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  1. 1. Hire, engage and retain the bestVOLUME-V I ISSUE 3 I MARCH 2015 www.content.timesjobs.com Find TimesJob.com’s career articles, expert advice and tips @www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com, Jobs Career section Talent benchmarking gets more followers A latest TimesJobs.com survey reveals that close to 80% organisations believe that benchmarking improves workplace and workforce quality Guest Column Performance or potential? TechGig.com roundtable New roles for CIO/CTOs04 05 INSIDE
  2. 2. VOLUME-V I ISSUE 3 I MARCH 2015 www.content.timesjobs.com How talent benchmarking is getting more followers TimesJobs.com survey 2 Apeksha Kaushik, TimesJobs.com Talent benchmarking for selection, hiring, engagement and retention has become crucial in today’s high-growth business world. While benchmarking is not new to companies, the practice has certainly changed. A nationwide survey of employers by TimesJobs.com for TJinsite reveals that close to 80 per cent organisations believe that benchmarking improves workplace and workforce quality and promotes a culture of learning. Talent quality has become essential for business success in today’s people- centric environment. The skills required to succeed in a role is subjective and not validated by actual employee performance alone. Benchmarking is one of the effective tools in recruiting right resources, appraising and retaining them since the process starts with business strategy and workforce planning, along with core competencies required to achieve success factors. These are the following ways employers across sectors are using benchmarking practices, according to the survey results: 1. Appraisal When executed properly, talent benchmarking for performance assessment helps organisations gain important insights on employee performance. These facts and data serve as reference points for top management to work on areas of concern and take efforts for better output. Close to 80% organisations believe that benchmarking improves workplace and workforce quality while over 90% recognise it as an effective tool in recruiting right resources and retaining them, reveals our new survey organisations that benchmark talent, 43% use it for performance assessment/appraisals 77%
  3. 3. 3 VOLUME-V I ISSUE 3 I MARCH 2015 www.content.timesjobs.com 2. Hiring Talent benchmarking makes hiring objective and output-driven, bringing scalability to the hiring process. While attracting, selecting and hiring candidates benchmarking strategy focuses on: * Volume * Skills * Competition review * Compensation * Training needs Benchmarking for hiring is more crucial for organisations with high-volume staff requirements. However, small organisations also make benchmarking a core part of their hiring strategy to ensure better hiring results. In hiring, benchmarking the best practices is becoming crucial. This includes: * Identifying how candidates search for jobs * Finding how recruiters/HR managers hire right candidates 3. Retention Talent benchmarking when used as a basis to train, redeploy or reassign individuals with core talent helps in retaining the workforce in the long run. It also helps in clearly identifying critical roles and the different succession planning metrics. n Benchmarking Parameters About 30 per cent of the organisations benchmark on the potential of the assessee - in terms of skills and competencies. The remaining 26 per cent, benchmark on quality of talent in an organisation vis-a-vis the national talent pool. n Benchmarking Tools Over 80 per cent organisations use multi-source feedback and behavioural assessment tools for benchmarking employee talent. Fifty-two per cent of the orgnaisations prefer using services of assessment centres that specialise in talent benchmarking. n Benchmarking Challenges Thirty-three per cent organisations said they lacked resources with basic (technical) know how to implement benchmarking practices. Twenty-six per cent organisations said cultural variations were a big roadblock in talent benchmarking. Key challenges for talent benchmarking: By VPB Karthikeyan, senior director-HR, Symphony Teleca Corp q Hibernation When professionals are locked long term in an organisation. The people dimension is often missed from the strategic planning cycle. Yet specific skills and talent availability is likely to be critical in achieving strategic goals. q Vulnerability Several factors such as how vulnerable an organisation is if key roles are not filled or key individuals are not retained. The greater the vulnerabilities, the greater the justification for investing in development schemes and succession planning. q Complexity The more the business relies on people that are difficult to find in the marketplace, the greater the justification for investing in retention strategies. n Benchmarking Ingredients n Establishing processes to measure competencies required vs competencies available n Creating a range of developmental tools and processes to provide tailored approaches, depending upon individual employee needs n Identifying ways to obtain and retain employees critical to the organisation’s success n Establishing suitable approaches to deal with those who no longer fit organisational requirements 31% organisations use benchmarking practices for hiring talent organisations use benchmarking for engaging and retaining employees 17% organisations benchmark talent against performance. This includes outcome and deliverables 44% organisations use benchmarking for qualitative aspects (soft skills) which is the biggest challenge since it is prone to bias/subjectivity 42% organisations are moving towards new-age benchmarking tools such as gamification and code contests 15%
  4. 4. Dr Deepak Deshpande Performance and potential tend to overlap. One can be indicative of the other. However, the great differentiator is that performance refers to the present while potential refers to the future. Performance is typically referred in the context of an assigned role whereas potential mostly refers to a contextually higher role than the current one. According to a recent research report, if the choice is between hiring a high performing candidate and a candidate with high potential, the one with high potential has a better chance. Organisations must have measurements of both performance and potential before hiring or promoting anyone. As performance is largely role-driven, there could be a possible fall when an employee is accorded higher responsibility without paying much attention to his potential. This could lead to a double whammy where a high performer on a particular role is lost and the higher role doesn’t have a capable person. Thus, both business and employee morale suffer. Companies must have a clear understanding of differentiating performance from potential. While it is easy to figure out high performers owing to the availability of historic data, it might be a little tough to figure out employees with high potential. It becomes a challenge to dispassionately differentiate between them since often one’s vision is coloured by high performers who are easy to spot. One important pre-requisite for organisations to go on‘Hi-Po’ identification trip is to establish the right parameters about what they think are the attributes of such an employee. Creating a competency list is the first step. To measure, you need to establish and know what to measure. These competencies must have clearly defined objectives and should be kept simple. They must be in line with the organisational values and goals. Don’t be tempted to measure too many competencies .This practically complicates the measurement process. Organisations can create a two-dimensional performance versus potential scale and bucket employees in one of the four quadrants. Interventions or strategies for employee engagements in these buckets can be different. For example: In the left top quadrant, a high performer and a low-potential employee can be given an intensive task independently that will be the driving force whereas somebody in the right top quadrant - a high performer and high potential employee - can be given a stretch assignment or a new project. Training senior managers in the skill of differentiating potential with performance will often help. Most of the time, potential is latent. Once the organisation maps the high performers and the Hi-Pos, it must create the right environment for both to thrive. Allowing the freedom to fail and make mistakes goes a long way in harnessing potential. The environment has to be conducive for Hi-Pos or else they get frustrated and look for other pastures. There has to be a reward mechanism developed for managers who identify and hold on to high-potential team members and provide them with the right opportunities. Developing talent is the job not only at the top but also across levels. Managers need to be engaged on identifying talent and keeping the talent inflow intact. With a fierce war among companies for acquiring talent, it is always in their best interest to identify and nurture leaders from within. The author is senior VP-HR, Netmagic, an NTT Communications Company ‘Companies need right parameters to differentiate performance from potential’ VOLUME-V I ISSUE 3 I MARCH 2015 www.content.timesjobs.com 4 Guest column: Performance or potential?
  5. 5. 5 VOLUME-V I ISSUE 3 I MARCH 2015 www.content.timesjobs.com TimesJobs.com Bureau Technology is the backbone of every business - from IT to services. In this scenario, it is necessary that CIOs/CTOs move to strategic business roles from functional roles. This was the topic of discussion at TechGig’s second CIO/CTO roundtable in Bengaluru on February 18, 2015. The theme was‘The New Business Role of a CIO/CTO: Transforming Businesses Using Technology’. There’s a stark contrast between a traditional CIO whose focus is on internal operations and a digital CIO who expands technology’s influence externally to work directly with customers and business colleagues. In the last few years, technology is at a cusp of witnessing one of the biggest disruptions of our times. These are in terms of mainframe, client server, internet and cloud. These disruptions are changing or have changed their entire business processes and propositions. To be aligned to the new scheme of things, CIOs/CTOs have to understand the business well to drive revenues. For the CIO of a bank, it is critical to run the application in a manner that generates more revenue. “For the first time, CIOs/CTOs have revenue targets,”said Anurag Ojha, senior director of engineering, NetApp India RD. Cloud technologies such as SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud) have changed the way IT services companies sell and build capabilities. Companies have to recreate and re-think their offerings to compel customers to buy their products. Madhavan Krishnan, senior director - cloud practice and millennial solutions group, Virtusa, said that in the new business role, CIOs/CTOs have to define technologies that are relevant to meet future demand, create a strategy to deploy these technologies for optimum benefits and look for competitive differentiation. It’s all about getting ROI on technology related business. Mahesh Srinivas, senior director of engineering, Alcatel-Lucent, said companies needed to keep a check on how their customers were evolving and adapting and which technologies would help them make more money. The role of a CIO/CTO is to understand customer requirements and be the bridge between the customer and the back-end RD and sales office. Badrinarayanan Jagannathan, vice president-IT applications management, Juniper Networks, said the tech industry was all about how one could do more with less. This is exactly what CIOs/CTOs have to do in their new avatar. A CIO/CTO has to create an enabling environment that is effective for RD professionals since they have to define the future product strategy and also be responsible for picking the right solutions for the company. Bringing the perspective of start-ups to the table, Andy Sen, CTO, Edureka, said start-ups have crossed the cusp of disruptions (especially in cloud technologies) while many big companies are still getting there. These companies are investing more on talent than technologies and saving cost by using open sources. The CIO should bring vision and direction to the company’s big data investment priorities. The panel collectively voiced that in the new business role, CIOs/CTOs have to get better returns on technology investments, architect right technology solutions for the business process and deliver more within tighter budgets. New roles for CIO/CTOs: Leader, product manager, salesman and recruiter TechGig.com Conversations, Bengaluru
  6. 6. VOLUME-V I ISSUE 3 I MARCH 2015 www.content.timesjobs.com 7 TimesJobs.com Bureau What should be the role of women entrepreneurs in the government’s ambitious‘Make in India’mission that aims to make the country a global manufacturing hub? This was the theme of the 5th Women Entrepreneurship Conference held in New Delhi on February 26, 2015. The event was organised by Indus Business Academy, Greater Noida and Delhi Management Association. The speakers at the conference focussed on concerns and challenges women entrepreneurs faced and the role of self in the success of an entrepreneurial venture. The talks also threw light on creating an ecosystem whereby an entrepreneur could help in the‘Make in India’mission. The one-day conference at India Habitat Centre also helped participants connect with one another, share best practices and build business opportunities. n Session I: Make in India Mission and Role of Women Entrepreneurs The conference began with an address by Neeru Abrol, programme director and CMD, NFL. Veena Swarup, director-HR, Engineers India Limited, spoke about diversity and opportunities for women in public and private sectors. She laid emphasis on self-belief, hard work and persistence. Anurag Batra, chairman and editor-in- chief, Business World, spoke about the importance of passion, perseverance, dreams, self-belief, opportunities and focussed approach. Ravindra Nath, CMD , NSIC, spoke on the role of NSIC in giving marketing assistance, bank credit facilitation, performance and credit ratings, raw material assistance, single point registration, infomediary services, marketing intelligence, bill discounting, infrastructure and entrepreneurship orientation programmes. n Session II: Socio-Economic Transformation through Women Entrepreneurship Preeti Marwah, VP-HR, Power2sme, spoke about the virtues women had vis-a-vis men. Anubha Prasad, DGM, SIDBI, shared her thoughts on the challenges women faced in the family and the society. Her advice to women was to focus their energies on building their core competencies and keeping negativities at bay. Jayashree Kurup, head-Content and Research, Times Business Solutions, shared her journey and how she was able to be an“entrepreneur within an enterprise”. She also laid emphasis on innovative approach, out-of-the-box thinking, being able to take risks, flexible working hours and working conditions. Aarti Luniya, ED, SAIL, spoke on virtues such as a never-say-die attitude, being a self-starter, finding help and support of family and focusing on one’s strengths. n Session III: From Women to Women of Substance: Success Stories from Women Entrepreneurs Shreyasi Singh, co-founder, Foundation for Working Women, and former editor, Inc. India, chaired the session. Other speakers were Ajaita Shah, founder, Frontier Market Solar Solutions, Bhawna Agarwal, CEO, Luxury Retail Services, Neeru Sharma, co-founder, Infibeam, and Rashmi Kapoor, co-founder, Sycorian Matrimonial Services. The speakers shared with the audience their stories of courage and conviction, demonstrating that each woman had the potential to be a successful entrepreneur. More than 150 delegates attended the conference. Women entrepreneurs gear up for ‘Make in India’mission 5thWomen Entrepreneurship Conference, New Delhi Speakers at the Women Entrepreneurship Conference in New Delhi on Februrary 26, 2015
  7. 7. Disclaimer: Information provided in this newsletter shall not be reproduced, published, re-sold or otherwise distributed in any medium without the prior written permission of TimesJobs.com and a clear acknowledgement to TimesJobs.com. Contact: TJinsite, TimesJobs.com, Plot No 6, Sector 16A, Film City, Noida, 201301. Write in to editor@timesjobs.com Copyright ©2015 Times Business Solutions (A division of Times Internet Ltd). All rights reserved. ‘Benchmarking removes subjectivity from the hiring process’ Interview: Nitya Nivali HR director, Progress Software TimesJobs: How do you use benchmarking as a tool in talent strategy? Nivali: We are a product development company that hires people with innovative mindsets and out-of-the-box thinking. To evaluate this, we don’t go for academic backgrounds. We assess attitudes and cultural fitment for hiring. We use benchmarking in three ways: 1. Internally benchmarking skill-sets with other sub groups. For example, a technical architect/manager work profile and technical skills are different. But the basic requirements are the same - such as influence with ideas, interacting with business leaders and conviction and convincing power. We create a job benchmark using subject matter experts within the organisation. 2. Another strategy is using consulting firms to benchmark our performance policy metrics. This is to check if our policies are aligned with the market and where we stand against competition. 3. We are also closely associated with industry bodies such as NASSCOM. Industry forums are a good platform to gain market insights, ideate, network and to know new industry benchmarks in hiring. TimesJobs: How does benchmarking impact hiring, engagement, retention and compensation? Nivali: In hiring, benchmarking helps to link job profile with the right assessment module and hire the right person. If we are hiring a coder, we will assess his logical thinking, innovativeness, creativity and cultural fitment. To assess coder’s logical thinking, we give them puzzles. Benchmarking removes subjectivity from the hiring process. One needs to ask the right questions to get the right answers. For engagement, benchmarking helps to pinpoint policies that make your employees happy or unhappy. Both are important from the HR perspective. Through employees’feedback in engagement surveys, we create/redefine our talent strategies. It covers the entire workplace dynamics including culture, compensation and career. For retention, benchmarking helps identify what kind of work culture employees want. If the work culture is empowering, it gives freedom to innovate and provides right learning and development opportunities. This results in lower attrition and better retention. In terms of compensation, start-ups can pay any amount for niche skill-sets. This sends worry signals to large enterprises. We do a compensation benchmark study every year to gauge our market position and fill the gaps. TimesJobs: How do you use benchmarking to pick high performers and high potential candidates? Nivali: We have designed in-house programmes for this. These are designed to recognise employees’competencies and skills at the junior level itself. We use assessment tests to differentiate between the two categories. For instance, there is a coder who is good at programming, performs well and meets all targets. Then there is a coder who is not only good at work and is technically competent but also demonstrates leadership qualities and has the ability to break the mould. He can innovate, sustain it and is a high-potential employee. On the basis of benchmarking assessment, we give them different treatments to grow, linking assessment and profile to performance. TimesJobs: What are your benchmarking tools? Nivali: Majority of organisations still use non-automated tools for benchmarking. Gamification is the next big thing and we are getting there. Some non-automated benchmarking tools we use are: • Employee feedback and satisfaction surveys • Psychometric assessment • Linking job profiles to assessment modules • Cultural fitment assessment: Using fitment scores for hiring TimesJobs: Benchmarking is most effective for which kind of roles/ skills/functions? Nivali: I believe benchmarking is most effective for technical roles. HR managers are able to define requirements better in terms of technical skills. It’s like maths where two plus two will always be four. For HR roles, benchmarking is also effective in assessing people management skills. TimesJobs: What are the challenges in using benchmarking? Nivali: In my view, benchmarking is more effective in corporates with strict policies. In a company such as ours, which is more flexible, non-hierarchical and innovative approaches will not yield better results via benchmarking. It will not work in an open work culture. (As told to Neha Singh Verma)

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