Superior Talent India, a Superior Group company is an award-winning human resource services firm that delivers a full suite of comprehensive HR & Recruitment Process Outsourcing services to leading companies in India. Superior Talent India envisions a transformation of the current tactical, reactive approach to talent acquisition, proactive approach that aims to build a talent community.
As Country Manager and Director of Superior Talent India, I’m responsible for driving our company’s continued growth and success. I have the privilege and pleasure of working with people across the organization—the recruiting team, business development, management, leadership. Every day is different and brings a new set of challenges.
What interesting facts can you share about yourself?
I love traveling and meeting people from diverse backgrounds, learning about different cultures, and trying new foods.
How you would describe your management style?
I make it a point to have facetime with the members of my team—there is no substitute for one-on-one communication. I maintain an open door policy where anyone is welcome to raise concerns or propose new and improved ways of doing things. I don’t micromanage, but instead, empower employees to take ownership of their roles and responsibilities.
How do you measure success?
For me, success is not only about the numbers—it’s about the efforts and intents of our team to serve our clients and strengthen our organization as a whole.
What trends are we seeing in India’s staffing and recruitment industry, and what’s in store for 2019?
While the overwhelming majority of contract workers in India are eventually converted to direct employees, businesses still see the value in using outside firms to find these workers and serve as their employer of record before placing them on their own payrolls. Direct placements are reserved primarily for niche, tough-to-fill positions, while contract arrangements are common across all job types and industries. Looking ahead, candidates can expect a stronger market offering more opportunities. The automotive, IT, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and healthcare industries in particular are preparing to scale up to meet growing demand. Lastly, new technologies—AI, machine learning, even blockchain—are becoming more sophisticated and will continue to change how we find work, the jobs available to us, and the ways companies manage and engage employees.
What sets Superior Talent India apart from other staffing and recruitment firms?
At STI, we don’t just fill jobs. We help candidates navigate the hiring process from start to finish, taking time to understand their qualifications and career goals and placing them in positions where we’re confident they’ll succeed. On the client side, we offer a level of high-touch, personalized service that others in our industry just can’t match. We are also backed by Aleron Group, which has been delivering talent and workforce solutions for more than 60 years. The expertise, resources, and best practices Aleron brings to the table have been critical to our success since we joined forces in 2010.
What is your vision for Superior Talent India?
We want STI to be one of India’s top staffing and recruitment firms for direct placement, contract hiring, executive search, and RPO solutions. Our commitment to developing and maintaining meaningful relationships with clients, candidates, and partners—coupled with our industry experience and personalized approach—has already made us a trusted staffing partner to many of the country’s leading organizations, and we’re excited to continue growing.
“The updated Superior Talent India website gives us a new platform to engage with customers, candidates, partners, and peers,” said Navin Gautham P., Director and County Manager. “STI takes an innovative approach to matching qualified candidates with companies looking for top talent, and our new website reflects that.”
In the coming year, STI will roll out a variety of new, original content highlighting the most important and interesting industry trends—things like artificial intelligence’s effect on the labour market and blockchain in HR, among others. All these materials—white papers, infographics, case studies and E-Books—will be easily accessible on the STI website and STI’s social media platforms.
“Superior Talent India is already a go-to resource for many employers and job seekers wanting to know the latest employment trends and how they impact them,” explained Neeraj Badlani,Marketing Manager. “The new website, coupled with social media, will allow us to share these valuable insights and updates with our network even more quickly than before.”
STI is part of Aleron, a group of global brands that have been delivering complementary workforce and business solutions since 1957.
About Superior Talent India
Superior Talent India is an award-winning staffing and recruiting firm offering a full range of customized talent solutions, including contingent staffing, direct placement, payrolling, contract-to-direct, executive search, and recruitment process outsourcing. With offices in Chennai, Bangalore, and New Delhi, STI serves as a trusted staffing partner to companies across all industries. Superior Talent India is part of Aleron, a group of companies that has been delivering workforce and business solutions for more than 60 years. For more information, please visit www.superiorgroup.in and follow Superior Talent India on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
While 2018 went down in history as a year fraught with uncertainty for jobseekers, 2019 should yield much more fruitful pursuits. In fact, hiring is expected to pick up, organizations are modernizing hiring techniques, and technology will play a greater role in the recruitment process. Here’s what’s in store for Indian jobseekers in the IT, automotive, and financial sectors.
According to IT employment Outlook which surveyed approximately 500 employers across India, IT hiring is expected to rebound from last year’s sluggish performance. The survey anticipates that hiring will pick up between now and March 2019. Why? Digital transformation. As organizations begin to adopt new technologies (AI, blockchain, etc.), they will need to be bullish in their hiring practices, boosting their IT workforces by as much as 45%.
Electric vehicles generated a good amount of buzz in 2018, and that trend should continue to hum next year—especially in the automotive and public transportation sectors. With the continued emergence of electric (or “green”) vehicles, the auto industry will see the addition of at least 20,000 new jobs in 2019. Workers with specialized skills in India—a hub of two-wheeler manufacturing and exports—will be in high demand to develop components, design fuel and lighting systems, integrate vehicles, and more.
In 2019, both small and large banks will likely focus more on lending. As they enter rural markets, they’re expected to generate more jobs in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. Experts say this breakthrough in the financial industry could create an excess of 1.5 lakh new jobs.
While better work-related news is sure to come in these industries, there is still hope for non-IT sectors as well. Manufacturing, retail, eCommerce, FMCG, and FMCD companies will add around 2 lakh entry-level and contractual jobs, as well. Unlike this year, 2019 promises to see a revival in recruitment, hiring strategies, and upskilling across the country.
In 2018, widespread adoption of artificial intelligence and automation, coupled with growing demand for highly skilled workers, brought new disruption and innovation to the recruitment industry. During the coming year, our industry will continue to evolve as we optimize and streamline recruiting efforts to attract the best, most qualified talent. The job market has become increasingly candidate-driven and candidate-focused, and recruiters and hiring managers are shifting their approaches as a result.
Here are the top five trends we expect to dominate the recruitment industry in 2019:
AI’s impact on how we do business
Traditionally, recruitment has been a lengthy and time-consuming process, but AI is working to change that. AI is allowing us to screen candidates more thoroughly—and quickly—to find out if they align with a company’s needs and culture. More recruitment firms are also deploying online chatbots to expedite the initial screening process and deliver candidates with only the most relevant and suitable backgrounds. When used properly, AI can strengthen our recruiting efforts by giving us tools and resources to carry out the hiring process in a more streamlined, strategic, and cost-efficient manner.
Learning from data and analytics
In our industry, speed is critical, as the best candidates don’t hang around for long and businesses often need to scale up swiftly to meet increased demand. And, while analytics aren’t new, recruiters are leaning on data more and more to drive their recruitment efforts and ensure they’re looking at the right places to find the right people. Much of the recruitment process now takes place online, where algorithms and analytics can help us identify the best-suited candidates for open jobs before even contacting them.
A focus on content to grow talent pools
Email remains a vital tool for recruiters. Personalized content, an efficient layout, and an engaging subject line can make a good email great. Recruiters must ensure that their email campaigns are GDPR compliant and that candidates have given them permission to email them.
To grow your mailing list—and ultimately, expand your candidate pool—you have to provide people with an incentive. Valuable content is a critical part of the equation and can be in the form of an email newsletter, eBook, blog post, whitepaper, or infographic. An email should always include a clear and prominent call-to-action (e.g., download this eBook for jobseeker tips!) to keep readers engaged.
A mobile-friendly candidate experience
Today’s jobseekers are tech-savvy and want a candidate experience that reflects the ease, accessibility, and responsiveness they’ve come to enjoy in other parts of life. Just as recruiters are taking advantage of new technologies to operate more efficiently, jobseekers are doing the same. More people are searching and applying for job opportunities through smartphones, making mobile responsive websites and apps a necessity for employers. Forward-thinking companies are more likely to partner with recruitment agencies that understand the importance of accessibility in attracting top talent.
Making it personal
Although our world is becoming increasingly automated, some things still require a personal touch. The most successful recruiters recognize the value of providing a positive experience for each and every candidate and developing longstanding relationships with the individuals they place. When candidates refer colleagues, friends, and family, it can significantly reduce the time the time spent on sourcing and screening, allowing recruiters to deliver a qualified candidate more quickly.
In this competitive business world, the right professional contact can open doors for new opportunities. Networking events are a great place to connect with individuals who may help you grow or drive your sales.
Your goal is to meet new people and learn about what they do, as well as allowing them to learn about you. Here are six tips for successful event networking:
Remain authentic: Refrain from too much self-promotion. Cultivate genuine curiosity in other people. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. If you are genuinely interested in someone else, you build a more authentic, personal connection and opportunities often present themselves.
Choose an event wisely: You don’t want to feel out of place at a networking event. Choose events with themes that align with your interests so you can more easily connect with panelists/speakers and speak with confidence. Check websites and local business newspapers that may list relevant events.
Do your homework: Every event, business conference, or seminar promotes the list of its speakers, attendees, sponsors, and even organizations. You can research, target, and prioritize the attendees with whom you would like to meet, and it will be easier for you to speak with other guests.
Try to help: Networking is a powerful way to build connections if you remain authentic, ask questions, and appear eager to help. A genuine attempt to make a helpful introduction leaves a positive impression and ultimately leads to a long-term relationship.
Connect and Follow-up: Exchanging a business card is a great way to connect! Don’t worry about the length of conversation you had with an individual. The follow-up is where connections flourish. Ask to go for a coffee or lunch meeting with your new acquaintance to take your conversation further.
Persistence is key: The more events you attend, the more industry knowledge you attain, and the more confident you become. This elevated comfort level will ultimately result in new and exciting opportunities.
The current job market is very ambitious and candidate skillsets more diversified than in years past. Organizations should modify hiring strategies with these diverse skillsets in mind. Managers should also be well-versed in hiring trends to avoid critical staffing issues like last minute declines, cost of hiring, high attrition rate, etc. After considering these factors, an organization may opt to contract staff through a staffing firm.
Contract staffing is recruiting or hiring workers on a contract basis for a specific period, and the workers are commonly referred as contractors. Unique benefits can be acquired for an organization, including cost savings, a quality talent pool, and higher flexibility.
Let’s examine the ways in which contract staffing can help an organization:
The organization needs a specific/niche skilled talent for a short term
The company doesn’t wish to indulge in exhaustive tasks of recruitment – Interview process, offer acceptance, background verification etc.
The cost involved in hiring contractors is much less than permanent hiring, as organizations are not liable to pay benefits like leaves, insurance etc.
Staffing partners help an organization to avoid the hassles involved with filling permanent positions and provide the following advantages to their clients:
Reduction of hiring risks: Companies can view contract staffing as an “option” post through which the organization can offer the candidate full time employment, if employee performance is high.
Flexibility: A recruitment firm can provide contract hiring from the best and immediate talent pool. Also, the reputed staffing firms work with a talent pool ready to work on short-term projects or part-time work. Moreover, staffing contract staffing assignments are simple to terminate. Contractors are available on shorter notice than permanent employees and immediately available to sign new contracts. This ameliorates issues that arise from direct placement hiring cycles.
Highly Skilled Talent Pool and Broader Experience: Contractors work on a project basis and are exposed to a diverse range of technologies and business setups, resulting in broader levels of experience. Contract workers may bring innovative solutions which internal employees may not have considered.
Lowered Cost: While hiring the contract workers, an organization is relieved from additional costs related to hiring and the recruitment process as the staffing firm takes care of these details. Contractors deployed through staffing agencies are covered under the recruitment firm’s compensations claims.
The current job market demands flexibility and creative thinking, including the consideration of options perhaps new to a company. Staffing firms not only can provide optimal talent, but minimize hassles that come with the recruiting process, allowing a company to focus more on its key day-to-day business objectives.
There’s no denying that we are amidst a technological revolution. The biggest trendsetter has not been technologies such as Big Data Analytics, AI, Cloud Computing, or even IoT. Instead, Blockchain technology may soon forge ahead of other technologies. The technology came into existence as the backbone of cryptocurrencies and is more a revolution than an invention. The reason lies in its ability to keep data privacy intact unlike social media websites. Blockchain technology allows for data ownership and a secure gateway to be established through which information can be shared.
More than a financial tool:
The applications of Blockchain will help technology spread its wings beyond the banking system and across other business functions, including Human Resources. Tech giants are already trying to build their products and services to benefit from Blockchain technology. Walmart’s “Smart Package” is an efficient usage of a Blockchain-based delivery system that tracks package contents, locations, and key addresses. Blockchain technology has been popular with shipping and delivery companies at which organizations are developing a Blockchain-based supply chain network.
Recruitment and Blockchain:
We are still a few years away from witnessing the mass adoption of Blockchain applications in HR, recruitment, and talent acquisition. Within recruitment, you recognize terms like background verification, resumes, interviews, salary negotiations, and onboarding. The recruitment industry has seen an immense growth over the last twenty years. With the internet boom, recruitment has been classified into two parts – conventional recruitment through an agency and recruitment through job boards. This revolution has forced recruiters to adapt to the rapidly changing industry. Blockchain technology has delivered a tsunami of opportunities across all industries, especially recruitment as it is a direct interaction between a recruiter and a candidate, eliminating middleman cost and streamlining the flow of data. Blockchain will enable a candidate to reach out to masses while retaining data confidentiality.
Specific key areas in HR and recruitment can be integrated with Blockchain:
Background Check: Today, the background verification process is slow and often impossible without third-party intervention. Hence, it can be expensive and exhausting for candidates. With the help of Blockchain technology, information such as identity proofs, employment history, previous salaries, and qualifications, can be stored and kept intact within a secure platform. Job seekers can manage their own profiles and access this information from the employers of their choice. This abolishes the need for third-party verification services, saving both time and money. It also becomes convenient for recruiters as they do not have to chase down previous employers to validate candidate information.
Easy Candidate Onboarding: After validating job seeker information such as previous employment, address proof, academic credentials and PF, hiring managers can scrutinize the candidate without an exhaustive documentation process.
Blockchain and Payroll: The payroll process becomes more complex when employees are in different countries as there is additional wait time with transferred money. Also, when currency exchange is involved, there is an additional bank fee. Due to these complexities, organizations typically become engaged with 3rd parties to handle international payment process.
With the help of Blockchain, the money moves faster, and with Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), there is a direct connection to the account balance of the employee, ensuring a quick transaction. DLT guarantees that organizations do not require a middle man as there is already a secure and valid transaction.
How can I integrate Blockchain with HR?
Blockchain technology is advancing in leaps and bounds. New developments are occurring every day. So how can this fast-paced technology be introduced to HR?
An organization can begin by developing a basic understanding of Blockchain and stay updated by reading its latest advancements. An organization may consider HR-specific issues and look out for leading vendors in the HR Blockchain market. However, the solution providers may be hard to scan at first and hence, the companies may examine those outside the industry for possible cross-application.
Potential pitfalls to consider:
With General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in effect, it is vital to ensure that this technology complies with your company’s data privacy ordinance as this will impact any organization which holds employee personal data.
In the coming years, I would expect a more mainstream integration of Blockchain with HR. This will allow HR to function more efficiently by spending less time verifying and validating data now automated by Blockchain, and enhancing overall employee experience.
The recruitment process can at times feel long and laborious. It begins by choosing the right applicant tracking system with which to hunt for the best candidate. The next step is onboarding that candidate during a background verification process. In between, many hiring managers discount the importance of cultural fit. Hiring managers may scrutinize skillsets and experience, feeling assured the incumbent can perform, but what if the candidate simply doesn’t “fit” your organization? A poor fit is unlikely to remain in the position, and before long, you are beginning the process all over again!
A good cultural fit is a candidate who fits the organizational culture, mission, values, and vision. A culture is defined by the methods in which people work and behave when occupying the same space. In 2006, Davide Ravasi and Majken Schultz stated that an organizational culture is a set of shared assumptions guiding what happens in organizations within various situations. (https://journals.aom.org/doi/10.5465/amj.2006.21794663). In today’s workforce, employees reference a good fit as being a more important factor in their decision to join an organization than base salary.
Two examples of work cultures are as follows:
Organization 1 – The dress code is casual and the environment is engaging. There are no cubicles within the physical office space, which then encourages brainstorming sessions, teamwork, and group-oriented projects.
Organization 2 – The dress code ranges from business formal to business casual attire. The office is divided into smaller sections to facilitate focused work and individually driven projects.
If a poor cultural fit is placed into Organization 1, the hire might be perceived as a bad team player. Similarly, a misfit in Organization 2 may come across as irresponsible. Culture can make all the difference in moving the new hire process to conclusion.
Strong cultural fits tend to feel higher job satisfaction and levels of commitment, and are likely to remain employed by the organization for a longer duration.
A good cultural fit should be recognized during the initial round of interviews. There are specific questions to help gauge if the candidate will fit with your company. Here are few worth asking:
What is it about our company that makes you want to work here?
This question reveals how the candidate feels about the company and the homework he or she has completed in preparation.
What kind of working culture are you looking to partake in?
This again reveals how the candidate fits within your organizational culture.
Describe the best boss you’ve had.
This provides insight into what type of management structure the candidate would best perform within. If a candidate values guidance and frequent feedback but your organization revolves around independent work, you may want to reconsider this candidate.
How do you feel about your current colleagues?
This provides insight as to what kind of relationship the candidate typically builds with colleagues. For example, if a candidate looks forward to working with skilled professionals he or she may tend to maintain more professional relationships and less friendships at the workplace.
Employer brand significance:
The recruitment process is more complex than at first appears. A well-known employer brand often attracts strong talent and cultural fit. By creating content that clearly illustrates your company culture, the best candidates are more likely to apply. Platforms such as Glassdoor and Comparably are fine ways to showcase the culture of your organization.
The right attitude and work style are just as, if not more, important than skill credentials in predicting cultural fit. Taking the time to consider the best fit for your workforce in terms of personality, soft skillsets, and co-worker engagement will not only attract better candidates, but create a more efficient new hire process and timeline.
The best way to attract high quality talent? A carefully-considered job description.
A job description does more than advertise an open position at your organization—it is your first point of contact with candidates, and a method of acquiring the best possible talent. An ideal job description is engaging and contains all necessary skills required for the role. Although writing these can be challenging, the following tips will aid in your advertisement becoming more efficient, engaging, and clear.
Keep it simple:
Titles like Marketing Ninja, Rockstar Biz Development, and Digital Marketing Guru not only confuse applicants but attract candidates unfit for the role. Titles such as Marketing Manager or Business Development Manager will yield better results. Simple and easily-understood job titles encourage higher quality applicants to interact and engage with your advertisements.
Along with listing roles and responsibilities, one should highlight a potential career path and showcase ways a new hire may excel within his/her new position. Use specific language that incorporates an interesting detail or goal. Instead of, “The person will be responsible for all of the digital marketing activities,” try, “The person will be responsible for leading the digital marketing team and increasing digital media traction by 25% throughout the year.”
A job description will obviously contain the necessary skillsets required of an incumbent, but prioritizing those skillsets is equally important. Identify which are mandatory for the given role, which are secondary, and which can be developed over time. While listing the required skillsets also consider industry standards before attempting to maintain a balance of both mandatory and helpful but non-mandatory skills.
Before candidates apply for a role, they research your company through platforms such as Glassdoor. Be diligent in painting an engaging picture of your company’s vision and, most importantly, the values with which the candidate can align him or herself. Showcasing company culture is a simple yet effective means to attract the highest quality talent.
Smartphones require a succinct approach:
Today, smartphones are used in all aspects of life. India alone accounts for a 300 million smartphone user base. More than 50% of jobs on LinkedIn are viewed through mobile phones, so be sure to keep your job description short and bulleted for easy reading, considering that a typical user does not scroll down a screen more than three times per each web visit.
The recruitment process can necessitate a great deal of focus and effort from the moment you begin screening piles of resumes to then shortlisting the candidates and finally onboarding the talent. If an organization hires a poor fit, it is not only a costly misstep but one that can wither staff morale.
A vital task of any Human Resources department is to hire the best employee for any given position. According to research, 43 percent of respondents admitted having made a bad hire when felt the need to hire quickly. The sacrifice of quality due to urgency is often a common misstep. HR managers must be aware of the costs involved in making a poor hire and communicate the same sentiment to higher management. It is worth a short wait to ensure onboarding of the best possible talent.
Costs involved in a bad hire:
Recruitment cost: Cost involved in the screening and hiring process
Remuneration: Salary given to unproductive employees
Maintenance Cost: Perks and other benefits offered if a bad hire stays for a significant time
Opportunity Cost: Highly productive employee could have been hired in the first place and other costs saved
Disruption cost: Impact on the team—disorder in company culture and negative attitudes
How to recognize a bad hire?
Decode the warning signs of a bad hire by closely monitoring their behavior, working style, and surroundings.
Constant complaints: You don’t want an employee who constantly complains about their previous job/boss. A reference to a previous employer or challenging work situation is understandable but constant complaining not only appears unprofessional but means your organization may be discussed in the same vein if the employee chooses to ‘move on’. The negative tone can also infect the attitudes of surrounding co-workers.
Living in the past: A major sign of an issue is when a new hire is always comparing or referring back to his or her previous workplace. The “in my previous job” line is not only infectious for the working environment but makes it difficult for the person to fit inside the current team.
“It’s not my job”: In an organization, each employee has a defined set of tasks and assigned responsibilities, but a quality employee goes beyond his or her role to address additional responsibilities. It is easy to spot a bad hire who tends to use the phrase “it is not my job” often and in complaint. This is toxic for the organization’s culture and for employees trying to contribute towards the company’s success.
Non-cohesion: Many corporate gurus emphasize the importance of company culture. Every organization has a unique culture regardless of its size. A positive working culture helps to maintain team member motivation and productivity. If you notice an increase in departmental negativity after hiring an individual, this is a sign of a poor hire who does not blend with the team.
How can you avoid this situation?
Clear communication through the job description: Before posting a job on portals or job websites, the organization should be clear on expectations for the role in which the candidate would be hired. For any given position, there are two types of expertise – Pre-requisite or mandatory skillsets which a candidate must have, and trainable expertise, which an employee can learn or develop once hired. If these competencies are clearly defined, it is far easier for recruiters to scrutinize candidates based on these proficiencies.
Employee referrals: Never underestimate the employee referral program. There is a higher likelihood that recommended employees will be ‘positive hires’ for the organization. Why? The reputation of an employee who recommended a candidate is at stake and will not recommend someone unlikely to stick around. Also, the merit of the employee referral program is that referred candidates are already familiar with the organization, its culture, and its goals, which saves acclimation time and helps the new hire move forward in his/her new role.
Avoid unconscious bias: During the hiring process, it is crucial to be aware of unconscious biases such as gender, ethnicity, or age biases, or even biases against certain kinds of humor or personality traits which then prevent you from onboarding the best talent for the job.
If you do recognize a bad hire, how can you improve the situation?
Determine if there is hope: A difference exists between a ‘bad hire with potential’ and a ‘bad hire that needs to be terminated’. As mentioned earlier, if skillsets can be developed with efficient training then there’s still a chance to move forward with the new hire. Also, how often you communicate with your employees? What types of support do they need? Regular feedback and evaluations can transform a poor fit into a productive employee. Attitude is critical. If your employee is a positive fit with the departmental culture, receptive to your feedback, and willing to learn, he or she may be worth the effort.
Terminate immediately: If you find the new hire to be truly a poor fit, commence the termination process immediately. The health of your organization depends upon your employees. If one is deemed toxic to team culture and productivity, action should be taken immediately.
Remain gracious: Once you have decided to fire an employee, do so graciously! Be generous with severance pay. Remember, the recruiters or hiring managers are just as responsible for the poor fit as the employee. Remind the employee that the organization will be happy to recommend them to further employers (barring any performance or character issues).
Above all, HR and talent acquisition professionals must be detail-oriented in their approach during the hiring process. If those in charge are aware of what they are looking for in terms of hard, requisite job skills as well as soft skills and personality, it is much easier to locate these skills within a candidate.