This Job Makes Everyone Hyper!

The new darling of startups, on-demand model, runs into rough weather

The on-demand labour model is all but flourishing in India. Recognising the power of a marketplace to bring on disorganised supply and demand, following the success of the cab aggregation model, various products and services ranging from laundry to last-mile delivery are also adopting a log-in, log-out approach to bring on suppliers and service providers.

And yet, the touted model is showing its first signs of floundering where it all started. In the Bay Area and across the US, on-demand startups have been slammed by worker classification lawsuits from part-time contractors demanding employee benefits. Home services marketplace Homejoy, backed by Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz among others, shut down amid such allegations; while Uber was most recently charged with a $7.3-million fine in California.

With startups on this side of the world increasingly providing protection and benefits to lure on more providers onto their platforms, will the model be at risk?
Arjun Mendu, cofounder of home services marketplace Housejoy, is confident in the contractor model. “Freelance hiring in India is the way to go because of the sheer size of the population and demand. It needs to be a hybrid model,“ he said.

Housejoy now has 3,000 service providers who receive specific skills training and microcredit assistance, among other benefits.Here startups are well-advised to stick to ESIC laws related to training contractors, said Manish Saigal, managing director of professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal. “There is a very high sensitivity in India to any labourrelated abuse and manipulation.If you are a well-funded or bigname startup, compliance levels have to be very high.“ Amid an increasingly competitive labour market for delivery boys, logistics startups such as Roadrunnr have taken to contracting fleets on an on-demand basis as well, but not before doing due diligence. Before launching the business-to-busi ness service in January, the founders had approached the la bour inspector to receive writ ten legal advice on the compa ny’s rights and responsibilities, said cofounder Mohit Kumar.“The grey area comes when the delivery boys simultaneously work for another employer,“ he added. “While `control’ continues to be the most important criteria for determination of worker misclassification, unlike in the US which has well-defined set of tests that may be applied, we are yet to witness such jurisprudence in India. Also, given the practical challenges of employment litigation in India, it is unlikely that we would witness large-scale lawsuits on whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor as currently ongoing in the US,“ said Vikram US,“ said Vikram Shroff, head of HR Law at Nishith Desai Associates. “However, it is important to learn from some of global developments and apply it in the Indian context.“ A lot of the time such startups make use of third-party hiring agencies to recruit and even train blue-collar labour, which shields them from risk as long as such agencies are in line with employment-related policies.

Source : Economic Times

Times – 29-07-2015


Randstad India’s `Talent Trends Report ­ HR Game Changers’ offers an overview of the top 15 workplace trends that will shape talent management in 2015 and beyond.The inaugural issue the report is based on the feedback and outlook of


The shifting workplace:

70% of HR leaders opined that managing a multi-generational workforce is one of the biggest challenges they face; 54% of HR leaders in India think that more women in leadership will be a criti cal success factor for organisations; 47% of HR leaders mentioned that they factor in independent contractors as part of their talent acquisition strategy; 78% of HR leaders think organisations will need to create greater flexible working options to attract the increasingly mobile workforce.

The new war for talent:

76% of HR leaders in India feel the `war for talent’ is getting fiercer than ever and the term still accurately reflects today’s business and talent environment; 61% of HR leaders feel that a strong employer brand and reputation of an organisation is the most critical factor to be successful in attracting top talent.

Roadmap to HR transformation:

69% of organisations in India are more focused on employer branding than they were five years ago; Only 2% of HR leaders in India undertake their workforce planning 2-5 years in advance; 61% of HR leaders mentioned that they use talent and workforce analytics as part of their talent strategy and workforce planning process.

The evolution of new talent solutions:

43% of HR leaders believe that talent scarcity will increase the need to completely outsource talent sourcing; 64% of talent leaders are looking at more advice, research and information around HR transformation.

Source: The Times Of India

Date: 29-07-2015

Yes, Your Résumé Needs a Summary

How long will recruiters spend on your résumé before deciding to toss it in the recycle bin? Six seconds, says online job search site The Ladders. That’s about 20 to 30 words.

So how do you write those first few lines of your resume—the summary section—to compel the recruiter to keep reading? How do you make sure you get the call—and not the toss? How do you make your summary memorable?

Here’s a checklist:

  • Tailor your summary to each job application. Highlight your areas of expertise most relevant to that position.
  • Then focus on specific results you’ve achieved in those areas of expertise—how other organizations have improved because of you.
  • Note the types of organizations and industries you’ve worked in.
  • Include years of experience.
  • Avoid generic terms such as results-drivenproven track recordexcellent communication skillsteam player.

Let’s look at a few examples of powerful summaries:

“Pharmaceutical marketing executive with 20 years of experience creating commercial infrastructures, growing brands, and optimizing product value throughout launch, re-launch, and sunset life cycles across all customer segments—payers, physicians, and patients. Lead global marketing and commercial operations teams with P&Ls up to $2B.”

“EHS director with 20 years of experience driving regulatory compliance and employees’ health and safety across industries—manufacturing, retail, and healthcare. Develop award-winning, injury-reducing ergonomic equipment. Launch LMS training programs and engaging websites to inform thousands of employees.”

“Online ad sales director with 12 years of experience leading sales teams in start-up, rapidly growing, and established companies. Maximize profitability of ads across all platforms, including games, mobile, social, and web. Consistently exceed revenue targets—even when battling Facebook and other relentless competitors in crowded markets.”


Engaging Employees: Keys to Sustainable Behavior Change

Fortunately for employers who are actively trying to engage their workforce, there are some fascinating modern theorems and analyses around this concept that might offer the key to sustainable behavior change. These approaches, two of which I will highlight in this article, focus on decision-making and persuasion.


Gretchen Rubin, in her work Better Than Before, puts a great deal of emphasis on habits. She found that habits eliminate the need for, or preserves, our self-control, and those with better self-control  are happier and healthier. She concludes that the key to habits is decision-making or the lack of decision- making. Your habits keep you from having to make decisions such as whether to eat that ice cream or skip the gym. Penny has good habits (more support for choosing to hire her). Amy does not. The good news is that Rubin provides a solid framework for developing good habits.


While Rubin focuses on how the individual can make a change, Steve J. Martin’s work in persuasion sciences has interesting applications for employers looking to promote positive behavior. He notes that we need to align with the three fundamental motives that we all use in our decision-making:

  • make decisions that are the most rewarding
  • make decisions that gain the approval of others
  • make decisions that have us stand out in a positive light

One simple example he uses is in getting people to keep their doctor’s appointment. To effect the change, a health system trained nurses to ask the patient, when making the appointment, to repeat the time of the appointment. This had a significant impact and plays to #2.

8 Recommendations for Employers

So how is all this actionable for employers? What steps should they take to engage Amy? While most people want to foster the habits that will allow them to eat and drink more healthily, exercise regularly, sleep better, accomplish more, simplify and engage more deeply in their relationships, oftentimes bad habits get in the way. Using the following eight recommendations employers can promote good habits and sideline the bad:

  • Don’t assume everyone responds the same way to expectations, and segment your population. A good number of us will respond well to outsider expectations while others will need to know why they are doing something and follow their inner expectations.
  • Understand motivations, both interests and fears (eg. public speaking). This is powerful information when you are trying to engage. You can find out when someone is ready to make a change and what could drive that change. This is difficult to do across your population but technology will help.
  • We manage what we monitor, so individuals need an easy way to monitor their behavior.
  • We need commitment and accountability. If we verbalize our goals to others we are more likely to follow through. We do better if someone is watching.
  • Keep it fresh. Continue to provide opportunities for people to start over or try something new.
  • Try to make goals process-oriented and not based on rewards or finish lines. Rewards are not enough to sustain behavior change. To continue to want to do something you need intrinsic motivation. Similarly if your goal is finishing a race vs just racing or running then you are not going to be running long.
  • Make it convenient. Make it easy for people to take part in activities. Set group events up until the program is self-sustaining. Individuals like to take part in group events where like-minded people will take part. This creates built-in networks and is very habit forming. It is like having a cafeteria where you know at least one of the group will be sitting at your table, where you don’t have to schedule a lunch date every day.
  • Make bad habits less convenient. Take out the soda and candy machines or lower the number of bad choices. Offer to replace sitting desks with standing desks or exercise balls. Raise the cost of smoking.

None of this replaces the typical advice around creating a successful wellbeing program. You should still do your homework, evaluate, develop a vision and holistic strategy based on solid data, your culture, environment etc.

Create a strong team, manage the change from the top down, middle and bottom up, evaluate and refine continually. Martin and Rubin’s work makes  it clear that culture and management can have a big impact by developing outside expectations and providing approval/distinction for appropriate behaviors.

Finally, note that if wellbeing is not already a part of your culture it is not easy to make the change. Not to discourage, but it takes work, and employees can’t feel like they are being manipulated. It might work once, but as they say, “Once bitten, twice shy.” Integrity is important.

Source: Williswire


Bell-Curve Not Apt In Knowledge-Led Cos

In September, management consultancy firm Accenture will join the growing list of companies such as Google, Microsoft, Adobe and KPMG which have discarded the bell-curve or similar mechanisms for conducting annual performance appraisals of their employees. The move at Accenture is aimed at ongoing real-time feedback and spells good news for its 3.36 lakh global employees, nearly 30% of whom are based in India.

Typically , the bell-curve mechanism segregates all employees into distinct baskets–top, average and bott om performers–with the vast majority being treated as average performers. The reasons for the continued trend of companies discarding thebell-curve rating mechanism are manifold.

“Today , goals are no longer pushed from the top level to the bottom, but emerge through collaboration and are the result of a dynamic interplay between levels and various parts of the organization. To follow the typical bell-curve, team leaders had to re-categorize employees. Often good performers were labelled as average to fit the curve. This unseen hand of moderation resulted in disgruntled and disengaged employees,“ explains M P Sriram, partner at Aventus Partners, a HR consultancy and talent acquisition firm.

“We are shifting from an annual `performance management’ process to a new `performance achievement’ approach that includes realtime, forward-looking conversations about setting priorities, growing strengths and creating rewarding career opportunities for our people. The `performance achievement’ approach will focus on the achievements and talents of each employee. It will result in a holistic view of performance and potential and guide in appropriate decision making relating to rewards and career progression. Our leaders will spend more time coaching and talking with employees. We are on a journey and are committed to moving at the right pace o roll this out across the organization,“ Accenture-India confirmed in response to TOI’s queries.

This April, KPMG in India discarded the bell-curve and in reduced a real-time feedback approach. Employees are now given an instant feedback when hey complete an engagement: hey can thus work on their areas of development on an ongoing basis, and it avoids the year end appraisal related disappointments, if any.

“We have introduced this change for the current year (the performance year ending March 2016) and hence providing the requisite training and preparing the managers (responsible for giving the feedback) to handle the new process is all currently work-in-progress. Training and hand-holding our people is clearly a critical part of successfully managing the transition to the changed approach,“ says Shalini Pillay, head-people, performance and culture at KPMG-India. As this change requires a serious realignment in mindset, culture and way of working, the benefits of the new mechanism will not be immediately quantified.

The shift away from the bell curve or similar one-time ranking mechanisms seems to be gaining ground, especially in the consultancy and technology sector, where human assets (employees) are invaluable. Application of the bell-curve doesn’t suit a knowledge-driven workforce.

A mid-tier software company has replaced the bell curve with the performance curve based on the long tail method. The aim is to identify, reward and develop skills in hyper-high performers, high performers, potential high performers, and so on till one reaches the end of the tail. The difference being that employees are not compared against each other and there is no cap on the number of people who can fall within a particular segment. Another large consultancy, in the Big 4 league, has recently re-designed its performance management system. The new system is yet to be scaled up and rolled out globally and has not yet been taken up in India.

For the full report, log on to

Source: Times of India

Date: July 27, 2015

Apollo Munich unveils health insurance for dengue – Mayur Shetty Mumbai

Given the rise in dengue cases year after year during monsoons, Apollo Munich Health Insurance has launched a policy which covers only this mosquito-spread ailment. The policy targets uninsured workmen, for whom cover can be bought by employers, and also existing policyholders who need not lose their accumulated no-claim benefits because of a bout of dengue.

So far, insurance covers targeting single ailments have been aimed at critical illnesses such as cancer. This is the first time that a cover is being launched for an infectious non-critical illness. Dengue Care provides Rs 50,000 worth hospitalization cover and Rs 10,000 towards outpatient treatment and is available for a premium of Rs 444.

The only exclusion under the policy is that there is a 15day wait period to exclude those who have already been detected with the disease. “We wanted a product that is very easy to buy for any age group without medical tests and the process of usage is very simple without any conditions,“ said Antony Jacob, CEO, Apollo Munich Health Insurance.

According to Jacob, the launch has been timed keeping in mind that dengue cases peak during the monsoon. “Everyone wants a good monsoon. But every year the rains bring with them a slew of mosquito-related diseases such as dengue,“ said Jacob.

The company is targeting both first-time buyers of health insurance, particularly those who cannot pay the couple of thousand rupees for a basic health policy , as well as existing health insurance policyholders. “Most of the people who have bought health insurance cover for the last 10 years have an average sum insured of Rs 3 lakh and those who are in good health would be having the full bonus sum insured. Why would anyone want to but a Rs 1.5-lakh bonus sum insured for a Rs 35,000 claim,“ said Jacob.

He pointed out that a large number of dengue cases are unreported and estimated to be around six million.

Source : The Times of India

Date :28th July 2015


Cognizant tops ET India’s Top Recruiters Study; Wipro, Deloitte, HCL, ICICI Bank and KPMG in top five

In a testimony to the grow ing demand for topnotch MBA talent, India Inc’s top recruiters have stepped up campus hiring by as much as 33.5%, an exclusive ET survey has revealed. Ten of India’s biggest recruiters hired a total of 1,033 MBAs from 22 top business schools ET surveyed for this study .Around 774 graduates were picked by the top ten recruiters across 21 Bschools the previous year.

These numbers, in absolute terms, reflect what is easily the most aggressive MBA talent drive in the five years that the ET India’s Top Recruiters study is being conducted.

Cognizant retained its first place for the third year running, making as many as 192 offers at these campuses.Three other companies -Wipro, Deloitte and HCL -made over 100 offers.Last year, only two companies had made offers in excess of 100.

The ET top 10 recruiters survey results are based on data from IIM Ahmedabad; IIM Bangalore; IIM Calcutta; IIM Kozhikode; IIM Indore; IIM Shillong; IIM Ranchi; IIM Raipur; IIM Udaipur; Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies; Indian Institute of Foreign Trade; International Management Institute, New Delhi; Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi; Faculty of Management Studies, BHU; Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi; XLRI Jamshedpur; XIM Bhubaneswar; SP Jain Institute of Management & Research; IIM Rohtak; MDI Gurgaon; IIM Kashipur and IIM Trichy.

IIT Delhi’s Department of Management Studies and IIM Rohtak replaced Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies this year. There were 21 institutes last year.

With one in every 20-25 technology professionals holding a master’s in business administration, Sriram Rajagopal, vice president -HR at Cognizant Technology Solutions, says his company is probably one of the most aggressive MBA recruiters in India.

Besides the 192 hired across the 22 business schools, the company offered jobs to more than 500 MBAs from the 2015 graduating batch.

“We are in the midst of a oncein-a-decade shift in the technology landscape. This trend is creating significant opportunities for B-school graduates. We believe our industryleading growth is, in part, a function of our ability to proactively provide solutions to business problems and not just technological capability and this attribute is strengthened by our MBA talent,“ said Rajagopal.

Following on the heels of Cognizant are Wipro, Deloitte, HCL Technologies, ICICI Bank and KPMG. The first five companies have been regulars on the top 10 list for the past five years.

In fact, the fifth position this year is shared by two. KPMG has made a bigbang entry into the list for the first time to be alongside ICICI Bank. The consultancy firm hired 90 students from the surveyed schools, and reported a more than 20% overall jump in its MBA intake over the past two years.

“Our MBA intake over the past few years has increased substantially ,“ said Shalini Pillay, head of people, performance and culture at KPMG in India. “This is commensurate with our growth across various services in the advisory space. MBAs, with and without pre-qualification work experience, greatly add to this rich and swiftly growing talent pool of ours.“

Rival Deloitte reported a 30% increase in overall MBA hiring over the previous year, taking in 108 graduates at the surveyed schools alone. Wipro said it strengthened its focus on hiring from select Bschools and recruited 127.HCL and ICICI Bank hired 101 and 90, respectively , from the surveyed business schools.

“Hiring talent from top-tier business schools through campus recruitment, thereby building a talent pipeline to create leaders for tomorrow, has been integral to ICICI Bank’s recruitment strategy .

This year, we have recruited 180 students from business schools across the country (including from those the survey has not covered),“ said TK Srirang, the bank’s senior general manager and HR head.

Accenture and Vodafone enhanced B-school hiring and reported a significant uptick in this year’s numbers. Accenture was the top recruiter at the top three IIMs, with 49 offers, of them 21 at IIM Ahmedabad alone.

“Yes, we are hiring more MBAs now. We believe that MBA talent is extremely important and a key component of our hiring and growth strategy ,“ said Sukhpreet Kalra, associate director, recruitment, for Accenture in India.

Vodafone recruited 82 graduates from the surveyed schools to debut on the list at the eighth position. In all, it hired 145 trainees across Indian B-schools, compared with 114 last year.

Amazon led the ecommerce companies vying for fresh MBA talent, hiring 84 across the schools surveyed and moving to the seventh position from joint ninth last year.

With Snapdeal snapping up the ninth slot and making its debut on the list with 81 hires, India’s largest online retailer, Flipkart, missed out on the top 10 rankings by a whisker.

Raj Raghavan, HR director at Amazon India, said the company has seen a 140% increase in its MBA intake over the past two years.

“B-school graduates are a key part of our growth story in India and we are building a leadership pipeline for the future,“ he said. The company offered roles across operations, consumer business, HR and finance, and around 25% of its MBA hires came through preplacement offers.

Snapdeal, for the first time, had a large structured B-school hiring plan.It hired for roles in sales and marketing, business strategy, category man f agement, supply chain and product management. “MBA graduates have proven to be better equipped to analyse, interpret and find actionable trends from complex data.

Thus, it is crucial for us to get on board MBA talent for the company’s overall business and growth strategy . We have hired around 250 MBA graduates across Indian B-schools this year,“ said Vice President Saurabh Nigam.

The company created an engagement strategy with identified B-schools before going in for final campus placements by hosting competitions, sponsoring events and holding leaders’ speak sessions. It recruited interns to review the candidate pool at campuses and formalised an onboarding plan for all management trainees.

Companies like Deloitte and Vodafone hired a big chunk of B-school graduates through pre-placement offers (PPOs). “In the last fiscal (year), we had about 288 interns… A majority of them went on to secure PPOs,“ said SV Nathan, senior director and chief talent officer at Deloitte in India. Out of the 100 B-school candidates Vodafone hired this year, 57% had been through PPOs.

The focus on B-school talent is only going to sharpen for recruiters, the study shows.

Amazon’s Raghavan said with India becoming a major growth story or the US-headquartered company , it was looking for top talent from business schools to build a career in Amazon.

“Our commitment towards nurturing and educating MBA talent is long term and for that we would continue to focus on hiring talent that meets our objective of keeping a strong focus towards quality ,“ he said.

RIL, which entered the list last year has dropped out this year, as has Goldman Sachs which was a fixture for the past two years.

With inputs from Brinda Dasgupta

Source : The Economics times

Date : 28th July 2015