Hard at work, but on social media

Surfing During Office Hours Cuts Productivity By 13%: Study

Employees are spending on an average 2.35 hours on social media during working hours, much higher than the 1.15 hours being spent outside work, according to a survey conducted by HR service company TeamLease. The company says this results in huge loss of official resources, while about 13% of the total productivity of an employee is estimated to be lost.

The report, based on a survey of executives from companies across sectors like pharma, automobile,data analytics and engineering design, noted that the extensive use of social media was also resulting in an increase in loss of confidential information, defamation of companies, misinformation and employee solicitation.

More than 32% of the total time spent on social media was found to be used for personal work by the employees every day. “It is a time sink,“ the CEO of a learning and development company is quoted as saying in the report. “People get inafter lunch hours and then lose themselves on social media.We estimate to be losing aro und 20% productivity because of this juvenile behaviour.“

Facebook was the most visited social media platform.Out of the 62% employees who accessed social media during work hours, nearly 83% spend significant time on Facebook.

Kunal Sen, senior VP, TeamLease Services, said, “Social media comes with its own inherent merits and demerits. In fact, indulgence in social media and the resultant slacking is a testimony of pastimes getting more interesting than work.Rather than blindly instituting rules, organizations should get to the root cause of the misuse and devise policies that make work more challenging.“

An employee engagement manager at an advertising firm is quoted as saying, “ At first we thought creative minds need to be set free and not restrained by curbs on social media usage.However, two years down the road we have had to clearly lay out acode to govern the use of social media at work.“

But a senior manager at a tech startup differed: “By virtue of being a startup, with its high-pressure work environment, we leave it to our people to mix fun and work.“

Source : The Times Of India

Date : 19-10-2016

These sectors generated most jobs in 2015-16

Today, in our best of 2015-16 series we bring you the best employment sectors according to the TimesJobs RecruiteX.


Take a look

The sector has reported a 15% rise in talent demand in the last one year, reports TimesJobs RecruiteX. In August 2016 the industry reported a whooping rise of over 30% in talent demand. February 2015 was the other favourable month with a month-on-month rise of 12% in talent demand.

Architecture/Interior Design

The sector posted a year-on-year rise of 12% in the hiring activity in the past one year, reveals the TimesJobs RecruiteX. In August 2016 the industry registered a 27% rise in talent demand. January and February 2016 were the other favourable months with 7% and 14% rise in talent demand, respectively.

Real Estate

The sector reported a 6% rise in talent demand between 2015 and 2016, shows the RecruiteX data. It posted a 21% rise in hiring activity in August 2016 and 10% rise in January 2015. This year alone the sector has posted an average 2% rise in talent demand since May 2016.


Recruitment/Placement Agencies
The sector has reported a year-on-year rise of 1% in talent demand. It witnessed a 15% rise in hiring activity in May 2016 and 13% rise in August 2016. September and December 2015 were the other favourable months with 11% and 9% rise in talent demand, respectively.


Date:18th October 2016

JLT Independent acquires Vantage Insurance Brokers

Also, the JLT Group has hiked its investment stake in JLT Independent from 26 per cent to 49 per cent

JLT Independent Insurance Brokers on Thursday announced that it has completed the acquisition of Vantage Insurance Brokers.


Post this, Arvind Laddha (founder of Vantage) will take over as Deputy CEO of JLT Independent subject to regulatory approvals.


Sanjay Radhakrishnan, CEO of JLT Independent said that the addition of Vantage’s employee benefits insurance brokerage portfolio will open up a host of new services for their clients in India.


Further, JLT Group also has hiked its investment stake inJLT Independent from 26 per cent to 49 per cent. JLT Independent is ajoint-venture between Sunidhi Group of India and Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT) Group.


Laddha said that there is a strong strategic fit between the two businesses that will drive innovation in the marketplace.


Vantage was founded in 2004 as a specialist broker in employee benefits. They manage Rs 400 crore of employee benefits premium and have about 600 clients.


Date – 14- 10 -2016

Source – www.business-standard.com

Insurers repudiated an unacceptable Rs 701 cr in life insurance claims; Parliament must step in

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s (IRDA) Annual Report for 2014-15, states that R701.69 crore life insurance claims were repudiated by insurers.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s (IRDA) Annual Report for 2014-15, states that R701.69 crore life insurance claims were repudiated by insurers. The report further highlights that “during the year, insurers have repudiated 8% of the number of claims handled … claims repudiation was high for benefit-based policies at 22%.” This is a disturbing trend as 22% repudiation of claims is unacceptably high for such simple

In a developing economy like India, where one has flagship schemes of the Modi government focussing on crop, life and health insurance for the downtrodden on the one hand and “Make in India” on the other, it is vital to have an insurance regulator absolutely committed to policy holders’ rights.

Had there been a parliamentary oversight in insurance matters, our MPs would have found the amount of claims repudiated unacceptably high in products like life insurance. Even, IRDA in its report does not mention the steps being taken to reduce the repudiation ratio. This is startling, since they are tasked primarily to protect the interest of policyholders.

Individual health insurance: General insurers aggressively sell travel health policies. If the intention is to cover emergency medical expenses incurred by Indian citizens travelling abroad on a holiday or business, the IRDA has defeated this objective by allowing insurers to exclude pre-existing diseases. Imagine the plight of an Indian resident travelling abroad on a holiday, requiring emergency hospitalisation because of a heart attack, being denied the claim because he had a history of heart disease. The medical costs abroad would bankrupt most middle class citizens.

Ideally, a travel health policy should reimburse expenses incurred for emergency medical treatment to stabilise the condition of the policy holder so that he is fit to return home for further treatment. Instead of underwriting risks, insurers use travel agents and travel portals to push sales to healthy people, but deny coverage (even after selling the policy) as they tend to exclude anyone who has a history of heart ailment or diabetes or any other pre-existing condition. This again needs Parliament’s immediate attention.

Corporate commercial lines of insurance: Coming now to the commercial general insurance (covering fire, marine, engineering and miscellaneous classes of business), IRDA does not report the statistics of claims repudiated in fire, engineering, marine or miscellaneous insurances with a detailed analysis
of claims.

The raison d’être of the insurance industry is to make good insured economic losses. It then becomes imperative that IRDA reports facts relating to claims reported, paid, outstanding and repudiated in greater detail.

Repudiation of claims is a serious issue. While individuals can approach the ombudsman’s office for Redressal of grievances, the IRDA has failed to ensure a viable mechanism for commercial entities. There is no mechanism for speedy resolution of disputes, such as Alternate Dispute Redressal. Mechanisms, such as mediation and arbitration, should form part of the policy conditions. With courts clogged with pending cases, ADR is the way forward. We need a regulator who is more forward looking than is presently the case.

IRDA, in its annual report, categorically states that they do not interfere in claims disputes. While that is so, the IRDA should recognise that they must institutionalise a mechanism for speedy dispute resolution. The system should be such that a policy holder should not be required to borrow money from a bank to restart his business. The insurers must meet their liability as quickly and definitely within a fixed time.

IRDA had a ‘File & Use’ system, now modified to ‘Use and File’, whereby each insurance company has to file the full policy wordings to the regulator for approval. However, does IRDA have a mechanism to see whether products approved by them for marketing, respond to genuine claims of the insured? The answer is in the negative—again a pointer towards a very passive regulator. Whereas contract certainty is an article of faith for insurance regulators the world over, in India the regulators think their role is over once the guidelines are issued.

Some of the regulations are baffling to say the least. For instance, those concerning the surveyors. Contrary to international best practice, the IRDA requires surveyors in marine insurance claims (an important class of general insurance) to not only comment on the proximate cause of the loss and the extent of the claim, but also interpret policy terms and conditions. This has virtually killed the remarkable expertise the four PSU insurance companies had in the past. With the exception of a diligent few, most officers now conveniently pay or reject claims on the basis of the surveyors’ comments thereby minimising for themselves any adverse audit reports. Honest officers who take decisions suffer. Those who do not take any decisions over-ruling surveyors avoid an audit or vigilance enquiries against themselves, thereby enhancing their chances of promotion!

The time taken to enforce contracts in court, unfortunately, creates a situation where very few policyholders resort to litigation. Therefore, survey reports do not face the critical scrutiny that they deserve from the courts. Interestingly, IRDA has not taken action, even where the courts pointedly commented on surveyors’ failure to maintain impartiality.

IRDA does not keep track of decisions of the High Courts, Supreme Court and the National Commission. Unless IRDA institutionalises such a mechanism, they will fail to take corrective measures, including forcing insurers to change policy wordings to keep pace with judicial pronouncements. This oversight must also include adverse observations of courts on the conduct of surveyors.

There is a need for the IRDA annual reports to focus on data collected from insurers and surveyors to objectively gauge the efficacy of regulations, particularly in the area of policyholder protection. This will ensure a greater focus on policyholder protection. Till then there is a very strong case for greater parliamentary oversight
of IRDA.

Source: The Financial Express


Date: 12th October, 2016

One-third of cos assess job aspirants on gut feeling

While data analytics has had an invincible hold on all aspects of HR, a study reveals that not many organizations measure the impact of assessment tools used to filter candidates for recruitment through data. Infact, a significant number of organizations actually measure the impact based on “gut-feel“.

According to a collaborative study by SHRM India and MeritTrac on talent assessment tools, only 45% of organizations measure the impact of assessment tools through data and a good 30% measure it based on gut-feel. The remaining 25% do not measure impact of assessments at all.

“55% of the organizations do not objectively measure the impact of the assessment tools on business, out of which 25% do not measure the impact at all. These are alarming figures which could influence the possibility to measuring the impact and returns of use of assessments,“ the study noted.

Given the growing emphasis on recruiting the right resource, the spotlight is on the use of assessments for recruitment and organizational development. While assessments have been used as a tool to filter candidates for recruitment for some time now, there has been an increasing emphasis on generating data andinformation about candidates which will play a greater role in their selectionrejection, onboarding and allocation decisions.

The study shows only 58% of 130 organizations surveyed use it for talent management in select stages of employee lifecycle. It said the use of assessment for fresher & lateral hiring and workforce development, individually , is expected to be much lower. At the recent SHRM annual conference, Achal Khanna, CEO, SHRM India, said: “The world today is no longer the one of yesteryears that we remember. Much has changed in the way businesses are conducted and the world itself is in a state of constant change. It, therefore, would be counterproductive for organizations to remain stuck in the best practices of say 2005 or 2010. Better and innovative metrics to measure employee performance are evolving, and organizations must be bold enough to change with the changing times.“

According to the study , only 6% of organizations review assessment data annually through the use of metrics, indicating the need to have systems in place to regularly capture data and build a case for furthering the use of assessment tools.

The study noted that although there is a considerable percentage in usage of analytics and reporting in all spheres of hiring and talent management, there is a need to up the ante and move beyond traditional metrics based on supervisormanager feedback opinions to more quantitative and objective metrics like profit, absenteeism, revenue, etc. One of the top challenges in using assessment tools is cost considerations and inability to justify ROI (return on investment) of assessments (17%). Technology or negative impact on candidate perception are at the bottom of the list, indicating that these are not barriers to adoption of assessment tools. A larger proportion of sampled organizations (72%) spoke of the budget spent on assessments tools remaining the same or lower in comparison to the previous financial year. One of the reasons attributed to this could be the reduction in hiring that is expected in the current year.

Source: Times of India

Date: 7th October 2016

5 WAYS TO Be a Better Learner

Learning is a continuous process, but it can be made faster, more systematic and more relevant. Varuni Khosla talks to experts to bring you five ways to become a better learner:

1 Change Your Mindset

Just because a certain process or school of thought works currently, it doesn’t mean it’ll continue to do so. Things evolve and to be a good learner, you need to evolve too. Internalise the belief that whatever the situation, there has to be a better way of doing things and then go all out to find that way. With this mindset, people put in more effort into learning and eventually it becomes a continuous habit, says Swapnil Kamat, CEO, Work Better Training.

2 Pick a Hobby and Be Consistent at It

“When we make an effort to become really good at something, it naturally builds an ability in us to learn other things faster and better,“ says Mohit Gundecha, CEO, Jombay.

3 Seek Feedback

Whether you are a CEO or an intern at a company, make it a habit to seek feedback from people around you -your colleagues, your boss, your subordinates, your family and even your clients and customers. Ask them for their opinion on your ideas, your way of work, etc. And always take this feedback constructively. Don’t be defensive. Instead, try to understand the logic behind the feedback and try to figure out how you can improve.Feedback is undoubtedly one of the best ways of learning, says Kamat.

4 Challenge Status Quo

Asking a very simple question, “Is there a different, better, faster way of doing whatever we are doing?“ can push us to challenge the status quo and learn things that we had restricted ourselves from learning, says Gundecha.

5 Leverage On-Demand Learning Mechanisms

We learn better when we need to know something than when we are told to learn it. The concept of mobile learning or micro learning for learning reinforcement or on-demand learning is picking up and one can benefit from that, says Gundecha.

Source: Economic Times

Date: 7th October 2016

5 Hiring Trends to Expect in 2016

In order to keep up with today’s competitive job market, many employers will be instituting different hiring strategies in 2016, new research finds.

Besides paying workers higher starting salaries, many employers will focus on giving more opportunities for low-skill employees to move up the ranks, hiring younger interns and looking for new employees from outside the United States, according to a new study from CareerBuilder.

Based on the research, CareerBuilder uncovered several key trends that will help shape the employment landscape in 2016.


  • Low skill to high skill: With most employers worried about a growing skills gap, many companies will work on developing their own pipeline of talent. The study found that 33 percent of businesses plan to hire low-skill workers and invest in training them for high-skill jobs.
  • Younger interns: In order to encourage the next generation to pursue STEM-related jobs and other in-demand positions, many employers plan to start building relationships with younger students. The research shows that 25 percent of employers will hire high school students as interns over the next year.
  • Higher salaries: In order to retain and attract top talent, 83 percent of companies expect to increase compensation for existing employees, while 66 percent will offer higher starting salaries for new workers. “While employers have been more willing to pay a premium for high-skill labor, they now have to pay more competitive wages for entry-level positions,” Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, said in a statement. “Workers are gaining leverage.”
  • Crossing borders: To help fill open jobs, employers won’t just be focusing their attention on U.S. employees. Nearly 20 percent of those surveyed will hire workers with H-1B visas in 2016 to temporarily employ foreign-born workers for specialized jobs.
  • Leadership demographics: Many employers plan to diversity their management teams in 2016. The research shows that 55 percent of businesses plan to hire or promote more women for management roles, with 53 percent planning to do the same for minority workers. In addition, 47 percent expect to promote workers under age 30 into management roles.

Overall, 36 percent of employers plan to add full-time permanent employees in 2016, the same as 2015, with just 10 percent expecting to decrease staffing levels. [Hiring Overqualified Employees Might Be Good for Your Business ]

Customer service positions will see the most influx this year. The research revealed that 32 percent of employers plan to add new customer service positions in 2016, with 29 percent adding information technology jobs and 27 percent making new sales hires.

In addition, 24 percent will add production jobs, 20 percent will make new administrative hires and 18 percent will bring on more marketing staff members.

The study discovered that small businesses are much more bullish about their financial prospects in 2016 and are looking to expand their staff.  Specifically, 27 percent of businesses with less than 50 employees plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, up from 20 percent last year. Additionally, 33 percent of businesses with 250 or fewer employees plan to hire full-time, permanent workers, up from 29 percent last year.

The research was based on surveys of 2,338 U.S. hiring and human resource managers.

Source : Business News Daily

Date : January 12, 2016

By:Chad Brooks