August 30, 2009

Few talent related issues we should know......

According to a recent article in Times Ascent, Dave Ulrich has pointed out key talent related issues that all HR managers must know in his new book 'HR transformation'. The newspaper article mentions the following:

  • Talent matters (make the case)
  • Talent is not enough (build teamwork)
  • Talent aligns with strategy (build competencies)
  • Talent requires assessment (assess quality of talent)
  • Talent comes through investment (develop future talent)
  • Talent should adapt to individual differences (value diversity with unity )
  • Talent matches people with positions (do position/people matrix)
  • Talent elevates with contribution (build an abundant organisation)
  • Talent has adapted to technology (invest in connecting technology)
  • Talent integrates with business processes (build a holistic organisation)
  • Talent has to be measured (track individual/organisation results)
  • Talent is a partnership of HR and line.
It's good to read the above as some of the most pertinent talent issues have been featured.
But I really hope that these issues are discussed in a pragmatic way and with promising roadmaps. I am yet to read the book and I am keenly waiting to do so.

August 22, 2009

The intent behind HR outsourcing!!!

Yesterday, I visited a very impressive HRO company. My interaction with their leadership team and the associates was very exciting.

During one of the scintillating discussions, I learnt a great lesson in reference to HR outsourcing.

The spokesperson from the company said that HR outsourcing is essentially done so that the company can focus more on transformational role of company by outsourcing most of their transactional activities.

I completely endorse that intent behind outsourcing.

However, many HR teams of various companies might feel insecure with the idea of outsourcing incase the HR's role in the company has not evolved properly. They might feel what will they be left doing if many of the HR functions get outsourced??????

Having such a state of standpoit can be alarming which would mean the HR team was not near the strategy discussion table of business till then.

My humble message to such companies is that outsource your HR activities when your company has the competence and confidence to shift it's focus on transformational role.

And have enough subject matter experts in your company who would have complete knowledge of your otsourced operations so that at any crisis situation the outsourced activities can be re-implemented in the company.

August 16, 2009

HR or Marketing????

My blog has helped me in many ways in terms of keeping repository of my thoughts, getting visibility,networking and much more. But I feel even better when i am able to help my readers in a small way.

Recently I got the following mail from a reader:

fromXYZ[Kept Confidential]
dateTue, Aug 11, 2009 at 2:27 AM
subjectHR or Marketing
hide details Aug 11 (6 days ago)

I am a MBA aspirant.please can you suggest me which among HR and Marketing should i choose as a specialisation(interested only between the two streams). and am a little more interested in HR. i have heard HR is mostly taken up by females and scope for future improvement and job opportunity is less in HR compared to marketing(in any job site we can find a lot of marketing related openings).Many say initially i have to take up sales roles in a company and only after few years i will be put into marketing management.I am not interested in taking up a sales role in the beginning of my career.I am confused,can you suggest me which one as growth and as future and which one i can take up.

XYZ [Kept Confidential]
My reply to him was as mentioned below:
Dear XYZ [Kept Confidential],
Thanks for consulting me on this issue. This is a common dilemma faced by many students while picking up their specialisation.
I would recommend you to first understand your inate skill sets and area of true interest.The bottomline is that choose a specialisation which you truly feel will do justice to your career. Remember that the choice you make now would be a career choice that will influence the rest of your proffesional and personal life too. You have to wake up every Monday morning and be either compelled to go for your job or feel completely excited about your job. The choice you make today will determine a lot tomorrow. So it's logical that you understand your strengths and weaknesses better and make a choice. Try to understand if your personality matches a marketing job or HR job.
In the long run, issues like whether 'HR is more suited for women or not' & 'HR is a less paying career choice or not' would be irrelevant. Be truly passionate towards whatever specialisation you want to choose.
All the best.
Saikat Saha

August 10, 2009

Respecting motherhood...

I have heard about many women who have left their jobs in the midst of a sky rocketing career in order to give birth to their babies and take care of them. Years later, some of them miss their career with which they were associated for many years.The job market also does not embrace them for the right kind of jobs at that moment.

Lack of oppurtunities often create a sad feeling in them which might even graduate to the feeling of regret. This creates turmoil at home and the husband/earning member also struggles for work-life balance.

Now who is at fault in the above scenario. Is it the mother??? Is it the company??? Is it the husband??? Is it the child???

I believe none of them.

However, a sincere thought process and understanding can help to chart out an initiative in order to address the above issue.

I was delighted to read this article today morning which is about an unique initiative of Tata Group called 'Tata Second Career Internship Programme for Women (Tata SCIP)'.

According to Times of India ' The unique Tata initiative seeks to accommodate aspiring women professionals looking for a second stint after taking a break to attend to domestic demands. What is special about this programme is that it is not restricted to old (though helpful) policies like flexible working hours and office creches which Xerox pioneered. This project is targeted at reclaiming talent and helping women make a comeback. Women are hired into the same job profile — an IT professional is given an IT portfolio and not pushed into a marginal role'.

In the same article, Tata Group VP (HR) Rajesh Dahiya says, 'Tata SCIP is not just about women’s empowerment, it also seeks to bust the myth that after a career break women become less productive. Young working women themselves labour under this delusion.'

The TATA Group has been pioneers in many HR initiatives in India and continues to do so. I feel proud that I worked with TCS in the past.

August 8, 2009

In Conversation with Alexander Kjerulf...

I had another exciting e- mail interview with Alexander Kjerulf ,who is also known as 'The Chief Happiness Officer'.Alex is the author of 'Happy Hour is 9 to 5'. He regularly blogs at

I love his writing, which is directed towards infusing happiness at workplace :-)
Alexander Kjerulf

Following is the transcript of the interview [The interview will be published in the MA-HRM,MSSW newsletter, 'Hurricane' soon. The editorial team consists of Prashant aka Prash, Vivek,Nivedita and yours truly :-). 'Hurricane' promises many more exciting interviews,articles,case study,humour and much more....] :

Saikat: What is your book ‘Happy hour is 9 to 5’ all about?

Alex: It's about happiness at work. It shows how each of us can come to love our jobs and work together to create great workplaces. And studies show that happy people are more successful and that happy companies make more money!

Saikat: You are popularly known as the ‘Chief Happiness Officer’. How to identify the potential Chief Happiness officer in a company and what should be his job profile like?

Alex:It should be a person who is naturally happy and has a lot of energy. It should also be someone with lots of empathy and a deep appreciation for the best qualities in the workplace and its people.

Saikat: How do you define ‘happiness at workplace’?

Alex:It's about positive emotions. It's when people feel energized, happy, upbeat, optimistic, proud, relaxed and cheerful at work. It's when you wake up in the morning and look forward to coming to work, rather than fearing it and wishin you could stay at home.

Saikat: In times of economic turbulence, how can the HR associates infuse happiness in the hearts of their internal customers?

Alex: There are many ways - even now with the financial crisis. It's the little things that really matter:
- praising people who do good work
- stimulating honest open communication
- making room for positivity and optimism
- allowing people to be playful and have fun at work

Saikat: What is your opinion on the Indian workforce in your country?

Alex: When I went to India to speak and do workshops I was thoroughly impressed by the people I met. The Indian workforce is tremendously talented, skilled and has a genuine desire for better workplaces.

Also, Indian culture has so much to offer the rest of the world. There is a genuine desire to excel and be happy in Indian culture that you should be sure to introduce in Indian business culture - rather than just copying American business culture.

Saikat: Tell us about your top three professional moments?

Alex: One was when I went to India to speak at a conference and do workshops with TATA. That was a fantastic trip and I met so many nice people.

Saikat: Please share a few tips with students on getting started with HR blogging?

Alex: My #1 tip is this: Blog your passion. You can only write interesting, engaging blog posts if you write about something you care about. You know the saying: "No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care!"

#2 tip: Be bold. Don't be afraid to tick people off.

In Conversation with Kris Dunn

I recently had an E-Mail interview with Kris Dunn, who is the person behind the website He regularly blogs on various HR issues and I am extremely fond of his prolific writing.

Following is the transcript of the interview [The interview will be published in the MA-HRM,MSSW newsletter, 'Hurricane' soon. The editorial team consists of Prashant aka Prash, Vivek,Nivedita and yours truly :-). 'Hurricane' promises many more exciting interviews,articles,case study,humour and much more....] :

Saikat: Your blog is called ‘HR Capitalist’. What does the term ‘HR Capitalist’ mean?

Kris: HR pros should be focused on the business they support, and focused on helping that business make money.

Saikat: What are your views on HR blogging and how it can be utilized in the best manner by individuals and corporates?

Kris: I’m a big believer of HR people using blogging as a professional development tool. Writing helps you stay sharp and defend your thoughts before you hear objections.

Saikat: Which are the Indian companies you admire the most and why?

Kris: The major consultancies that Americans know of – Tata, Wipro, etc. Because they have tech elements and I’m aware of them…

Saikat : What is your advice for students looking forward to pursue career in HR?

Kris : Focus on the business side with a minor in HR. Think broader than HR and then come back to it. Get a gig at first doing pure recruiting and then use those skills to become a corporate recruiter, then get involved in the other areas of HR. Or go to work directly with a consulting firm specializing in HR if you can get hired by one…

Saikat: What has been your greatest HR lesson in professional life?

Kris: The best Talent wins.

Saikat: Please share a few tips with students on getting started with HR blogging?

Kris: Write every day for a year. You’ll be incredibly better one month in, and will have found the unique voice that resides in you. Read others for examples of voice, then find your own…