Most HR pros say cover letters are still relevant

Dive Brief:

Cover letters are an important part of the hiring process, according to 83% of the 200 recruiters, HR specialists and hiring managers surveyed by OnePoll on behalf of ResumeLab.

A cover letter can help candidates get interviews, even if their resumes are mediocre, the survey found. Also, three-quarters of recruiters said they prefer that applications include cover letters separate from their resumes.

Cover letters help HR pros assess applicants’ motivations to join the company, their career objectives, their reasons for a job change and their personal achievements, the survey said.


Dive Insight:

Sources who have spoken previously with HR Dive hold conflicting views on the importance of the cover letter. The cover letter is not dead yet, according to Vicki Salemi, a career expert for Monster. “Hiring managers will still ask for them. Not all, but many,” she said.


Ally Van Deuren, university relations lead at Korn Ferry, disagreed, describing cover letters as too time-consuming. “I personally rarely look at cover letters,” she told HR Dive. “The average recruiter spends an average of [seven] seconds per resume, so honing a resume is more important!”


With employers struggling to find quality talent, the cover letter could help separate exceptional candidates from the less stellar ones. The high cost of recruiting paired with a bad hiring decision means employers must focus on quality in hiring, according to a recent JazzHR report.




Coronavirus: Travel insurance useful, but governments would step in fully

If you visit a country despite the government’s travel advisory, your health insurance will not pay for your Coronavirus claim


The thought of being locked up in a room for days – quarantined – till you recover from Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) can be depressing. For those who are going through it and are covered through a travel insurance policy, there may be a feeling of relief that at least their medical costs would be taken care of. It doesn’t quite work that way; you may not actually incur any costs, given that governments would step in.


On Monday, PTI reported that around 17 travellers who had returned to Delhi from China and other affected countries before the screening began in mid-January showed symptoms of the disease and were hospitalised. The number of confirmed cases in India is three, all in Kerala. Despite its geographical proximity to the epicentre of the pandemic Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19), India has, so far, remained relatively unaffected by the global health crisis of Chinese origin. No alarm bells have started ringing in India yet, but central and state governments are taking precautions.


Travel policies during advisories


The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has already issued a travel advisory exhorting people to refrain from visiting China. On cue, general insurance companies that offer overseas travel policies, too, are exercising caution. “We are not issuing travel policies to China-bound travellers. We have also limited the issuance of travel insurance policies to Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. For travellers to other destinations where some cases have been detected, we are asking our customers to follow government advisory and take precautions,” says Sanjay Datta, Chief, Underwriting, Claims and Reinsurance, ICICI Lombard. On paper – and as per travel policy documents – COVID-19 or other such contagious diseases are not exclusions – they are treated like any other ailment, provided they are not ‘pre-existing.’


While insurers do pay for the treatment of pandemics, usually, they are completely controlled by the government and regular hospitals rarely enter the picture. “If the treatment necessitates quarantine, including at home, it’s the government’s call to take – travel policies will not come into play,” he adds. Governments tend to take over completely, as symptomatic individuals might need to be placed under quarantine. “Treatment takes place at government-designated hospitals and costs, too, are borne by the governments,” says Nikhil Apte, Chief Product Officer, Product Factory (Health Insurance), Royal Sundaram. The respective countries’ governments need to keep track of such cases to contain the scourge and prevent secondary infection. “Therefore, it is unlikely that insured travellers will file claims with insurers,” he adds.


Settling claims

For Indian health insurance policyholders diagnosed with the disease upon their return, again, similar rules will apply.. If you are, say, evacuated from the epicentre of an epidemic and return to the country, you will be placed under quarantine, as has been the case with Indians airlifted from Wuhan, China. The medical facilities will be controlled and paid for by the government establishments. “So, though any treatment procedure that an insured has to undergo is technically covered by travel and health policies, practically, such situations seldom give rise to claims,” points out Apte.


In case you to travel to regions where no advisory is in place and yet end up contracting the deadly virus, you can turn to your travel or overseas health policy. That is, in the unlikely event that the government of that country does not have a standard protocol in place to deal with COVID-19 patients. “If the government has already picked up your medical tab, you cannot file a claim as you cannot get paid twice. If you are on your own, however, the normal claim settlement process will be applicable,” says Chopra. You will get cashless facilities at network hospitals – the ones that the insurer has tied-up with through global partners, or claim reimbursement later.


A travel policy also covers claims beyond health emergencies – baggage loss, passport loss, third-party liability as also evacuation of mortal remains. “If mortal remains of an insured have to be brought back to India, we will take care of the expenses. However, it is subject to government formalities sanctioning release and insurers cannot play a role here,” explains Datta.


The COVID-19 epidemic, declared ‘Public health emergency of international concern’ by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has led to 1870 deaths in China, while the number of infected has surpassed 72,000. Globally, it has spread its tentacles to 25 countries that have reported 804 laboratory-confirmed cases and three deaths as per WHO figures as on February 18, 2020.




Cabinet makes crop insurance scheme optional for farmers

The Centre on Wednesday revamped its flagship crop insurance scheme to address challenges in its implementation where farmers invariably have to suffer due to delay in disbursal of claims in case of crop failure.

It made the scheme voluntary for farmers and increased the central share in premium subsidy to 90% for northeastern states from the existing sharing pattern of 50:50.

These changes, approved by the Union cabinet, will be implemented from the upcoming Kharif (summer crop) season throughout the country. The government will separately bring a new scheme for 151 highly water stressed districts.

The changes will apply to two ongoing schemes— ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’ (PMFBY) and Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS). It is expected that the changes will enable quick and accurate yield estimation leading to faster claims settlement and increase the insurance coverage in north-eastern states.

“Enrolment under the scheme will be made voluntary for all farmers,” agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said .

A separate scheme will be prepared to provide risk mitigation tools through crop insurance, especially for 151districts which are highly water stressed.

Date: 20-02-2020

Source :  The Times of India

Ace your annual appraisal Execute a plan for a good performance review this year, says Devashish Chakravarty.

It’s that time of the year that you detest. As the financial year closes next month, you are due for your annual performance appraisal meeting. You dislike being evaluated for the ups and downs of an entire year. However, understand that the review meeting has three goals. Firstly, to give you managerial feedback on what worked well and what didn’t. Secondly, to help you modify your approach and execution and achieve better outcomes both for you and your employer. Finally, to take a call on your responsibilities for the future as well as to decide on your increment. Your manager dreads review meetings as much as you do, because it is an unpleasant task to pass judgment on another person’s contributions and compensation. Here’s how you can make it work well for everyone.

Look up the HR policy. Ask senior members about what to expect, if this is your first review in the firm. Who will conduct your appraisal and when? Do you need to submit a self-appraisal in advance? What are the parameters that will be considered for your salary increment and promotion if any? Once you are up to speed, you can plan the actions you need to take.

Critical incident record

Since the review judges your performance over the entire year, both your manager and you need to review major milestones in your journey. Go through your notes and emails to make a list of your achievements, metrics for their measurement, and how they stack up against the goals and targets set for you at the beginning of or through the year. Don’t forget to log any praise, incentives or awards you may have received for your outstanding work during this period.

Dummy evaluation

Carry out a mock evaluation of your performance from the perspective of your manager. What were his KRAs and how did you contribute to them? How do you measure up against your team mates whose performance is also being reviewed by him? Is it a company policy to force rank each person against the others? The higher the degree of realism and honesty you bring into the dummy evaluation, the lower will be the risk of you being surprised during the actual review. These insights will also help you plan your contributions for the next year.

Areas of development

Now focus on the second purpose of the appraisal. Think through your shortcomings, how would you like to grow in the coming year and prepare to discuss the areas of development that your manager is likely to bring up. Bring a workable plan to the table and your manager is likely to view your constructive approach in a positive light.

Next year’s goals

What kind of goals do you want to achieve in the next 12 months that are both important to your manager and will progress your career? How will you add value to your team or enhance the contributions of others? List out prospective goals, projects and the resources you will need. Ideally, this part should occupy a major portion of the review meeting and lessen the burden of criticism both for your manager and you.

Prepare your manager

An ideal review meeting has no surprises. This is possible when your manager and you have been reviewing your progress on a monthly or quarterly basis. If that has not happened, bring up the topic of review with your manager right away. That gives him a month to think through. Then, share your preparation with him in writing. This helps him remember your contributions, understand what you are thinking and reduces the burden of uncertainty for you.

Be open to dialogue

Confirm the place and time with your manager in advance. Expect to receive feedback and rehearse how you are going to respond to criticism, tough requests and challenging questions. This is a professional meeting so steer away from emotional responses . Treat the appraisal meeting like any other project review and strive to engage in constructive two-way communication.

Always be closing

The ABC for a salesman is – Always Be Closing. Your approach during the meeting is to seek closure on the past and an agreement on the future. Pick on the points that matter most to you and negotiate on reasonable targets and fair incentives for the coming year. If there is no official record of the meeting, then write an email to your manager thanking him for the meeting and enumerating the goals that you have agreed on. This will serve as a blue-print for your future. In case your manager needs to submit the review to the HR, then follow-up until that is done so that your increment is not delayed.

Source:- The Economic Times

Date:-    17th February,2020- Monday

India Inc. experience a rise of 12% in talent demand: Report

India Inc. experience a rise of 12% in talent demand: Report

The report suggested that all industrial sectors noted an upswing in talent demand, with Consumer Durables/FMCG sector posting the highest growth of over 30 percent.


According to a survey by RecruiteX, A TimesJob’s recruitment index, India Inc  has registered a growth in talent demand by 12 percent M-o-M and four percent Y-o-Y in January 2020. The data indicates the optimisim that the new year has brought to the india job market.


The Year 2019 saw many spells of active and subtle hiring periods at the India Inc. With the year 2020 unfolding, a 12 percent M-o-M and four percent Y-o-Y uptick in the talent demand indicates that the corporates have a positive hiring outlook for the Year 2020.


Commenting on these findings, Sanjay Goyal, Business Head, TimesJobs and TechGig said, “The growth in talent demand is an encouraging sign for the economy. January 2020 kick-started with 12 percent M-o-M and four percent Y-o-Y growth in talent demand, indicating ‘Good Days’ ahead for the Indian Job Market. With Engineering roles being most in demand, and the FMCG sector posting the highest talent demand, we can conclude that presently the market has an abundance of IT and related roles. I hope this momentum continues for the entire year 2020”.


The report suggested that all industrial sectors noted an upswing in talent demand, with Consumer Durables/FMCG sector posting the highest growth of over 30 percent.


The other top sectors were:


Healthcare/ Biotechnology/ Pharmaceuticals- 29% growth

Construction/Cement/Metal/Steel/Iron – 26% growth

Petrochemicals/ Oil and Gas/ Power – 19% growth

Teaching/Education and Hospitality profiles – which typically see a seasonal uptick in demand – noted over 30 percent and 24 percent growth in talent demand, respectively.


Other top profiles in demand were:


Engineering – 20%

Front Office/Administration – 15%

Accounting & Finance -14%

In the location-wise analysis, top metros claimed maximum growth in talent demand in January 2020. After continuously slipping from the top 10 list, Mumbai claimed the highest growth (of 26%) in talent demand in January 2020, followed by Chennai. Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR registered4% and 3% growth respectively.


The talent demand for professionals with 5-10 years of experience registered the highest growth of 13%M-o-M in January 2020. This noteworthy change comes after the steep downfall of December 2019, which was lowest in the Year 2019.


Professionals with 5-10years of experience – 13%

Professionals with 10-20 years of experience – 12%

Senior professionals with 20 years of experience – 10%


Source-People Matters


Max launches Guaranteed Lifetime Income Plan: Know its features

In order to accommodate the new guidelines of IRDAI, Max Life Insurance has launched an enhanced variant of its traditional annuity plan.

In order to accommodate the new guidelines of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), Max Group company Max Life Insurance – a joint venture between Max Financial Services Ltd. and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. Ltd. – has launched an enhanced variant of its traditional annuity plan – ‘Max Life Guaranteed Lifetime Income Plan’ (GLIP), that aims to make retirement planning financially sound.

The new plan has an additional variant of ‘deferred annuity’, that allows customers to plan early for their retirement. Under this option, applicants may lock high annuity rates currently prevalent for a long-term future, to ensure availing a consistent and risk-free lifelong annuity payment.

A non-linked, non-participating individual general annuity savings plan, GLIP offers various benefits, including flexible payout modes, top-up option for enhanced annuity, death benefit, loan facility, surrender option.

Some of the key features of Max Life Guaranteed Lifetime Income Plan are:

Options of Single and Joint Life Annuity

There are two options in this plan – ‘Single life’ and ‘Joint-life’. By selecting the ‘Joint-life’ annuity options, a customer may opt for lifelong guaranteed payments for self and spouse. The amount of annuity will be fixed at policy inception, so that the customers would meet their needs post retirement with consistent income.

Top-Up Option

The Max Life Guaranteed Lifetime Income Plan also offers a ‘Top-Up option’, that allows customers to increase their annuity income. Policyholders may avail the option to top up the contribution amount anytime during the policy term by paying top up premium to get higher annuity.

Annuity Payout Modes

Customers have the flexibility to choose annuity modes of yearly, half-yearly, quarterly or monthly payouts, according to their needs and requirements. It would help the annuitants create a regular stream of income with preferred frequency to secure the financial needs in the retirement years.


The policyholders may exercise the option of ‘Surrender’ anytime, subject to applicable laws and policy terms, during the policy term (after the free look period), where in the surrender benefit is thus paid as a lump sum to the annuitant. The plan also offers flexibility to the annuitant with the option to avail ‘Loan Facility’ where in case of any financial needs, one may use the annuity corpus without seeking any external help.


Source : Financial Express

Date: 06-02-2020

Indian MNC becomes No. 1 employer in Britain

It is Tata Consultancy Services’ employee-friendliness and focus on local talent that helped it bag the top position for three years in a row, and made it the largest recruiter in the IT space, in the UK.

Indian global information technology (IT) services and consulting company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has been adjudged the best employer in the UK, by the Top Employers Institute. This is the third consecutive year that TCS has been recognised as the top employer in the last one decade, thanks to its employee-friendly practices, progressive policies, and focus on local talent. Not surprisingly, the Company boasts of an envious retention rate of 12.2 per cent in the last one year.

The Company, which happens to be the largest recruiter of IT talent in the UK, has been continuously investing in the development of its talent pool, with special focus on programmes for the professional development and digital skilling of local talent. Its efforts to facilitate entry-level talent through various initiatives, such as Rising Stars, Emerging Leaders and the Leadership Exchange, have been appreciated.

Growing by about 20 per cent in the last financial year, TCS has been collaborating with certain big British organisations to help them transform and grow as well. Little wonder then that TCS has been recognised as one of the top three IT and IT-enabled services provider in Britain.

Its commitment to diversity is clear from the fact that TCS’ workforce comprises young talent from 54 nationalities, and a significant 28 per cent of the staff is made up of women.

Source:- HR Katha

Date:- 4th February,2019- Tuesday