Author Archive for GR

HR Ideas : Fresh Talent Acquisition, Campus Hiring, Tests for Hiring, Group Discussions & Just-In-Time Fresh Talent

In this blog post we would focus on one of the key aspect of any building fresh talent pool for growth. Every growing organization cannot ignore this essential method for talent building. This method is successful based on the Job market, Industry awareness & Social Influence on the Young Generation in that market.   There are many Government initiatives in various countries based on the business/economic environment in those countries. India – Govt. of India spending lots of money in developing resources through their National Skill Development Programs.  In Wales-UK the companies are provided grants upto 50% of employee salary to companies based on the location and skills they are hiring.

 

Hiring Fresh Talent:

Businesses across the globe strive to build efficiency in People, Process and Technology. A growing organization would have no choice to build within. A building within the organization means a plan for cost efficiency and building future talent the way you run your business. Many growing organizations keep certain percentage of the new workforce hiring for Fresh Talent. This gives them an edge of building and sustaining Hands to Deliver and Senior Management Head to think.  It becomes many times inevitable to recruit fresh talent for growth.

 

Idea: Create a simple processes for Fresh Talent Hiring in Organization including pay range(Your affordability + availability in your areas of operations), designations(do not go by fancy designations – simple meaningful for the role), Training & Orientation time (Must for getting value), Measurement of performance parameters and Growth Opportunities in future. Hit the road once these things are defined with clarity.  Variations can be possible based on Industry, market & Social circumstances around employment region.

 

Campus Hiring :

Campus Hiring is all about building your brand with the potential employees and bring some of the bright and new ideas into the organization. However, It’s not as easy as it sounds. It is a hard work for the employer to make an effort to identify the potential colleges who can produce the best that suits for you. No campus is right for everyone, please identify your own campus based on what you want and if they college graduates are tuned to come to your campus.

Idea: Do not go by the rank of the school when you choose.  Talk to the head of the college and see how his/her focus in grooming the students in their college.  They would be able to give you multiple options including they can send their students to your office than you going to the college.  However, there are advantages if they visit your office to keep them more close to the realities.

 

Hiring Tests for Evaluation:

Conducting Test is a universally used process for filtering from more applicants. This test can be applicable based on the position (especially jr.level) unless it is a mandatory Regulation in specific positions. A Selection Test can focus on the work related and non-work Related. Work related test would include the areas of business/function. Non-work related can be to test the mathematical, logical thinking ability etc.,

Idea: Building a Test for evaluation can be tedious many times. However, use this as a point of elimination first, but the result of successful candidates can be used for Discussion point during personal interviews. Build a simple test and administer internally to see the reliability and build some Upper and lower control limits for elimination (Tolerances). Do not make it lengthy, but focused on the output that you may want to draw. Include Work related & non-work related together to save time and give equal number of questions as far as possible.

 

Group Discussions:

Group Discussions are generally to evaluate one’s ability to collaborate and communicate with the group. This can also bring about the team dynamics and the adaptability of the individual who are involved.  The participants can be put to discuss a specific topic related to their function or general ability/knowledge. This method is again used for elimination/filtering from a large group of applicants.

Idea: Building Group Discussion evaluation is important which can focus on 3-4 key parameters which would impact the potential job that the applicant is going to face inside your organization. Typical parameters include Communication (verbal, non-verbal), Interpersonal skills, Building Ideas & Developing Relationships.

 

Just-In-Time Fresh Talent:

Business wants any resource Just-In-Time to make sure that the return on investment is perfectly timed. Any Business organization would be thrilled to see If they get a readymade resources for them. Currently governments are building lot of talent pool to make sure that the employment generation happens quickly. All the efforts are made to build employable people as soon as they complete their education.

Idea: As always “No pain – No Gain”. A step forward can help you to a great extent in building your talent. If you are in a specific area of specialization you could design a program which can be given to the Government Initiatives (India – National Skills Development Program). You may get in touch with your Industry association to ask for your required resources and help yourself (In India : http://www.nsdcindia.org/our-work/industry-associations.aspx, http://www.nsdcindia.org/faq/entrepreneur-faq.aspx  in UK wales govt. :http://www.gowales.co.uk/en/Graduate & UK Govt. https://www.gov.uk/jobcentre-plus-help-for-recruiters  )

 

 

 

 

HR Ideas for Business : 6-10 : Induction, Probation, Hiring, Grievance, Expectations

Here are the next 5 Ideas for better Business performance in building Human Synergies. In this posting you would find basic information about Induction, Probation, Grievance Redressal, High Requirement Hiring and Setting Expectation of Performance. These are very day-to-day issues and needs to be addressed on the go.  Please do read and add new inputs and perspective to make this blog a repository for simple & practical solutions.

6.Induction for Performance : Induction of a new employee into the system is the first step for building Human Synergies. Induction is a process which would help the new joinees contribute the best by understanding the organisation and its systems. Organisation helps the new joinees to understand the history, policies, procedures, cultural values along with some bit of experiential learning.  This process can be simple to complex based on the person / seniority and/or implication of the decisions by the person (if they are serious more days and more in-depth induction).  Since we bring people into the organisation to perform and deliver the best, Induction would help that process effectively.

Idea: Induction plan can be few hours to few months as per the intensity of the requirement. Create a standard template for a day or two and make sure you execute as soon as you have a new joinee. You can discuss with your senior team members and set expectations of information sharing and experiential learning. Eg : The template can have columns like Date, Function/Department to visit, person to meet, Questions to Ask and time(from-to). Do not forget to ask the Inductee to ask for feedback report at the end of those few hours/days.

7. Probation: Probation is primarily to help the new joinees to get used to the environment and fit into cultural of the organisation. It is noticed that there are different set of probation methods in organisations. Some have a probation for junior level people. Some organisations follow for all the levels.  It is noticed that however the experienced or accomplished in other organisation does not guarantee the same performance in the new organisation.  The duration of the probation can be defined based on the general time frame that a new joinees get adjusted into the new system.  Based on the organisational need and the general time taken for adjustment can be considered as a yardstick in defining the duration.  There is a perceivable notion that Probation confirmation is linked to the increment/revision in salary.  This is totally not true and should not be linked to monetary gains, so that the sanctity of organisational fitment can be managed.

Idea: Set some basic parameters to help assess the involvement of the Individual into the organisation.  An open-ended one page report from the Supervisor would help in confirmation of services to keep it simple in consultation with the team member. Its also important to set the next set of expectations and measurable outputs agreed at this time.

8. One-time High Recruitment Needs: Many times you may have a need to recruit large pool of people at once.  This number would vary from organisational size.  Smaller companies to have 3-10 number of requirement may be high.  For large organisations the number could run in Hundreds. You can segregate the positions in different buckets of experience and expertise and define a different strategy.  Like for all fresh positions you can approach a college for database or for organizing interviews. For experienced you may want to use the position posting and a database access service for a short-term, with a job portal to make sure you reach the target.  Or alternatively your own employees can be of great help with little focus.

Idea: Call any Recruitment Agency and negotiate a different model, where they would work on retainer basis to close all the positions within a specific time period.  This is possible and doable for the Recruitment Company. If you really assure some basic fee for their efforts, they can do a good job than just on success based in such situations.

9. Performance Expectations:  Setting the performance expectations at each level is important. It not only important to set the expectations but also to share what outcome you would like to see as a performance. for example: for a sales person Revenue & Collection %age. Production: Production Output in numbers, Wastage %age to be maintained, For HR person : %age of positions to be filled in days from requisition, employee turnover to be contained at a level.

Idea : For every job/ position / individual define only two key components as output that you would be expecting and communicate in writing. Set a frequency of review to ensure that your single point of agenda is to discuss and see the progress.

10. Employee Grievance : Grievances typically are handled through a process of grievance handling procedure for large teams. However, In case of smaller organisation, Identify the problem related to Work norms  infrastructure, performance,Salary, increments etc., and appropriately respond.  All the policy related framework done by HR need to be interpreted and clarified.  Also see that if you need to resolve with the appropriate documents/ approvals.   If it is related to interpersonal relationships, work related issues you may want to involve the manager to get the right picture and help them to resolve.  This is a quick overview and specific problems can be handled based on the need/situation/background.  One thing for sure, do not jump to resolve issues… identify the core of the problem and involve the appropriate authorities to make sure that grievance is resolved to the best of organisational capabilities/boundaries. Finally, never think that you are going to satisfy all the parties 100%….

Idea: If you really work on a detailed grievance redressal policy  would be great. However, if you do not intend/can’t define, then Identify last one year issues and resolutions. Set some basic guidelines in such cases if repeated and communicate to the teams in common forums/intranet/meetings etc.,.  For any unresolved issues, set an escalation point and also what level it would be final and binding for resolution.

100 HR Ideas for better Business : First 5

I was thinking within myself, if I have to give the best reading experience, what is that I can do differently on this Blog. I realized that tons of description may not excite any reader. Keeping it simple and sweet is the only way.  While we want to give the best back to the readers, I decided to write a series of the 100 things that a business owner/CEO/Family Business Owner could do to improve his/her business with specific focus on People Management for better business.

I would be writing small bits of inputs/advise for business owners ,which could be used with ease. I would try not to cover these inputs in a sequence of the HR Process but based on the experiences of  our teams from time to time. I would plan to summarize at the end to compile the series in an e-book for future readers.   This way I would cover the important things first and may be of use for the readers.

In each of the posting I would like to share 5 such Important aspects with Inputs & Ideas if any. Please note these are not necessary in an order of Induction/performance during the course of building business. Use your discretion. If you have any question at any point please do write to me at :  gr(at)husys.net

1. Vision & Mission : One of the most important ingredient of organisation building. You may want to focus on what you want to do in future and how you want to achieve the same.  If you are a start-up  you can build this with a team of first few and work with rest to improve and achieve the same. Making sure that every individual is chosen to fit into this framework and win in long-term.  Please do not hesitate to part with people who may not fit into this framework. Link every of your actions/processes/policies for present and future.

Idea : You may build this including the core team and someone who can see your vision. Alternatively can use an external expert help in facilitating this process (Please do not ask external facilitator to draft for you)

2 – Building the Long-term & Short-term Objectives : While you have a vision and mission for your organisation. Even if you do not have a clear Vision & Mission Statements (In most of the organisation its true that they do not have a formal vision & mission statements). Set your clear goals for short-term (for Financial year or Calender Year).  Make sure that the Objectives are Simple, Clear, Time Bound and measurable.  Make it convenient for people to relate it to performance.

Idea: Build at-least Revenue targets with timelines(Sales, Collection etc.,), New initiatives in People practices, Processes and Future Expansion. Make sure that the same is communicated through a mail / team meetings / all employee meeting.

3. Set Expectations & Communicate Clearly: Its always best to set the expectations of performance at the beginning of the relationship with any employee in organisation. The longer the relationship without set expectations, difficult to agree/accept the reality of business.

Idea : Spare few minutes in writing the expectations and end output that measures the success of the individual on a peace of paper and Document(body of text) through an email. This 10-20 minutes of interaction and documentation can save many business days.

4. Share the Business Realities : Do not hide or hesitate to talk about your business situation with the employees. I am sure they are equally aware of what is happening in business. Spare few minutes of time to share the business realities during regular meetings and send common notes through email. This can include information about objectives achievement, new happenings, new competition and any other challenges that the organisation is going through. Do not hesitate to share the difficulties and people would come forward to help.  You would have people come forward to extend help who relate themselves with the organisation

Idea: Set a frequency of communication based on the communication and type of groups to be informed – function, divisions or overall organisation. Eg. Organisational Update to everyone by 5th of every month.

5. Ask for Help : Do not hesitate to ask for that extra-mile help from people who work in your organisation. If you have shared your vision, mission, business realities frequently, it would be easier for seeking such support. You don’t do that every bit of business deliver anyway, you need people to run the business and take those right steps in the path of growth.

Idea: You can ask for any such support from the team immediately reports to you.  In turn encourage the team to take further steps based on the ground realities.

Three Things that One can do to build Second Line at Small & Medium Business (SME / SMB )

Building Second Line is the biggest challenge in SME’s. This may be due to the focus of entrepreneur which is  very internal and personal. Development of Second Line needs a broader outlook and ability to think and create an environment of trust.  Its also to do with the openness of  SME owner to create wealth for their future leaders along with risk taking ability with people.

 


Identify: Not that every employee who joins you would grow to be a Second Line material. You need to look for the attitude, commitment and passion for your business. Put them through some tough situations of business need and take risk of testing. Identify few potential employees to be able to take the next level of responsibilities with Accountability.


Build & Encourage: After you identified the potential, you can use various occasions to tell them that you are looking at them to grow their career. Here its important that you make it very clear that they need to build that competency and move towards achieving growth. Make it clear that “Its Not Easy Cake Walk“.  Do also make sure that no false promises in terms of position, money etc., at this stage. Be firm on many decisions where you have to be assertive.  Encourage them to take up new and self improvement goals for constant improvement of knowledge and skill.   Also assign some of the futuristic targets and help them to achieve. Take that bit of risk if they fail, plan for backup plan from your end.  Building & Encouraging is all about building the mutual trust and ability to go that extra mile.  


Sustain : Have clear goals for achievement at each stage & review. Set certain higher standards in moving the people to next level. The ideal situation is that the employee can measure and update you on the status of his/her growth as planned. You need to be a mentor and translate your knowledge without being threatened about competition.   Always remember, we out grow our capacity and we need others who have skills to takeover for better growth.

My SME Journey in UK 2012

I landed in London Heathrow at 9 pm on 19th September 2012 along with my Associate. We head straight to tube station which I heard a lot about, while I was in India. We thought that we would reach destination in next 20 minutes. We reached Holborn station and the pilot ! announced that due to technical difficulty we are terminating this train here. That was an experience that after-all we are human beings and dealing with Machines.  We came up asking for a taxi, it took about 10 minutes for Taxi to arrive. As expected a chilly cold wind welcomes to you to UK…. that reminds me of a friend sent a note before ”Welcome to cold and Wet UK”. I did not understand the word WET but yes it was pretty cold.  Day One : is so important that every employee who joins an organisation remember.  I am no exception for an Induction into a New country. I remember this for ever.

I spent next few days meeting people in Central London, Harrow on the Hill, Liverpool Street, London Bridge to be able to explore the opportunities.  I had one meeting which was definitely productive at London Bridge on a Friday evening ( I know I was holding the person to get into a weekend mode) to talk about some opportunities. I understood why he was not so keen initially to meet us because of his few of his India Experiences (Nod Head for every thing and forget to fulfill – I guess the sample may be very less to judge), but ultimately client has own opinions to formed based on his/her circumstances.  During the conversation one thing which was repeated that if you can’t do something do let me know now. We did not promise much to move ahead and thought for ourselves that our work should speak volumes.  Here goes the test, we survived the first week, thank to Naresh Deevi for making it possible with his team back in Delhi. In the process we have made sure that we educated the Indian environment in-terms of the Human Resources scenario and the challenges to make him appreciate the other side of the fence, Now, Its in auto pilot and I do hope that we build a value for their company as we did for many in India. Lesson: In an excitement accept business we commit so many thing which we can’t fulfill and it haunts you for ineffectiveness. It is always better to be bitter in the beginning and close to reality than to spoil a long-term relationship with any business partners. I guess they are more than willing to understand if you speak realities, set less expectations and ofcourse, deliver more.  A key lesson for SMEs growth.

SME Market in UK : I looked at the figures of SMEs in UK and there are 16% of organisations less than 10 people. 43% of organisations account for employees more than 10 people and  less than  250. Only 41% of the organizations have more than 250 employees.  A View of economic activities is more at SMEs in UK with more than 60% accounting for SME’s in London Areas.  While the Wales economy is primarily on SME organisations with 95% of them are less than 250 employees.  Of course for me more SMEs means more fresh oxygen.

The Welsh Encounter : Me and my Associate traveled to Cardiff, Wales via Birmingham. It was a heavy rain all through and first time UK experienced floods worst in 10 years.  Now I know the meaning of WET England   First, We arrived at Birmingham International station and a good HR friend from LinkedIn connections picked us up. After meeting and his excitement of information sharing, I was convinced that the journey with SMEs in any country would be a great opportunity.  We had the whole of afternoon spent in understanding the perspectives and what we do back in India. He dropped us at the Birmingham Street Station with a lots of hope and anticipation that we work together.  I am sure the time spent would be of great help in working together in future, we are exchanging notes since then. What I realised that every other HR person I met are aware of the opportunities in SME market (I wish my fellow HR Professionals wake-up to this reality soon in India) .  While some took plunge in their own enterprise, others working currently but eventually be there.

My Visit to Cardiff and Swansea in Wales : My first feeling landing at Cardiff and looking around “Yes – I am in an English Country”. We have encountered every where helpful People with warmth in dealing. I was amazed to see the efforts of the government to promote business is amazing.  They have taken every care to make sure that we get the information that we are looking for. We have been supported by a person during our meeting in both places. While we met the people who are key for establishing business in Wales, we also attended a program organised by Wales Government, Indian High Commission with SME business owners from India on 27th September 2012 at The Park Plaza, Cardiff. It was an exciting meet to know the eagerness to promote the business by the Minister of Industries and the local Business Associations. We have met many Indian SME owners and also the Wales based SME business owners. As in any networking event it was an unwritten theme of “What’s in it for me” every business owner trying to promote his business. We also had the opportunity to share thoughts with the Indians who are based in UK working in multiple disciplines.

We moved to Swansea at Wales an hour train journey from Cardiff. The landscape on the way is awesome and it remains in your memory. We attended a program organised by the South Wales Chamber of Commerce in association with University of Wales at Victoria Stadium @ Swansea. I can feel the excitement in everyone whom I met about a football match that took place at the stadium few days ago. This time the meet was with the members of Chamber members along with Professor Medwin Hughes – VC & team of Wales University. This event was organised by the Business Incubation center of University of Wales and the students a did a tremendous job of organising this wonderful event. We had the opportunity to meet all the 20 SME business owners from Swansea attending this event. The University Incubation center helps the start-ups to locate themselves and provide the Business services like any other Business Center.  They help the startups to grow to 2-3 people and help them settle in their business independently. I felt that was a great Eco-system for development of Business and entrepreneurship. The Camber of commerce created a HR Help line for the members - hearing that was music to my ears.  The awareness about the HR is quite high among the SME owners whom I interacted.  May be because of the stringent administration of employment laws and appreciation of HR Systems support for business growth.  But of-course, the opportunities for employees are less and they stick to the company that they get an opportunity.  That’s one of the challenge for SMEs in UK to upgrade their skill level and Government has a great provision of grants for the businesses to upgrade skills for their workers. This means a great opportunity for HR companies to identify the Skill gap, Training needs and build support for SMEs.

India Expansion – Acquire & Manage Culture not just the Business

In recent months I have had the great opportunity to work  with organisations from around the world who have expanded their global footprint  through Joint Ventures/strategic Buyouts or Acquisitions.  I am happy to share, based on my experiences, some of the key elements/experiences which are important steps in business success in these types of situations . These are  indicative and not an exhaustive reflection of my experience.

- Managing Business & People independently : Many businesses identify a business leader or a senior operational director to run the operations(Hired locally or deployed from home country). However, they tend to leave thepeople part of the business decisions to be  handled by the home country HR professionals.  This makes the proposition very difficult. Firstly the Host country manager would focus on running and stabilizing business results while the HR of Home country struggle to understand the nuances of Indian business and its complexities related to people.

They face difficult situations in understanding and comprehending the Compensation Bench marking, hiring practices & success, Performance expectations Vs. Output etc.,

- Right Person but Wrong Job: Rightly many organisations deploy an Imported Indian(Indian side) to run the business when they acquire a stake in or a business in India. Many times the appointed person would have not run a business in India before  or even, in some cases,  not even run a business or business unit  in the home country. Many who work outside India may not be able to appreciate the way things transact in India and have limited ability to  add value to the Indian business  in current situations. This presents a significant challenge for this Manager deployed in India to run the business.  In the current Indian business scenario  the sooner the person comes to terms with situations and can impart information to help  top management appreciate the complexities of the  way forward the sooner he and the business can  be successful.

- My Business My Way : Many organisations would like to run their business the way it was run in their home countries.  They may be successful in their business the way they are in that country.

However, the Indian context is very different and the need for adaptation to the Indian business and  cultural impacts may be very very high, if the business is to be  successful. The entire ecosystem of business runs the way the India Culture has been imbibed into the business over 100′s of years.  The successful businesses have been the ones who adapted to the culture of India and conducted their  business around their single product or service  differentiator that is their unique value.

Prepare to Conquer:  It is helpful for the business  to look at some of the above issues  in their strategic and preparation planning and create a clear cut orientation and expectation setting practice  from the business point of view to help build a more realistic frame of reference.  . A clear understanding about the business audit from a cultural perspective (apart from the accounting,business) before even venturing to partner/acquire/buy/invest would help.  The Culturally  audit through of  the people practices, business practices  and  behaviors toward business and the preparedness for next level of expectations and delivery would provide a much more realistic approach to the market.

Have a great year ahead !!!

Feel free to comment or write to me at gr@husys.net