/or showed a demo.

HR and Payroll Software Salesmanship

As an HR and Payroll software sales person, if I was selling product X and knew my competition was product Y, which offered half the functionality and 30% less on cost, I would be hesitant to provide a prospect a price of my HRIS system until I was able to show the added value. This is not only salesmanship; it’s also good service. It’s important that you not base your decision for HR Payroll software only on price. The best value may not be the lowest price but may be found in the closest match to your company’s unique needs. You may be impatient to see the cost, but in the example above, the customer wins by waiting.

There are sales training courses which teach sales people to say in control of the sale by holding off on providing a price as long as possible. I am not one of those that agree with this strategy but you may very well see it.

The HR Payroll software companies want to keep the prices as secret as possible

We have asked all of our HR Payroll software participating vendors to include at least some type of price range for our site, but currently 8 of 13 have elected not to do so. Part of the reason is what I have laid out above but these companies are also very secretive about their prices. The least expensive systems on the market have no problem publishing their prices. The more expensive and comprehensive systems on the market are much less likely to do so.

I lost a vendor earlier in the year because they would not participate in our service unless every vendor on our site, not only showed their pricing, but showed it in exactly the same format as they offered theirs. I can’t say I disagree but I am not in a position to force our vendors to comply.

So can other websites actually provide quick quotes for multiple HR and Payroll software applications?

NO! For the exact same reasons I have laid out here, the HR Payroll software vendors aren’t going to provide the cost without understanding who the prospect is and what their needs are. So, the site I am referring to without mentioning them by name, simply distributes your information to a number of HRIS or HRMS vendors and then let’s those individual vendors contact you, and after a needs analysis and perhaps even a demo, the “free HRIS quotes” can be provided. There’s nothing quick about it; nor would you want it to be.

The funny thing is our keyword position for HRIS pricing is number nine on Google. And I’ll be the first to tell you that of 13 systems currently on the site, we only offer price ranges on 5 of those products.


There are valid industry reasons why you may find it difficult to quickly and easily receive prices on a number of HR Payroll software applications. I would recommend staying patient and realize a quick price may not be the most reliable or in your best interest.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

7 Reasons Why SEO Needed For E-Commerce Websites

Search engine optimization, commonly known as SEO, is the technique that is being currently used by almost all the websites for making themselves popular on the Internet. No website seems to be surviving well without being in the top rankings of the search engine.

When it comes to E-commerce websites, SEO plays a very important part because they are business sites and are put on the internet for generating revenue for the business people who own them.

There are many benefits that a company gets from SEO companies maintaining a top graded SEO portfolio. Seven of the most important advantages are:

* The e-commerce websites seo are noticed by all the major search engines, such as, Google, Yahoo, and MSN on the Internet. This will make the websites get a high page ranking. Visitors usually visit websites that are in the first three or first four ranks.
* By being in the favorable search engine rankings a huge amount of network traffic is directed to the search engine optimized e-commerce website. This will help the websites under dedicated SEO firms to be at a more advantageous position in comparison to their competitors.
* Other means, such as the Pay-per-click method need not be resorted to, to get the e-commerce website noticed on the Internet. These are very expensive methods as the owner of the website has to pay a huge amount of money to the visitors to visit their sites and they serve benefits for a short span.
* The advantage with search engine optimization is that it indirectly works as an Internet marketing tool for your e-commerce website. By being seo optimized your e-commerce website will constantly be in the top positions of the search engine rankings. This itself will greatly serve to increase the value of the website and draw a lot of search engine loyalists towards itself.
* An e-commerce website SEO saves you the expenditure of advertising explicitly to draw the attention of the web surfers. You just have to know the method of getting into the good books of the search engines.
* It is also seen that search engines act as long-term promoters for the e-commerce websites, unlike the advertising sites which publicize a website for only as long as they are paid a fee. The search engines are not like that. Your website can be on the top ranks for as long as another site does not optimize itself better than yours which can be some months if you are lucky enough.
* Return on investment is one thing that you can bank on. You generally put up an e-commerce site to get good business. With seo you can draw a large network clientele which can eventually bring you a good ROI.

Seo services can be utilized for making your e-commerce website get top priority in the search engine rankings. Seo India is one of the leading software programming sectors that are being used for optimizing websites on the Internet. Search engine optimization done ethically can only serve you top rankings in search engines naturally for long time. Choose SEO companies that provide ethical SEO

Thanks & Regards,
Niraj Pradhan
Product Evangelist| MinVesta Infotech Ltd. |Mob:+91 9246190827 | Ph: +91 40 23738072 Extn:201||email: | website: |
Blog:| |Blog:|

HRMS-Complete HR Suite | Front Office System |Payroll Software | Billing Software | Leave Management System | Recruitment Management System| Performance Management System |and more...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Countering turbulent times..

At this turbulent times it requires ancollaborative effort-both by the top management and employees to surpasse this time.
slump, downturn,pink slips and layoffs would perhaps would be the most talked words in the recent time and as the year comes to end i am hope full they would top the charts.

It is for sure that organizations need to pull their socks and gear up to face it.
I honestly feel-Layoff is not the only measure to deal with this sistuation.
Depending upon the industry you are in and the business you are in the employee cost -including the salary and other cost would be between 3 to 20 % of the over all cost of operations.
hence re trenching and layoffs would not be the sole remedy- what would you do with out your employees the most valuable assets?
for manufacturing companies which has employee cost being 3 % of the over all cost lay offs and giving pink slips is not going to effect even to a minuscle.
For them better inventory management,planning and forecasting is the areas to be looked upon.
similarly for IT companies which on the contrary have the employee cost being around 20% of the over all cost methods for improving employee productivity and efficiency should be adopted…and pink slips should be the last thing to resort.
pls remeber that IT companies would have work force which might be a inflated due to provisions for bench work force-in anticipation of getting new projects and deploying them to those projects.Hence in the current scenario where chances getting new projects are bleak ,re deployement and efficient utilization of work force is the need of the hour.

Niraj Pradhan
Product Evangelist| MinVesta Infotech Ltd. |Mob:+91 9246190827 | Ph: +91 40 23738072 Extn:201||email: | website: |
Blog:| |Blog:|

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My thoughts on -Scope of HR Products in current market downturn

These days we keep hearing the words " SLUMP" ,"Recession", "Layoffs", "Cost cutting", "IT industry down turn" etc...

All these are also the reasons sighted for slower growth of Indian IT companies.
It is said that there will be lesser new projects coming to the IT companies in India-All due the the recession in US economy.
The companies in US have become conservative and there is literally no scope for getting revenues from these markets.
Recently even wipro has shifted its focus to Latin America and Africa -as these are now the emerging market.

Amidst all these..I have seen a reverse process- The need for HR products-especially in India and middle east and also Africa has shot up!!
yes its true-i will put in facts and explain to you but first let me put some reasons for it.

Current objective of companies in India would be to sought "Cost Cutting measures" and also to "increase Employee productivity."
They would rather have say 1500 employees( cut down work force from 2000) and have maximum productivity to match the earlier figure of 2000 employees.

By adopting above techniques they are aiming to have maximum output with minimal cost.

Now let me give you an example-where the employee's productivity goes waste.
every day there would be transactional activities to be carried out-Both by Employees and and also HR Managers or Management.
Simple example- Leave Application- i would treat this as an transactional activity.
There are many more transactional activities- example: marking attendance/requesting Forms( leave forms/loan forms), queries,payslip request,Travel request -form based,address proof request etc-all these in case of manual process consumes huge amount of time and effort.
Now coming back to example of leave,
Every employee would have an activity to perform-i.e Leave Application( also some times cancellation/withdrawal)
Consider a manual process-Where leave application is sent by an employee by either filling up a leave form( hard copy) or writing and email and sending it to respective persons.
Every employee will have a minimum of 30 leaves in a year? ok lets make it 20.
Now an employee needs to apply for a leave-
He would take a print of the form( lets put 5 minutes for it)
Fill it up- 5-10 minutes
( or other wise compose an email- will take 10 minutes)
walk up to reporting manger to get it signed and approved- 10-15 minutes
again it might involve a chat/discussion/explanation- 10-15 minutes
( The reporting manager might not have instant access to employee's leave balance data)-might have to check with HR dept before granting-10-15 minutes.
Now the employee needs to walk up to the HR department to submit the application-10-15 minutes
( situations- HR manager not at his/her desk or HR Manager on leave/ etc etc)
He/she would submit the application-this might also involve a chat etc-10 minutes
HR Manager would update the leave balance details-in excel etc-10 minutes

and in situations like cancellation-modification-withdrawal this would involve the same cycle and also the time-

Now if i would add up the minutes that involved in a single transaction-i.e Leave Application and that too for one leave application by an employee ( lets assume he/she might take 4-5 times a year) the total minutes would be: 115 minutes average- hence almost 2 hours - which can be 1/4 th man-day
in case of 4 leave application by the employee- it would be 8 hours or 1 man day.
If you multiple by the man-day rate of your organization you can get the cost involved
i am assuming INR 3000 as per man day rate and hence one employee spends 1 man-day implies INR 3000 is the cost involved by one employee for one transactional activity.
Lets say an organization has an average 200 employees- in such a case, the total cost involved would be 200 * INR 3000= INR 600,000 six lacs-
or 200 man days spent for carrying out leave transaction- that too without full proof efficient manner.
imagine if the 200 man days was utilised in some project- you would not Only save in terms of time- but eventually in terms of Money!!

Now- How do we save cost- how do we increase employee productivity
How can we save this 200 man days for a single transactional activity or this INR 600,000 going down with out any return???

well- it can be saved...
By adopting Automation- a simple leave application tool may be a web based( browser based).
A considerate amount of time/effort and money can be saved by automation.
Through this tool the employee has instant access to his/her leave balance and can also apply immediately citing the reasons/remarks etc-
now the leave application would go to the Reporting manager- who can not only view the application-but approve/reject in a single click - also the sub ordinates leave plans/leave balance details etc present with him to take help in decision making.
Like wise HR department/Manager's task is also eased and time saved.
There are much more than just ease of transaction... the system can send alerts/reminders/validation/report generation /year ending process/en cashment etc.

The entire process of leave application can be finished or carried out in less than 10 minutes as compared to nearly 120 minutes by the manual process...
and yes i forgot to mention the cost involved for taking the hard copy of the leave form:)

Over all the ROI from the automation method is much more than the investment.
If you would do an similar calculation for other activities and arrive at the cost of it...i am sure after reading this you would search for an Automation tool and suggest your HR dept or the management.

Well...this is one example that i gave to explain to you the reverse process that is taking place -
yes demand for the HR Softwares has gone up during this Slump/recession etc..
and Especially in INDIA, middle east and Africa.
Well are few more reasons for the demand in these countries...
I can also include few Asian Countries-Japan n China.

What i feel and think could be a possible reason- 20-30 years back the market in US /Europe was emerging- which now has emerged and got a hit by the economic conditions there.

If you compare the Indian economy and the market conditions here....its not that worse.
I would agree with what Rakesh Jhunjhunwala said- India is protected- the liquidity crunch and factors are different here- a lot of Liquidity is yet to flow into the markets-Indians are still holding on their liquid assets.

the market in India can be called as emerging market- Indian companies are growing- they have their alternate market- INDIA
countries and companies would now shift their focus to emerging markets- INDIA/ middle East /Africa- literally a virgin market
The IT industry would not be dependent on the US/Europe market...
This has already started to happen...

Personally i have witnessed a sudden spur in the demand for the HR softwares....
and i have seen the sales cycles to be remarkable shorter- some thing which can be surprising-
but I am not amazed:)
Organizations- in India have closed on to buying the HR softwares in very short cycles and also have spend handsome amount in buying them-
Undoubted they understood the cost involved in manual process ( as calculated above:) ) and were quick to under stand the importance of Automation.

well...these are my views...i might be not be an expert doing this analysis...but have put down what i feel and think...

Please do give in your views/comments- and also correct me if i was wrong some where while analysing this.

Thanks & Regards,
Niraj Pradhan
Product Evangelist MinVesta Infotech Ltd. Mob:+91 9246190827 Ph: +91 40 23738072 Extn:201email: website:
Blog: Blog:

HRMS-Complete HR Suite Front Office System Payroll Software Billing Software Leave Management System Recruitment Management System Performance Management System and more...

We are Hopeful: India Inc

N. R. Narayana Murthy, chairman of Infosys Technologies:
Today is an extraordinary day. The US has voted for compassionate capitalism over laisze faire capitalism. Besides, this election has shown that meritocracy matters most. We believe president-elect Obama to be a pragmatic leader who understands that American industry needs to be competitive not just in America but in third countries as well. This election has also proved that the internet is a powerful medium for raising funds.

Samir Chopra, President of Business Process industry Association of India (BPIAI):
My belief is that the election of Senator Obama does not in any way pose a threat for the Indian IT/ITES industry. Indian industry today is deeply entrenched in business critical work for global customers and in his efforts to bring the economy back in shape he is unlikely to take actions which will impact the Global competitiveness of US companies. I think that this will lead to a new era of greater co-operation between India and US. In the current context it is even more important for the two countries to find ways to partner together to spur innovation, foster economic growth, develop an educated work force and skilled workforce, and create jobs for the global market place.
Krishnakumar Natarajan, CEO of Mindtree, a BPO:
The primary focus of the Industry should be to help President Obama in his efforts to enhance the confidence and credibility in the market and ensure that efforts to improve consumer confidence and improve liquidity are urgently and effectively addressed. Vipul Jain, CEO &
Managing Director of Kale Consultants:
This is a fantastic result for America. The country needed somebody young and dynamic to take the economy out of its current downturn, and Obama is the right person for the job. He can drive transformational change bringing fresh energy, impetus and direction to a slowing economy. U.S.A. being the dominant economic power, a positive political change will bode well for the world at large, including India. There is no doubt that he will provide incentives to American businesses to keep jobs in America, but the Indian IT and ITeS industry is very capable of providing value beyond cost arbitrage.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

From Gandhigiri to HRgiri

From Gandhigiri to HRgiri
Viren Naidu

What is the common factor that binds the HR manager of a MNC struggling to retain talent and Gandhi who was aiming for Poorna Swaraj by unleashing the strength of ordinary people? They both knew that the goals they had set to achieve were not easily attainable. But they, both, had a clear vision and had reinvented tried and tested strategies to tackle the situation. While Gandhi knew that he couldn’t fight the British with violence, the HR manager realised that offering a bigger salary wasn’t enough to retain a talented employee.

Gandhi, the change manager

Gandhi is still considered to be the common man’s leader. Any successful HR leader has to tactfully handle and provide right solutions to different people in different ways, at various levels. Punkaj Shankar, Global Head HR and RMG, Infogain who believes that the above qualities can be emulated in today’s workplace by the HR manager adds, “An HR leader should lead by example. A true HR leader would practice ethics and beliefs with great conviction before expecting others in the organisation to follow. Gandhi was an excellent example of a leader who led from the front and practiced what he preached diligently. A seasoned HR leader does not wait for people to come to him/her with their problems but proactively works at the grassroots level with them to understand their concerns.”

When Gandhi returned from South Africa and was thinking of getting into the Indian political scene, he travelled across the length and breath of the country. His objective was to first connect with the masses, know them better and then launch into action. He worked to exhibit that he was a part of the masses and not an outsider. This ensured that he could easily influence and galvanise the people and teams into action around a rallying point of independence. Priya Ranjan, Director, HR, Bharti AXA Life who strongly believes in the above analogy feels that a “Gandhigiri Award” that will seek to recognise employees who clearly demonstrate the principles of integrity, commitment, passion and respect for all should be instituted, says, “Leaders of today, both in the corporate world and outside, should not just pay lip service. Just like a great HR leader, he understood the pulse of the people and had his ears to the ground.”

Shankar suggests a few ways through which our HR leaders can emulate Gandhian principles at the workplace: 1) Adopt Gandhi’s style of making even the lowest person in the organisation feel and believe in the importance of his/her contribution towards the ultimate goal, 2) Use the right leadership style. For example, Gandhi advocated having leadership styles that were dependent on the circumstances. When Gandhi was in South Africa, he launched his protests in a suit and a tie and when in India, he used khadi and 3) Understand the human psychology and usage of it along with public relation skills to make a right impact.

For instance, during Dandi march, Gandhi had to make a bigger impact to address issues and hence, didn’t choose to march alone.

Gandhi, the HR manager

Persuasion and perseverance are the two Gandhian principles that can be used effectively to manage people in this changing environment, according to Ajit Menon, President Organisational Development, Mudra Group. “Humans, per say, are resistant to change and as an organisation, if you believe in a philosophy, then you need to have the perseverance to see it through the organisation and persuade people to adopt it, by showing them the benefit. He believed in the philosophy of ahimsa and it was through sheer persuasion and perseverance that made the entire nation adopt it,” adds Menon who says that they follow Gandhigiri at the workplace by carrying out innovative initiatives through LLC (Leadership, Learning and Change), their HR department. Being the change agents in the organisation, the HR at Mudra has to follow the principle of persuasion and perseverance as it takes months to change the mindsets of people, he says, adding, “The advertising industry, by and large, has no concept of HR. It has taken the LLC team time to demonstrate (hands on style) that HR is an integral part of the business.”

Experts believe that the Dandi Yatra epitomises the flawless people management skills of Gandhi. The Dandi Yatra was the first of its kind when Gandhi took a hundred mile walk to protest. In those days, walking for a political protest was totally unheard of. The innovation clicked with the Indian masses. First time, a leader reached the villages and involved them in a greater mission. People used to walk for getting firewood, for getting water and for daily chores and now they were walking for freedom. While narrating the above instance, Chetan Shah, MD, Synygy India adds, “Gandhi was not a theoretician; he was a man of action. Gandhi made no distinction in man and woman; both were equal in his eyes. He favoured decentralisation and his idea of trusteeship was based on the humanitarian ground of “bread for all before cakes for some”. “This salt satyagraha movement reflects Gandhi’s power in convincing and motivating people towards following unconventional and practical ways of achieving the goal,” adds Mohan Sekhar, President and COO, Collabera.

Abhay Valsangkar, Senior Director – HR, Symantec Corporation says that HR can address the rising discontent amongst employees and check attrition in today’s enterprises by emulating some of Gandhi’s attributes: 1) Be a good team leader: His ability to drive home the cause of the nation and develop a sense of belonging in one and all, for the nation, acted as a cementing force in the masses. A team leader in any enterprise intends to achieve exactly the same, wherein, the project goals can be achieved by a disciplined methodology, as laid down by him and 2) Be a good listener: The leader in him never lost the humility and he always listened attentively to all what people had to say. Similarly, a senior manager should always connect with everyone below his/her hierarchical level and listen to any concerns that they might have and duly address them.

Gandhi, the risk taker

Though most principles of the Mahatma can be translated into effective people management practices, the one that is inspiring, according to Rajkumar D, Head HR, Microland is his ‘people development focus’. Gandhi often said, ‘No society, state or any other institution has any worth or importance apart from its part in contributing to the growth of the individuals of which it is composed’. “Translation of this would mean organisations should focus more on the growth of its people, which in turn will result in the growth of the organisation,” says Rajkumar. “The ability to set an appealing vision and strategy and to be able to communicate it effectively, together with a good grounding of knowledge, seems to make up our perfect leader. These qualities were core to Gandhi’s personality,” says Bhavin Turakhia, Founder and CEO Directi.

Gandhi’s life was a chain of experiments with truth. And it’s these homegrown truths that not only HR but also each member of India Inc. can refer to as learnings to be emulated and applied in today’s Indian corporate scenario.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hiring the young

Hiring the young

I read this in times ascent....

Believe it or not, a young workforce in the retail space seems to be the mantra for most retailers. The average age of staff at Cinemax India and Koutons is 25 and 30 at Levi Strauss. Several retail brands are relying on young honchos to steer their businesses in a market where getting skilled resources is a serious challenge.

Organised retail in India is still in the nascent stages. The retail industry really came into its full being post the IT revolution making it in essence the youngest industry. “Most retail companies cater to the age group of 15–45. It makes perfect sense to pick up young honchos who find it easier to customise services to this target audience,” notes Kishore Bhatija, CEO, Inorbit Malls.

Another major reason is the fact that there is no history of learning for organised retail in India. The obvious option in such a scenario is to handpick talent at a young age and groom them for the future, an option most new players are taking,” adds Bhatija.

Interestingly, the average age of employees in retail companies is a lot lower than in other sectors. “The average age is far lesser in retail owing to the lower levels of expertise and a comparatively vast boom. It is mandatory for retailers to go for youngsters as they are an enthusiastic lot, willing to learn and project positivity,” asserts Devang Sampat, the 27-year-old senior VP of Cinemax India.

“Organised retail in India has been around for 12 years but the visibility and opportunities have emerged over the last four years. Hence, the industry experience and talent is limited. The average age of employees appears lower also because lifestyle categories have been the oldest, visible organised retailers, and these draw younger workforce who are willing to take up newer/emerging opportunities,” opines Shobha Wilson Simon, director, human resources, Levi Strauss India.

It is believed that the demand for young blood due to their high levels of energy and enthusiasm are key requirements to be a part of this industry. “Young individuals are open to experiment and can add healthy competitiveness to the business. It is always advisable to recruit young blood and mould them rather than search for skilled staff with mindsets,” says Sampat.

Monica Oswal, in her early thirties, is the executive director of Monte Carlo. She says, “For a fast growing sector like retail, a major chunk of the population is below 25. Their out-of-the-box mindset, dynamism, energy and ability to adapt are surely the key factors, which brings them under the spotlight.”

But it’s not all hunky-dory and there are certain pre-requisites that one must possess to get in. “What is important is to have people with the right attitude and those who are ready to take on challenges, and are at the same time adaptable to work in a structured environment,” asserts Bhatija.

Growing at a rapid pace, the biggest challenge that lies ahead for this industry is meeting the obvious demand supply gap. Add to this the task of finding the quality of leaders. Unlike telecom, financial services and other large industries, retail has nurtured talent in pockets to overcome this hurdle. “Retail organisations will continue to and must invest in training. The larger players are encouraging certification/education/building equity for retail careers which must continue,” Simon points out.

Going forward, Industry experts recommend benchmarking the compensation levels and upgrading the reward structure from time to time.

Why HR managers have to be tech savvy?

More and more Indian companies have begun to take advantage of information and communication technologies in carrying out their HR functions.
While IT/ITeS companies are in the forefront of this trend, companies from different manufacturing and service sectors are increasingly doing so eveyday. This article is a report on the extent of technology spread in the HR departments of Indian companies and why HR managers have to become increasingly aware of technology trends in their profession.
A “recent report”:

in Express Computer points out that by offering more and more cost-effective applications and solutions for HR departments, IT vendors are making the lives of HR managers and executives much easier. This is the primary reason why organizations are continuously strengthening their HR departments with updated IT solutions.
IT platforms free HR professionals from being mere book-keepers of labour statistics. They provide them with an opportunity to play a key role in organizational renewal and revitalization, the report says quoting H Venkatesan, Senior Vice-president, Global Human Resource, ISGN.
Employee data must be stored somewhere, and even if personnel files are held in paper form, certain data is always held electronically, the report says. Small organizations may hold employee data in spreadsheet form while larger organizations may implement enterprise-wide systems that do far more than just hold employee data. They can be put to multi-purpose use like providing employees with Web-based self-service access to HR, managing recruitment of new staff, using to underpin performance management and much more, the report points out.
No wonder that even as far back as 2002 many Indian companies had switched to what are called Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS). By now the list must have grown manifold. It is, however, illuminating to take a look at what one observer found out about “HRMS in Indian companies”: as far back as 2002.

While IT/ITeS companies took the lead in implementing HRMS in Indian companies, companies in non-IT sector have not been slow to climb the IT bandwagon.
Among the first Indian companies to go for an HRMS was TCS. TCS started off by launching its digital HR Information System, which allows an individual to apply for leave, get online approvals, file for loans directly and voice grievances. TCS, employee benefits also included Visa Information Processing System (for checking visa status) and maintenance of the Branch Assets library on the company's intranet by the HR department. Today, TCS’s HRMS includes performance management and succession planning among other things.
Some of the non-IT companies which took the lead in implementing HRMS were Maruti Udyog, Glaxo SmithKline Beecham, Hero Honda, Samsung, SAIL, and Dabur to name a few.For instance, Glaxo Smithkline Beecham Consumer Healthcare, started off with an Training Management System, which takes care of the training requirements of employees and helps HR in planning and monitoring various learning modules as also a comprehensive payroll system that manages salaries/loans/PF, etc, for all employees.
The new technology enabled the company to conduct online employee satisfaction surveys. Today the company claims to have a full-fledged Human Resources Management System (HRMS) that has automated all HR processes (from recruitment to retirement). The system covers such processes as recruitment, appraisal, training, compensation, benefits, employee profile and retirement. The company's intranet also provides several HR-related services such as e-learning modules, HR policies, online facilities (booking guest house/meeting rooms), telephone directory, holiday list, etc.By the end of 2003, most large Indian companies automated their HR function (by implementation of ERP) and moved from the an HR Information System and to a more interactive and knowledge-based HR system. This has enabled an employee to become self-sufficient and have direct communication with the concerned authority.
All this is making eHR and B2E (business to employee) obvious steps in an organization's development path. While eHR plays a key role in helping medium and small-scale companies to gain a Web-based HR advantage, B2E helps in enhancing the relationship between an employee and an employer. Today, more and more companies are treating their employees as their internal customers and working towards fulfilling employee needs. For this reason, HRMS and People Management Systems (PMS) are increasingly gaining importance.
Why are organizations suddenly feeling the need to implement IT in their HR departments? The reasons vary. While in case of IT companies employees are key assets, the non-IT sector has also realized the growing need to invest in technology to upscale their HR functions. Besides time and cost saving advantages, it also has the long-term benefit of retaining employees. Compared to earlier times, organizations today are keen to understand and know the details of their employees and keep a tab on the latest developments in their personal life, so that they can provide the best bargains to these internal customers. Also, HR can focus on its real job of helping employees develop and help them perform better.
Even then Indian companies are way behind their North American counterparts. Although most Indian businesses, including SMBs, today have some sort of HRMS in place, the majority of them still treat them more as information systems rather than as people development systems or in-house knowledge development systems.
But the pressures of competition are forcing top managements to look at HRMS solutions that can positively improve profitability and bring long term gains. The premise that an HRMS needs to work towards making the HR department administratively more efficient no longer holds valid. It needs to impact the bottom line - today and in the future. Companies have started realising this in the last couple of years, with the result that “RoI calculation on HRMS”:
is fast becoming a standard practice in many companies.Today more and more companies are in the process of evolving set standards for calculating the return on their investments into HRMS. For instance, vMoksha has already outlined the cost savings that it expects from the following HRMS processes after implementation: eBenefits (80 percent savings); eDevelopment (73 percent); eProfile (77 percent); eRecruit (33 percent); eCompensation Manager Desktop (59 percent); eProfile Manager Desktop (71 percent); eRecruit Manager Desktop (70 percent). The cost savings have been calculated based on the self-service costs vis a vis manual costs.
While RoI is a definite indication of an implementation̢۪s success, all benefits cannot be quantified. And the consideration of unquantifiable and subjective benefits will start gaining ground, moving into the future, as companies have already started seeking benefits other than cost savings, like empowering their employees at large as well as HR in meeting the larger business objectives. This is already being reflected in the long-term benefits being outlined by the companies.
Some of the long-term benefits that are being sought by companies are an single administrative point for organisational structures across all e-HR applications, lower cost of ownership, improved performance monitoring systems and thereby improved productivity, low ratio of recruiters to staff and better placement of new staff (lower attrition).
Thus, with HRMS applications increasingly graduating from mere information systems to those that have a large positive impact on productivity, innovation, new product development, talent retention, talent and knowledge management and, of course, revenues and margins, the writing on the wall is clear: adopt intelligent HRMS’ and smart PMS’ or perish!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Booz, Parthenon set up consultancies in India

Booz, Parthenon set up consultancies in India

The Economic Times: September 29, 2008

Mumbai: The collapse of some of the biggest names in investment banking has rattled global financial markets. India has been no exception and in what can be termed an interesting scenario, large consultancy outfits are now seeing the need to be in India.

From the point of view of the consultants, India is not just a representative market. In case of Booz and Co, the newest entrant, it intends to have a 12-member team. The senior members will primarily be of Indian origin and have had the experience of working in their overseas offices.

While Booz will initially start operations with a dozen consultants, the plan is to expand to 100 people in a couple of years. Booz, as part of its global restructuring exercise, had moved out of India in 2000.

Things are a lot different today. "Global companies are using the Indian model in various businesses. This is in countries like Africa and other developing economies," says Suvojoy Sengupta, head of India operations, Booz and Co.

Globally, Booz has 3,300 people in its 57 office in 30 countries. "With India expected to grow at 7% per annum, companies are serious about India," he adds. Apart from sectors such as telecom, energy and healthcare, Booz sees opportunities in other areas like supply-chain management. The global presence has its own advantages.

Recently, when a Delhi-based corporate asked for a proposal, Booz was able to get six vertical specialists from 5 different countries in two days. It is expected that the top team at Booz, comprising mainly people of Indian origin, is relocating to India from the offices in the US and UK. Globally, Booz clocks revenue of $1 bn.

Another strategic consultancy firm Parthenon has set up shop in India early this year. It relocated Chip Greene, an expat, to head the Asian operations in India. Today, the size of the team has increased to 15. The firm's Mumbai office has already started servicing clients in China, Japan and Thailand. Parthenon has a different model of accepting fees.

"At times, we are given a portion of our fees in the form of stock or options. The valuation is simple for companies whose shares are traded. When the company is privately held, we fall back on traditional option pricing models," says Chip Greene, partner and Asia head, Parthenon group.

For India, the time has come when its success in various industries can be replicated in other countries. That's exactly what is happening as consultants are looking to make a name here.

Financial Meltdown and HCM Software investments

Came accros this one..

Financial Meltdown and HCM Software investments

We all read it, two iconic US banks going down in a matter of few days !!!
Does this kind of Financial meltdown signals warning to the HCM Software market ? Is it temporary ? These are some of the questions which are floating on other blogs too.

First of all, the kind of globalisation we are all part of, there is virtually nothing that can go without an impact. So if there is a shakeup in US, tremors are virtually felt across the world.
This is also true for the coming crisis, which due to the nature of inclusion to the global economy would impact revenues and therefore investments.
I am not an investment advisor, nor am i intending to play that role, but here is what I see as the future of the industry which banks on HCM Software.

1. Organizations would try to be more careful in their choice and justification of need of HCM Software. One prime reason I see this happening is, HCM is an area which has more intangible ROI associated with it and therefore it would be difficult to justify investments.

2. Organizations would definitely look at a long term investment and ROI too. This is likely to bring more focussed investments in long term, stable options rather than investing in a small term player.

3. Outsourcing could pick up as a result of this, organizations would see value in reducing their operative costs. This could also mean evaluation and availability of more options like managed services, BPO, Shared Service or SaaS.

4. I also see a trend towards addressing a requirement becoming the focus. This would mean that need based solutions like recruiting, learning management system, self service etc would be more in demand. Apart from addressing a specific need, such solutions are also easy to deploy.

5. Last but not the least, the organizations who have not invested in HR Software so far, may find a reason to wait. This would not apply globally and may not even be specific to an industry, but caution is the word where no experience exists.

To sum it up, its a time to refocus, rethink and reutilize the capabilities of the organizations to save cost, however not at the cost of automation. Because apart from being desirable HR automation today is a source of competitive advantage and its benefit in the medium to long term are there to see.
I personally also see this evaluation phase leading to better processes being identified to separate the haves from have nots. So organizations would be able to put in stringent measures in place to evaluate which software would actually be the best for them.

However a word of caution - Being Price conscious may bring down your investment worries however may not give you what you need. So invest but invest wisely.