UAE tops as HR hub

The UAE is living up to its image of being a hub for ‘Connecting Minds’ as it has bagged the top spot in a latest research conducted by Dubai Knowledge Park and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest HR professional society.

The ‘Emerging HR Hubs – Regional Trends in Internationalisation and HR Mobility’ survey was unveiled at HR Summit and Expo 2017 in Dubai on Wednesday. The joint study aimed to identify global HR trends and emerging HR hubs, and gauge the expansion and risk appetites of HR organisations.

Brad Boyson, executive director of SHRM Mena, said: “A sustainable, knowledge-based economy cannot be created without world-class people practices. A profound takeaway from this survey is the degree of confidence that HR stakeholders from around the world have in the potential of the UAE to become not just a regional hub of HR excellence but a global leader in the field.”

The online survey collected responses from 835 employees of HR companies from 27 countries across Europe, the GCC region and Asia. The research found that the UAE tops the list of emerging HR hubs by an overwhelming margin, outranking established markets such as Singapore and Malaysia. Meanwhile, the respondents consider the USA to be the unequivocal global leader in innovative HR practices, followed by the UK, Canada and Australia. In terms of emerging markets, the UAE is the prime contender, outweighing countries such as Singapore, India and Finland.

“The talks over the last few days here at HR Summit really have shown that Middle Eastern companies truly operate on a global level when it comes to their human resource activities. Government organisations and enterprises here really do drive human capital best practice, implement the latest HR technologies available and importantly innovate international practices to make them truly relevant and beneficial to the unique labour market resident in the Gulf region. Our conversations have continually been brought back to the themes of increased automation, multi-cultural workspace, more focus on all-round employee wellness and the ever-critical need to innovate, and we really expect these to be the big trends we’ll see in HR teams regionally in 2018,” said Hoda Abdelhay, Show Director, HR Summit & Expo.

The survey has brought to light the importance of networking, with respondents selecting the USA as the top destination for potential networking opportunities in HR, with the UAE coming second, ahead of the UK, Europe, Canada and Australia. The respondents also rank the UAE as the third most preferred destination for attending international HR events, followed once again by the UK, Europe, Canada and Australia. In addition, the UAE was by far the favourite emerging market for a professional delegation tour, followed by China, India, South Africa and Malaysia.

Mohammad Abdullah, managing director of Dubai Knowledge Park, said: “In an era where industry disruption is pervasive and businesses are constantly challenged to reinvent themselves, the HR function is a key enabler in attracting, developing and retaining quality human capital. HR professionals play a critical role in supporting business transformation with the appropriate structure, culture and capabilities whilst encouraging companies to adopt progressive people practices. In building on the success of our collaborative efforts to boost the HR sector in the UAE, we look forward to spearheading the next phase of the country’s human capital development journey.”

Another notable finding concerns the ease of setting up business. While the surveyed professionals have identified the USA as the easiest location to set up and operate an HR organisation, with Canada and the UK placing second and third respectively, the UAE ranks fourth – and first amongst emerging markets – ahead of Australia, Europe and Singapore.

The UAE also takes fourth place among the best locations for an HR organisation to expand internationally, outranking established HR hubs such as the USA and Australia, with Europe, Canada and the UK amongst the top three.

Abbas Ali, senior vice-president, Tasc Outsourcing, said: “UAE is emerging as the HR Hub if anyone was present in the HR expo which got concluded on Wednesday and the depth of solutions exhibited demonstrates the innovative quotient in the region. The trends are technology orientation; you would see a lot of automation in HR processes, small to mid-size companies are also looking at moving their on boarding and all HR processes including employee self-service and performance management on a technology platform. The hiring trend in H1 2018 will be dominated by E-commerce, logistics, and technology related jobs specially in digital transformations.”

(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)

Step up to a job that challenges you like no other

Explore the diverse ways you can play a part in the Singapore Army to keep your country safe.

Imagine a job where every task you do is about serving your country, community and the people you love.

You deal with ground operations and tactics, just not the type that involves office politics. You are tasked to manage and ensure the welfare of up to hundreds of colleagues. And at the end of the day, your biggest task is to safeguard the security of your country and the well-being of your loved ones.

If these are challenges that spur you, a career with the Singapore Army is one that will change your life, regardless of the role you take on.

Being successful in the Singapore Army is more than just having brawn. Going the distance in this career requires inner grit, a passion for your job and a larger vision for country above self.

Through study sponsorships on offer, the Singapore Army supports your educational goals, whether you are eyeing a diploma or gunning for an Institute of Technical Education (ITE) certificate.

After you graduate, you can go on to choose from a wide range of vocations that are suitable for most personality types.

If you live on adrenaline rushes, you are likely to thrive in combat vocations such as infantry, guards, armour or combat engineers. If you are meticulous and have an affinity for problem-solving, fields such as engineering, intelligence, supply, transport or medical services may be your focus area.

Here are some benefits you can look forward to if you join the Singapore Army:

1. Getting your education sponsored

Imagine not needing your parents to pay for your school fees and knowing that you are securing your future all on your own.

One of the benefits of signing on with the Singapore Army as you embark on your diploma or ITE studies is the sponsorship of all tuition and compulsory fees, should you apply within or before the first year of your studies. If you apply after your first year, you are still eligible for 60 per cent sponsorship of all tuition and compulsory fees.

2. Receiving monthly allowance while you study

While most people in school may have to work and study at the same time, signing on with the Singapore Army means that you get an allowance without the extra stress of having to juggle work.

Successful applicants who are pursuing a diploma or an education in ITE will receive a monthly allowance of up to $1,300 or an allowance of up to $750 respectively.

3. Having job security and stability

By receiving the SAF Study Sponsorship, you will have a secure job waiting for you after graduation.

A recipient is guaranteed of having a job that is personally and professionally rewarding and offers great job progression.

4. Reaping the rewards of your job

In the Singapore Army, a 3rd Sergeant or a Military Expert 1 can earn up to $2,400 to $2600 monthly.

On top of the monthly salary, you can look forward to mid-year and year-end bonuses, performance bonuses – about 15 months of salary per year – and yearly merit increments.

There are other benefits such as Flexible Benefits System (FLEX) which can be used to pay for life’s needs such as insurance, vacations or education for yourself and your dependents.

In addition, you will also receive Premium Bonuses and contributions into your Career and Endowment Account (CARE) as a WOSPEC. As a Military Expert, you will receive MDES Experts Continuous Engagement and Learning Bonuses (EXCEL).

5. Developing your career

After joining the Singapore Army, you get the opportunity to try various roles and develop your personal, leadership and decision-making skills to further your career.

You will be given responsibilities such as commanding a section of soldiers. Progressively, as you climb the ranks, you will be in charge of more soldiers and be assigned more leadership roles.

Recognising that skills and professional upgrading is crucial, the Singapore Army will support your aspirations to further your education qualifications with the Continuous Learning and Academic sponsorship scheme (CLASS) and SAF MDES study award.

6. Immersing yourself in a great culture

As a part of the Singapore Army, you will be supported as you seek to develop academically, professionally and personally in a people-first organisation where HR policies are set in place to take care of your well-being in various pillars such as training and development, health and wellness, financial support and others.

In the Singapore Army, the people you work with are not just your colleagues – some of them may become lifelong buddies. The one-for-all and all-for-one spirit allows you to experience camaraderie like no other because of the bond and relationship that is built throughout your time here, through the ups and downs.

(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)

Eight Career Tips from NYC’s Hottest Tech Companies

How do you negotiate a raise? What can kill your resume? At the kickoff to a career fair in Brooklyn, job seekers got plenty of advice from companies like Google and Oath

Searching for a job might be the quickest route to an existential crisis.

Where do I want to work? What do I want out of life? Why aren’t hiring managers responding to my LinkedIn request? Can they see me? DO I EXIST?!


That’s why the career platform Uncubed wants to make the job hunt more human. This is the first year the New York-based company is bringing their career fair to Brooklyn—and “it’s about time,” said co-founder and chief creative officer Tarek Pertew at Monday night’s kickoff event at Brooklyn Bowl, which gathered higher-ups from companies like Google, Oath, and Stride NYC to offer advice to tech job seekers. (After the talks, there was beer, bowling, and a tribute to Tom Petty. How very Brooklyn!) These companies and many more will be at Uncubed’s job fair at Industry City on Thurs., Nov. 9. (Readers of The Bridge can get a 50% discount on admission by using the following code: TheBridgeBK50.) Meanwhile, here’s the best career advice from Monday’s session, distilled into eight key tips.

1. Highlight what’s different about you

Forget downplaying your out-of-the-mainstream experience or history, says LaShanti Jenkins, senior manager of talent acquisition at Oath (parent company to Yahoo and HuffPost). “Difference truly is a superpower,” she says. Companies don’t want an entire staff with the same competencies or capabilities, because that’s not the way to build brands people can relate to. Modern companies “need people from all walks of life,” she said, highlighting an article written by an intern discovered at Florida International University which ended up being the most-trafficked story in Yahoo Lifestyle’s history.

2. Consult instead of react

So, how do Google people build relationships? They start by pivoting from a reactive mindset to a consultative one, says Connie Gold, manager at gTech Professional Services, one of Google’s client-facing groups. “The more we are partners with customers, the more they thrive–and Google thrives,” she says, and that’s where not only technical skills but emotional intelligence comes into play. “We need people who can connect with other people,” in order to build trust with partners, she said. Sounds like it wouldn’t hurt to put EQ under “skills” on your resume.

3. Ask for a bit more than you want

“Most people are not great negotiators,” said Debbie Madden, co-founder and CEO of StrideNYC, an Agile software consultancy, who said the acronym PEEC can help anyone during a negotiation: Plan, Exchange, Exchange, Commit. Before going into a negotiation, make a plan and identify the other person’s “pie”–what gets them excited and eager? You should also know your BATNA: Best Alternatives to Negotiated Agreement. If your negotiation fails, what’s the plan? Will you quit? Move? Knowing your negotiation persona is key—do you tend to compromise, avoid conflict, or immediately jump into competition mode?

Then, during the actual negotiation, get to talking. Madden says the best negotiators spend 38% of their time asking questions. You should also “anchor high,” which means coming up with the number that satisfies you–whether it’s for salary, budget or other issue–then go a little bit higher. Finally, you should commit to a deadline. Asking “what can we do by Friday of this week?” will get the ball rolling faster than an open-ended query. Madden also pointed attendees to her Twitter account, where she published a helpful cheat sheet of her negotiation tactics.

4. Find a coach

Jeremiah Ivan, v.p. of engineering at Merrill Corp., had advice about building a tech start-up inside an enterprise company, which extends to anyone growing a company or looking to develop their skills. “Encourage quick decisions,” he said, because “one of the biggest things that stops people from adding value is limiting the number of bites at the apple.” He also urged managers to look for outside support. “Steel sharpens steel,” so you should find the best people to learn from and don’t hesitate to get help.

5. Get your resume right–and to the right person

There’s a reason everyone says to spell-check your resume: few people actually do. Jeremy Snepar, founder and CEO at NYCDA (New York Code + Design Academy), said the job-search process is an opportunity to show your character and resourcefulness. “When most people approach the job search, they take the path of least resistance,” he says, clicking on web sites and blindly submitting resumes into the wild. What you should do is find the person who would be your boss, figure out the person’s email address (that’s the resourcefulness part), and send them a clear, direct, succinct email and cover letter. “The resume is the firm handshake of the job search process,” he says—and don’t be afraid to follow up.

6. If you’re an introvert, own it

“I reject the idea you have to be a Tony Robbins-type to lead,” says Martha Dreiling, head of analytics and corporate operations at the insurance disruptor Attune Insurance, who gave tips for introverts to manage effectively. Planning your interactions by putting things like “walk the floor and chat” into your calendar can help establish personal relationships, and focusing on small groups during office hours can build one-to-one relationships. Scheduling quiet time after meetings can recharge your emotional batteries, and researching topics you’re not familiar with (like, say, sports) can create genuine engagement and spark new conversations. “Listening is your superpower,” she said. Often an introverted executive can be more effective than a brash person leading the charge because they’ve worked to earn the trust of their employees.

7. Build your (big) brand

The mid-stage startup Dataminr is growing so fast the company had to stop and consider how they were telling their story. Frances Cooperman, executive v.p. of marketing and communications, described how they built a new website and content program that told who they are–and their impact on the world–in a fun and creative way. After a few weeks, their new content, including case studies and thought-leadership articles, is driving 40% of their website traffic. This is a good reminder to company owners and job seekers alike to think seriously, but not boringly, about the stories they’re telling to the world about their work.

8. Uncover your values

Vivek Sharma, CEO of marketing software company Movable Ink, shared advice for high-growth companies trying to define their culture and values. First, they should look at their current superstars and figure out a pattern. Sharma found employees had three qualities in common: curiosity, empathy, and grit. They asked questions (about everything, not just their own jobs), they listened, and they felt like nothing was impossible. Instead of searching elsewhere to find your values or your strengths, start by observing what’s already in front of you and what’s working.

(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)

How can HR professionals improve compliance?

How can HR professionals improve the ever-changing compliance requirements their organization must abide by?

In an article for Forbes Magazine, members of the US-based Forbes Human Resources Council put their heads together to come up with a list of ways HR professionals can potentially help prepare their company for future challenges and encourage the widespread uptake of compliance issues amongst all staff. Their tips are relevant for all HR professionals, regardless of geographic location.

These nine top HR executives also discuss how businesses can better respond to compliance missteps in the organization.

1 Process and education
According to LeRae Jacob of Creative Door, HR departments must always outline compliance requirements, develop processes and educate the organization about the importance of compliance.

With the proper tools and appropriate education, HR can prepare an organization to respond to any compliance issue that arises.

2 Simplicity
There are numerous compliance challenges, says Dale Albrecht of Alonos, and he is amazed at how few organizations have written processes or even simple checklists.

“Simply having a process can ensure that you’ll address 90% (or more) of the compliance items, which reduces your risk of missteps substantially.”

3 Proper vetting
“A common misstep or challenge with compliance is not benchmarking and properly vetting the process change or compliance step with others outside your organization, in addition to all stakeholders,” according to Philip Dana of Bridgepoint Education.

“But taking this extra step allows a 360-degree approach to the questions that may help you rethink and reshape the compliance piece in order to best achieve the business outcomes.”

4 Risk assessment and centralized solutions
Bridgette Wilder of Media Fusion says employers face the challenge of myriad complex compliance requirements which may involve financial output to capture required data or to pay for mandatory benefits.

To be prepared to respond effectively, she recommends a three-pronged approach: 1) Assess the risks for each compliance area; 2) Identify and centralize resources and standard operating procedures to manage those risks; and 3) Document due diligence.

5 Balance
HR has a tough job, having to manage all issues associated with state and government employment regulation, and at the same time making the company a great place to work, says Rick Devine of TalentSky, Inc.

“Great companies respect the rules, while at the same time creating initiatives for career engagement, motivation and excitement. Leaning too much one way or the other is not good. Balance is the key.”

6 Freedom of speech vs. protecting employer brand
“A common compliance challenge is the conflict between freedom of speech and social media posts that harm a company’s brand,” says John Feldmann of Insperity.

“When employees voice controversial opinions online, it can appear as if they’re representing their employer’s views, which can result in negative backlash and lead to possible termination. Companies should have a clear social media policy that is introduced during onboarding.”

7 Keep comprehensive records
Managers who think it takes up too much time keeping employee records, writing out incident reports or spelling out company policies in fine detail could end up wasting more time in cleaning up missing or conflicting information down the road, says Angela Nguyen of the Ad Exchange Group.

“Reserve time to think about and prevent every worst-case scenario so you don’t end up with a discrimination lawsuit or labor law fine.”

8 Use less concrete language
Tiffany Servatius of Scott’s Marketplace says hot-button compliance words are commonly used without a full understanding of how detrimental those can be if they are used against the business later on. Words such as “harassment” and “retaliation” are often used too loosely, she added.

“Businesses should reference specific company policies when correcting employee actions and be careful of using phrases that could cause even more issues down the road.”

9 Align employee goals with compliance standards
Employers must ensure that employees see their role in compliance. When employees do not understand the relevance, compliance will not be a priority, according to John Mauck of WLR Automotive Group.

“Aligning job responsibilities and goals with compliance standards will help create the necessary relevance. More importantly, point out the benefits of maintaining consistency to employees, and encourage participation in the setting of goals.”

(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)

Are you finding and retaining the best talent available?

In today’s climate, employees care more and more about understanding a company culture in a way that goes beyond brand speak. Liam O’Callaghan from AppVault explains the best ways to find and retain premium talent.

We have come a long way from sitting in reception and filling out an application form for a job. Thankfully, our ambitions and dreams have also come a long way, but has the job application experience?

Does a candidate get to know a company before applying? Sure, we have access to lots of information online about the company, career sites, reference sites such as Glassdoor and company profiles on job board sites.

Function over form?
The reality is, it is now easier than ever to apply to multiple jobs, and yet, in the US, only 8pc of visitors to a company careers page will actually apply. This leaves a very high probability that the best candidate has not applied – why?

Customer experience is not just for the customers who are paying you – it also applies to candidates, the ones whom you want to pay.

It is a hyper-competitive market, and companies are working very hard to retain good employees.

The starting point for retention is to win the best employees to begin with. Do this by starting as you plan to continue.

First impressions matter
The great candidates will very often have a choice of employers. When it comes to deciding between two or more job offers, employers need to impress upon candidates their employee culture, careers advancement opportunities, diversity, inclusion, work-life balance etc.

At what point an employer does this could be the difference between acceptance and rejection. If it was at interview stage, you may just have lost the opportunity to attract even better candidates.

First impressions count, and this is not at interview stage.

Remember the 8pc who apply? Why not attract more of the 92pc by highlighting all that you have to offer to potential employees on the job spec?

At AppVault, we talk about the ‘Moroccan Room’ effect. In our Atlanta HQ, we have converted our reception area into a Moroccan-themed chill-out space that represents our vibrancy, diversity, inclusion and innovation.

While this concept is not unusual, and lots of companies have very cool spaces, not enough companies bring this experience and this message to the top of the recruitment funnel.

Instead, companies advertise a traditional-looking job spec and, when a candidate hits the ‘Apply’ button, they are brought off to the dreaded applicant tracking system (ATS) experience.

This could be an hour of their life spent on a form, and they may or may not get a reply. What happened to all the great content on the careers page, recruitment social media and blogs?

Bringing this experience to the top of the recruitment funnel greatly increases an employer’s chances of attracting more top talent.

Bridging the gap
Extending the employee experience beyond the company careers page is now essential to attract the best candidates. Employers need to capture the candidates that the ATS misses.

Increase time spent by candidates on the careers page and increase applications by truly representing the company culture on individual job spec landing pages.

At AppVault, we have seen an average increase of 65pc spent on content lead career pages and more than a 115pc increase in page sessions per visitor.

We have also seen a huge decrease in drop-off in completed sessions from visit to ‘Apply’. Our experience is a monumental decrease of 84pc on mobile.

As a result of extending the digitisation of the recruitment process, the employer has the ability to measure and analyse the process and better manage their paid media spend.

Employers can now build a bridge between a great candidate experience for imminent and distant future employees, and efficiency and effectiveness of their recruitment process (and spend).

Talent pipeline
The career page and recruitment process is not just about imminent hires. It is about building a relationship with all future employees and, in some cases, customers.

It is also about maintaining a relationship with ‘silver medallists’ – the candidates who just missed out on securing the open role but who remain excellent candidates.

Most employees are happy in their current employment. This does not mean they will not be open to a move when the time or conditions are right.

Creating a ‘talent community’ that builds relationships with candidates through intelligent communications and targeted job alerts is a win-win for candidates and employers.

At AppVault, we have seen a big increase in communication with passive candidates through intelligent use of our talent community platform.

The hard-copy CV is not what it once was; it is not just part of a candidate’s profile. The traditional CV is out of date very soon after it lands on a recruiter’s desk, and is definitely out of date as soon as the candidate becomes a new employee, wherever they land.

The result is interviews with candidates who are already engaged with the employer, a lower-cost hire and a new brand ambassador.

(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)

Maximizing ROI- The Return on Individuals


As many of you know, my mission is to teach companies how to predict the performance (#PredictPerformance) of their employees using the most scientifically validated management solution available that integrates workforce analytics and human capital development; The Predictive Index.

I help companies hire better and faster and reduce their cost per hire. I help them reduce turnover and increase retention. I help them use the data to develop their teams, identify high-potential leaders, and increase engagement and productivity.

I also provide them with the data they need for succession planning and exit strategies so they can maximize their bottom line leading up to and during the transaction, helping them get more for their business.

Overall, I help companies get the best out of their employees so they can get more done and maximize their ROI. My goal really is to change the conversation about employee behavior in the workplace by helping leaders get discretionary effort from their human capital. Then those employees can be moved from the liability side of the balance sheet into the asset column because they are truly an investment and not an expense.

Which brings me to a kindred spirit, my other brother from another mother, sometimes one (or both of us) is referred to as The Other Dave… Dave Bookbinder, the Director of Valuation Services at EisnerAmper. We share a vision and passion when it comes to the value of human capital.

Dave Bookbinder is a valuation expert who has been valuing businesses and intellectual property for more than 25 years. He started a movement with one article, which became a series, which became a vibrant online community on LinkedIn, which is now a #1 best-selling book (available on Amazon here), called: The NEW ROI: Return on Individuals.

I recently had the honor of being on a panel at EisnerAmper‘s 7th Annual Business Summit in Philadelphia around this topic. As one of his collaborators that contributed to the online series and the book (and as a friend) I sat down with The Other Dave for an interview to chat about this project, and gain more insight on where this is all going as we enter a New Age in Human Capital Management and Valuation.

Nast: Why is this book important?

Bookbinder: The concept that “people are a company’s most valuable asset” is intuitive for most folks, but “people” don’t appear on a company’s balance sheet as an asset. The human capital is usually only captured on the income statement as an expense. Companies tend to try to reduce expenses, so the perspective on human capital spend can often be misguided. This book was never intended to be a book – it started out as a single article that grew organically into a series where various thought leaders contributed their experiences and perspectives. This led to an online community, the birth of the hashtag #NEWROI, and ultimately the book. By having a community of like-minded individuals who believe that “people are a company’s most valuable asset” we are creating an environment where ideas are being exchanged and dots are being connected. Whether you’re the boss, or work for a boss, there’s something in this book for everyone.

Nast: How will the data shared in the book change how CEOs & CFO’s think about their employees?

Bookbinder: There’s a lot of talk about improving corporate culture and employee engagement, but “corporate culture” is much more than having a ping-pong table and free snacks in the break room. We talk about these subjects, but our emphasis is on making the case that there is a real ROI (return on investment) to “doing corporate culture right.” It’s not enough that having a good culture helps in attracting and retaining talent – we demonstrate the economics of these things and the overall impact on a company’s value. As we say in the book, “the value of a business is a function of how well the financial capital and intellectual capital are managed by the human capital – so you’d better get the human capital part right.”

Nast: What can readers expect from the book that is not available online?

Bookbinder: The book contains a lot of great material that hasn’t been introduced yet. Things like understanding what the alignment of brand and culture is and why it matters; the ROI of mergers and acquisitions; and case studies of companies who were intentional about driving corporate culture and how that’s changed their bottom line (for the positive) – just to name a few. Plus, we’ve also updated some data and added additional content to the things that were previously introduced online. Lastly, there’s some “bonus content” that’s been included as well.

Nast: Is the book a collection of the finished project, or is there more to come on this subject?

Bookbinder: This book is only a collection of the work-to-date. The journey has only just begun and there are some interesting things on the horizon that could be game-changing. So stay turned – there’s more to come.

Nast: What new regulations do you see coming regarding how companies will have to value human capital?

Bookbinder: I believe that there is a convergence of circumstances underway that is really going to bring this issue into the spotlight. First, there are demands being made of the SEC to require more disclosures about human capital matters for public filers. At the same time, the FASB is in the process of changing certain aspects of how business combinations are accounted for. Either one of these coming to pass would be influential in shifting the treatment of human capital valuation. BOTH of these occurring would create a seismic shift. I think we are on the verge of the seismic shift.

Check out the book that critics are hailing as, “A must-read for any business owner or C-level executive,” with reviews like, “Valuation expert, Dave Bookbinder crystallizes a vision that we all share about the value of people in business. And he backs it up with actionable data and research. He has engaged leading experts for a deeper dive, allowing them to articulate specific data points gained through their individual efforts and decades of experience, all through one focused lens.”

(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)

Companies cut hiring costs with in-house cells

Mumbai: In a tough market environment where search firms are operating on thin margins, this may further add to their woes. Some organisations have set up in-house talent acquisition cells that operate on the same lines as external search firms. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (Sun Pharma), Philips India and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) have already built in-house capabilities to hire executives.

It is learnt from HR industry sources that other companies could be considering similar models. Such a move would mean lower costs on hiring for companies.

Sun Pharma EVP & HR chief Yash Mahadik said, “We have built a small team of people who have come with significant amount of search firm experience and they form our in-house executive hiring cell. The model we operate on is exactly that of an executive search firm with sharp focus on attracting and hiring best-in-class professionals. We recently concluded the process of a very senior person joining our company’s apex core management team and the end-to-end attraction and selection process of this was carried out by our internal cell.”

Another big advantage of having an in-house executive search firm is the ability of the team to find talent with the right culture fit. Last year, Philips India set up an internal talent sourcing function for priority roles that require extra attention. In functions like R&D, software engineering and quality & regulatory (Q&R), the talent sourcing function largely meets the senior talent requirement on its own, without seeking help from any external agency.

Philips head of India talent sourcing, Sameer Karayi, said, “We are attempting to reduce our dependence on external search firms in a phased manner, wherever possible. In addition to the priority talent in R&D, software engineering and Q&R, our internal talent sourcing function works on talent outreach for certain leadership roles as well.”

At J&J, the move stems from a global decision to build talent acquisition capabilities around the world about three years ago. J&J India’s talent acquisition strategies are linked to the global talent strategy. J&J HR head Indrajeet Sengupta said, “We have now started helping the global talent acquisition team in building some of the talent mapping capabilities in the executive hiring space from India for the world, which is a first.”

J&J India has focused its talent sourcing efforts through employee referral and digital channels while also building in-house capability in talent acquisition. “This has reduced dependency on external agencies to less than 20% today from over 45% three years back. Today, our talent acquisition team has ramped up capabilities to source and recruit mid-management talent pools. Locally, we still prioritise and use external agencies where appropriate,” said Sengupta.

One disadvantage about an in-house search cell, however, is that talent that is dormant or passive with regard to the job market often tends not to respond to companies versus their openness to having a conversation with a third-party executive search firm. But, talent that is active in the job market is equally open to conversations with companies or executive search firms.

Sun Pharma’s Mahadik said, “With the success that we have tasted so far, we are now scaling up the team. Our objective is to backfill 90% of vacancies arising out of our top 300 leaders of the company worldwide by growing our own internal talent and, if necessary, utilising our in-house hiring expertise to support this. Given the way we are progressing with our talent management and acquisition, we feel confident of achieving this objective within the next two-three years.”

Search firms, on the other hand, are already looking at offering value-added services to retain clients. Executive search firm GlobalHunt’s MD Sunil Goel said getting the right people at the right time is becoming essential for business growth for any organisation. “The industry is moving towards either building its own in-house centre of excellence in recruitment or outsourcing to a recruitment process outsourcing company. It not only helps in recruiting professionals for the local market but also global sourcing,” said Goel.

This does not mean that these companies will not consider utilising services of external search firms. Mahadik said, “There could still be a highly specialised and a new capability laden position for which we may require expert and niche services. In my prediction over the next five years, more firms will successfully move towards this talent-acquisition model.”

As for entry- and mid-level positions, companies like Sun Pharma have reduced its dependency on job-placement firms and have moved towards social and digital hiring by building in-house capabilities and forging strong partnerships with new-age technology firms and in-house digital channels.

(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)

Microsoft HR exec says to stop following this popular interview advice if you want to get hired


When it comes to interviews, there’s a difference between practicing your responses and rehearsing them. That’s according to Chuck Edward, Microsoft’s head of global talent acquisition.

Though conventional wisdom says to practice your interview responses, Edward says “some people become overly practiced and rote.”

“People become flustered and think it’s all about the perfect answer,” he tells CNBC Make It, “and it’s not.”

As the head of talent at a major tech company, Edward says all he really wants to see is that “you’re curious, you’re read up and you have an affinity for the company.”

“Come in with knowledge about the company,” the HR exec emphasizes.

The second issue with rehearsed answers, says Edward, is that they don’t engage the interviewer.

A disengaged hiring manager is more likely to forget about you as an applicant, which may affect whether you get the job.

To connect with your potential employer and make your interview memorable, says Edward, rehearse your questions, not your answers.

“People should really be prepared with questions that have depth and rigor,” says the exec. “Really show that curiosity.”

Asking challenging and thoughtful questions helps you stand out from the pack because they make the interview more fun and engaging. The Microsoft HR exec doesn’t deny that interview preparation is key. However, he says there’s a balance between under-preparing and over-preparing.

Edward says that he’s often “pleasantly surprised” with the questions people ask him. Tough questions, he explains, force the interviewer to really think about the company in new ways.

“It becomes a dialogue, and you become challenged, and you can feel it that they’re making you better [as an interviewer],” he says.

(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)

A Well-Oiled Machine: What’s Next In Human Resources Technology?


According to a study that we at PwC conducted, almost 40% of companies have already moved their core human resources (HR) applications to the cloud in 2017, and even more plan to migrate over the next few years. HR transformation is racing ahead. Robotic process automation, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence are hot. So are mobile and social enhancements using artificial intelligence. Yet digital solutions don’t deliver value unless you understand the experiences you need to create and you bring your people and culture with you.

Consider what’s changing. HR leaders are rethinking the definition of an employee. Some are looking at alternative part-time or contract opportunities in a cross-border environment and re-envisioning work to be more dynamic and collaborative. In turn, these changes could lead to a decrease in labor and office space costs for organizations. While good for the bottom line, these changes also present new challenges for the HR organization that must be addressed quickly, such as how to handle such a fluid workforce when it comes to tax compliance, onboarding or retention. Additionally, some companies are opting to use these changes as a competitive advantage. For example, by using analytics, companies can determine which employees are likely to leave so they can focus resources on retaining high-potential and high-performing individuals.

Given these wide-ranging developments, HR needs a seat at the table as a partner to the rest of the C-Suite. In addition to the basic blocking and tackling, these leaders need to collaborate with marketing due to brand impact, operations due to operation model enhancements, sales due to consumer demand for socially responsible companies, legal due to new contractual considerations, IT due to new and rapidly changing requirements, and strategy related to new innovations. In fact, according to a Harvard Business Review report, 68% of executives have found that data and predictive analytics are important for planning, evaluating and informing decisions about the workforce. Cloud platforms are the best opportunity for these companies to keep up with the innovation and to enable new ways of teams working together.

PwC’s recent Global HR Technology Survey found that migrating HR processes to the cloud continues to happen at a record pace and that nearly one-third of those still using on-premise applications are planning their migration to the cloud. There’s no question that this better serves the workforce due to a variety of factors, including increases in usage of self-service tools and decreases in personnel costs.

So if your company is looking to strengthen collaboration and make sure all departments are on the same page, it is important to remember several things when moving HR processes to the cloud:

• Use a “land and expand” and “mobile from the start” strategy to focus both energy and resources. Mobile drives positive user experiences and anywhere/anytime access.

• Identify the variables that matter to your company. While it is good to gather experiences from others, focus on what you need, timelines that are realistic for your company and the internal/external resources you’ll require. Concurrently, set appropriate expectations for cost savings.

• Consider holistic savings, and do not be too aggressive on initial headcount savings. Each organization has unique considerations, and headcount may even increase in the short term to execute the change.

• Utilize new releases from cloud vendors since they help solve user experience issues and errors/defects/bugs. Although it’s a bit of a hassle learning how to keep up with the pace of change, the benefits of updated versions can far outweigh the effort.

• Create a change management and communications plan prior to starting and ensure that all key stakeholders and leaders are on board to champion the change.

The key to implementing all these emerging technologies and the shift to the cloud is to use advanced HR analytics. By using data from multiple data sources, focusing on key performance indicator visualization, applying predictive tools and increasing usage by other key stakeholders, companies can set themselves up for smooth integration, cost reduction and strategic differentiation.

(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)

SEEK Chooses Video Interviewing for Efficient Hiring Cycles

Australian workforce major SEEK has announced its partnership with Spark Hire, this week. Spark Hire is the global leader in video interviewing platforms, with the collaboration aimed at launching SEEK Video Screen – an evaluation and assessment tool created to simplify hiring systems and reach out to the right talent, at a rapid clip.

The tool optimizes recruitment at every level or type of role, ranging from volume-driven hires to skill-centric, front-facing developer positions. Recruiters can review video submissions from candidates, reducing timelines and improving decision-making.

Josh Tolan, Spark Hire’s CEO commented on the collaboration. “We’re incredibly excited to partner with SEEK to bring our video screening solution to Australian and New Zealand recruitment agencies and businesses. Through SEEK we’re able to help more recruiters and employers make informed short-listing decisions in a reduced timeframe”. SEEK believes this will push conversion numbers, placement scenarios, with a significant cost and time advantage.

Michael Ilczynski, SEEK’s MD for ANZ considers the move to be emblematic of tech-innovation: “By partnering with leading technology companies like Spark Hire we continue to demonstrate our commitment to providing competitive advantages for recruiters and companies driving more hires and increased revenues.”
In fact, video interviews impact hiring quality with the opportunity to acutely assess personality traits and communication skills. The tool offers collaboration and sharing features, to allow multi-level consultations on a candidate’s final selection.

“Video interviews can lessen unconscious bias and make compliance easier because hiring managers and recruiters can compare candidates side-by-side as they answer identical questions,” says Tolan, amplifying the possibilities of Video Interviewing. SEEK Video Screen helps eliminate geographical constraints, allowing organizations and recruiters to tap into the best talent, regardless of location.

Ilczynski was also strongly in favor of the approach: “Video interviewing is growing in popularity with recruiters and employers because it provides a better picture of job applicants than other early stage recruitment techniques such as phone screening or online surveys.

The internal team at Spark Hire has been experimenting with SEEK Video Screen for talent acquisition, replacing the traditional phone screen when recruiting for customer-facing roles. The tool has successfully reduced initial screen times by a significant margin of 10 hours, Ilczynski reports. This has led to a set of positive outcomes: increasing in-house recruiters’ confidence in the capabilities of candidates shortlisted via SEEK Video Screen, and downstream efficiencies such as fewer interview rounds, a shorter time-to-placement period and an overall increase in hire quality.