“External associations, a prudent way to go”

By : |September 29, 2007 0

The IT Industry has been able to attract good talent, but is not being able to retain them. The attrition level has become a cause of concern in spite of the industry offering a plethora of opportunities, global exposure and competitive compensation packages.

Jacob Samuel brings forth his suggestions on what the HR managers in IT companies should do to recruit and retain better talent.

Samuel’s company Elixir Web Solutions is one of the leading Recruitment Process Outsourcing firms, which provides on-site consulting, manpower planning, talent search, staffing, candidate assessments, HR outsourcing and softwar[image_library_tag 077/19077, alt=”Jacob Samuel” hspace=”5″ align=”left” vspace=”5″ border=”0″ ,default]e development as high cost effective solutions to the clients.

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CyberMedia News: What makes the IT industry attractive for employment?

Jacob Samuel: The major reason for the IT industry to be attractive for employments are the global exposure across levels, competitive compensation package combined with a plethora of opportunities. Prospective employees also look at IT industry as a different course option apart from the conventional ones.

To elaborate, the leading IT companies are global players. As a result their employees get a global flavor in their work. Moreover, with IT jobs being outsourced to India, a lot of people based in India are doing global based jobs – be it in development, delivery, marketing or sales. As a sub-product of the complete globalization of the Indian IT industry, the compensation given, especially to key employees is fairly competitive, even for global standards. Almost all global IT players have set up operations in India. As a result one can aspire to work with not only the Indian IT majors, but also the global ones.

The IT industry has various opportunities for people who do not have a conventional computer engineering degree. One can do a short-tern course in various technologies/functions like Mainframes, SAP etc and have successful careers. For example one of the Indian IT majors has decided to hire commerce graduates and internally train them and place them.

CMN: What according to you are the challenges of recruitment/attrition?

JS: The specialized nature of some of the functions in the IT industry makes it challenging to find the right candidate. There are quite a few functions in the IT industry that need very specific education, skill, training and experience; and not to mention the aptitude for the same. This makes finding the right candidate a bit of a challenge.

Multiple and counter offers for good candidates. Since skilled resource is still a scarcity, multiple organizations seem to be fighting for the same candidates and in the process give larger offers in terms of compensation and span of work to them. This adds to the challenge of ensuring that the candidate completes the process and joins the organization if made an offer.

With companies where conventional degrees take precedence over work experience, finding the right candidate becomes a challenge. Some organizations are very fixated for the perspective employees to have a specific degree or years of experience and do not process candidates who might be good fits for the role.

In the issue of fake resumes, most candidates exaggerate either their scope of work or their accomplishments. The unique aspect of IT resumes is that people claim to have mastered skills of which they have a passing understanding. Moreover, candidates lie about the years of experience – at times to increase them and at times to hide short unsuccessful stints.

CMN: How have these HR challenges affected the industry as a whole?

In the booming IT industry a candidate having too many options which make it difficult for companies to retain them. The companies also tend to loose on good candidates who lack convention degrees.

JS: What are your suggestions for the IT HR managers to overcome the challenges?

The HR managers in IT firms should understand the drivers of the candidates. With better understanding of the drivers of the candidates, the HR managers can approach them accordingly. The HR can educate them well on the roles and responsibilities and their growth pattern, apart from conducting extensive background checks. We also suggest the maximum usage of external agents for knowledge sharing purposes.

The HR Managers tend to use Recruitment Agencies as just a pool of resumes. The agencies have a sizeable amount of data on candidates pertaining to drivers, needs of specific candidates and even on the general perception of an organization. Strategic association with agencies and taking advantage of this data is the prudent way to go.

The IT companies should understand the importance, relevance and criticality of hiring by both the HR unit and the business. We have many times felt that the Business (operations part of the clients) do not appreciate the importance of hiring and tend to keep the same very low on their agenda. This leads to delays in the hiring process and many good candidates lose interest in that particular client.

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