Monthly Archives: July 2017

10 Secrets your HR won’t tell you

10 Secrets your HR won’t tell you

The most important role of the human resource department is to build trust. However there are times when it will be discreet. Here are 10 secrets your HR will never share with you:

Confidential conversations are shared on a Need to Know basis – If an important senior executives wants to get information and the HR executive feels that the former has to know about it then details of the so-called confidential conversation will be shared. Therefore it would be prudent to avoid name-calling during such conversations

Performance Improvement Plan is another way of saying goodbye – If the HR puts you on the Performance Improvement Plan, they know that your performance will never be considered improved enough for the company. It is time you prepare your resume and send it out. If you find a job before the plan ends then you will not be fired and won’t have to go unemployed.

They go candidate phishing – You may have had a recruiter contact you for a job, ask you some preliminary questions and then never call back again. Most likely the HR was building a list of candidates from a certain company so that they can hire them later. This happens much more frequently than you imagine. Sometimes manpower outsourcing companies are used for this purpose too.

Policy enforcer are high-maintenance – While the HR hand book is to help you stay in compliance, but if you tell the HR about your peers who are breaking the policy then you will be considered the one to be kept an eye on. Pick your battles wisely, only say something when the violation actually hurts the company enough.

At the time of layoffs, personality matters – When the HR executive has to cut a percentage of the workforce he will talk to all the managers about skills and productivity. But at the end of the day, he will keep people who have a positive outlook to sail through the atmosphere of dread that layoffs bring. Being able to uplift everyone during the stressful period is most important.

Online background tests are standard practice – Professional background check of employees in large organizations, like banks or IT companies, requires them to take your permission. The rest rely a lot on free Internet searches. Everything you have ever shared online is available to them to judge you on.   

No reference is a bad reference – An HR consultancy in Mumbai revealed that when a prospective employer reaches out to your HR, she will never give a bad reference. This is because a bad reference opens them up to be sued for slander. While she will refuse the reference, she will honestly answer the yes-or-no question of you being eligible for a rehire. A “no” indicates that the parting was not on good terms.

“Backdoor” reference check – HR would check references of all potential hires before making an offer. You may think you can control the process by sharing handpicked references that would giving you glowing reviews. But the HR will tap into her network if she smells something fishy to find people who had worked with you and talk to them. This is most likely to happen if you say that you were laid off and she suspects that you were fired.

HR will pick the one she likes – Imagine you are in the last stages of selection with 4 other people. The HR wants to conduct a last round to find the most suitable candidate. You score a 95, while the others score a 90. IT doesn’t matter – the scores are close enough for the HR to pick the one she likes the best.

Long-term unemployment hurts your chances – HR tends to consider the candidates who have been unemployed for more than six months unemployable. Your resume will most likely be ignored if you have been out of work that long.    

5 professions under threat

5 professions under threat

Over the past few years traditional industries have been threatened by upstarts armed with technology. It should come as no surprise that some professions, as we know them today, may cease to exist in years to come. Here is a list of five professions facing threat of extinction.

Insurance agents – For decades most of insurance has been based on formulae that have been refined by the industries collective experiences of the industry. Turns out big data analytics is much better at this, it can use hundreds of thousands of factors instead of just a handful that an insurance underwriter would. The insurance brokers are being outpaced by apps that consider middle man the most unproductive part of the economy.

Architects – Today a number of programs allow individuals design their own homes. Many a decisions that an architect had to take based on his specialized skills are automated by these programs. Many have used these tools to replace an architect on small scale projects though more often they are used as a visualization tool to communicate ideas with one. But as the tools get smarter, the need for a human counterpart would diminish. Architects would then be limited to niche areas like conservation archeology.

Accountants – The role of accountants is ironically being challenged by accounting software. Thanks to platforms such as Quickbooks, Zoho and Intuit several businesses find it easy to keep track of their accounts. These softwares are cheap and are easy to use. However even complex accounting activities such as auditing, reconciliation and risk management are slowly being automated.

High-street travel agents – Selling packaged holidays is no more a viable business model. Most large tour operators are slowly building up ownership into actual property. Planning a holiday is now done by peer consultation, both with friends in real life and strangers online. All reservations are handled via online portals. The number of travel agents has seen a steep decline over the last decade, and the decline is only getting sharper as the travelers move online.

Small component manufacturers – There was a time when setting up a large scale manufacturer meant an automatic trickle down that would create a manufacturing hub. Maruti is known to have driven emergence of such well-oiled hubs that supported its Just in Time philosophy. But the emergence of 3D printing has resulted into many of these components can now be 3D printed onsite. Companies that had to rely on importing parts manufactured by specialized vendors are now moving towards printing the said parts in-house.

Man power outsourcing companies across the spectrum insist that it is not just the low-skill jobs are threatened by advent of technology and behavioral changes jolting the economy. HR consultancies we spoke to in Mumbai insist that the key to survive today is a willingness to reskill to meet the morphing requirements that pop up in the rapidly evolving industry one works in.

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