How To Be A Strategic HR player In 2015?

My Contribution for the next HR Carnival on 28th Jan, 2015

My good friend Ben Eubanks at his Upstart HR Blog is hosting the next Carnival of HR on January 28th. He is looking for posts revolving around the theme of "How to be a STRATEGIC HR Player in 2015". For better understanding, here is what Ben has to say....

In recent weeks I have spent a lot of time researching and writing about HR strategy, strategic planning, etc. I took the SPHR exam, which focuses heavily on strategic HR. I think HR as a profession knows that this "strategy thing" is important, but they don't know how to do it, where to start, etc. I'd love to hear some examples, simple ones, of how people actually put this stuff into practice. Or maybe just a tip or two on where to start for the newbies. 

Ben Eubanks
HR Blogger & Analyst

I thought this could be a good start up post for the New Year which can help our HR folks to get prepared for 2015. Also I thought of including some key highlights and lessons learnt in 2014 which will set the ball rolling for all our HR folks in 2015. 


So without wasting your time, let’s dive in...

2014 - The Year That Went By.... 

  • Slow Rate of Growth in the Economy

The world economy didn't grew as expected. This has led to companies making cautious investments in large projects. However, they invested significant amount in developing their people and becoming cash efficient while keeping their continued focus on building stronger and engaged teams. 


  • Social Media had a significant impact on Talent Management

There couldn't have been a better time than 2014 for utilization of social media for searching talent. There are countless experiences big and small which has changed the way we manage talent across organizations. 

Be it LinkedIn or Facebook, organizations has realized the potential of social media and tried to use it for recruitment and selection. Several companies have used it for branding and making key announcements. There was a change witnessed where organizations preferred digital media over print ads for recruitment and selection.

Though this is just the beginning, social media will definitely change the way we work in the HR space.​


  • Creation of a HUGE Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

From the development perspective, 2014 has seen a tremendous surge of interest in start ups both in terms of number of new companies that were formed to graduating students joining start ups in preference to other jobs in big multinationals.

This kind of long term trend will not only help in the growth of a country but would also result in addressing the developmental needs of the future. 


  • Penetration of Smart phones and E commerce platforms

The emergence of smart phones and E commerce platforms has resulted in creation of jobs however the numbers are not that encouraging at the moment.

How Can HR be a STRATEGIC Player in 2015?

Click to Tweet

What Strategies HR Needs to Focus Upon in 2015?  

What I am about to share is simple yet effective strategies which can help HR to become a Strategic Player in 2015. 

Ready to rock and roll.....here I go​


  • Know the pulse of your business and HR will emerge as a "SELF RELIANT" Department
  • Work upon Digital diplomacy and Digital governance as people would prefer connecting via public conversations. This can help in significantly reducing hiring costs.
  • Make use of online learning technologies to diversify and provide opportunities to your employees in acquiring new skills 
  • With the changing needs of employees, HR should look forward in providing environment and services that will not only support their people but will also increase their engagement levels.
  • Make use of digitalization to improve customer and employee experience
  • Enhance deeper collaboration between top academic institutes and industry as it can provide a platform for both to research and learn
  • Focus on corporate responsibility and sustainability 
Do you agree that the strategies above will help in shaping the future of HR in 2015? How can HR take the role of a strategic partner in an organization? Do share your views in the comments below.

Google HR Head Tells You The 5 biggest Mistakes on Resumes

The Biggest Mistakes I See on Resumes, and How to Correct Them

I’ve sent out hundreds of resumes over my career, applying for just about every kind of job. I’ve personally reviewed more than 20,000 resumes. And at Google we sometimes get more than 50,000 resumes in a single week.

I have seen A LOT of resumes.

Some are brilliant, most are just ok, many are disasters.

The toughest part is that for 15 years, I’ve continued to see the same mistakes made again and again by candidates, any one of which can eliminate them from consideration for a job. What’s most depressing is that I can tell from the resumes that many of these are good, even great, people. But in a fiercely competitive labor market, hiring managers don’t need to compromise on quality. All it takes is one small mistake and a manager will reject an otherwise interesting candidate.

I know this is well-worn ground on LinkedIn, but I’m starting here because — I promise you — more than half of you have at least one of these mistakes on your resume. And I’d much rather see folks win jobs than get passed over.

In the interest of helping more candidates make it past that first resume screen, here are the five biggest mistakes I see on resumes.

Mistake 1: Typos.

 

This one seems obvious, but it happens again and again. A 2013 CareerBuilder survey found that 58% of resumes have typos.

In fact, people who tweak their resumes the most carefully can be especially vulnerable to this kind of error, because they often result from going back again and again to fine tune your resume just one last time. And in doing so, a subject and verb suddenly don’t match up, or a period is left in the wrong place, or a set of dates gets knocked out of alignment. I see this in MBA resumes all the time. Typos are deadly because employers interpret them as a lack of detail-orientation, as a failure to care about quality. The fix?

Read your resume from bottom to top: reversing the normal order helps you focus on each line in isolation. Or have someone else proofread closely for you.

 

Mistake 2: Length.

 

A good rule of thumb is one page of resume for every ten years of work experience. Hard to fit it all in, right? But a three or four or ten page resume simply won’t get read closely. As Blaise Pascal wrote, “I would have written you a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” A crisp, focused resume demonstrates an ability to synthesize, prioritize, and convey the most important information about you. Think about it this way: the *sole* purpose of a resume is to get you an interview. That’s it. It’s not to convince a hiring manager to say “yes” to you (that’s what the interview is for) or to tell your life’s story (that’s what a patient spouse is for). Your resume is a tool that gets you to that first interview. Once you’re in the room, the resume doesn’t matter much. So cut back your resume. It’s too long.

 

Mistake 3: Formatting. 

 

Unless you’re applying for a job such as a designer or artist, your focus should be on making your resume clean and legible. At least ten point font. At least half-inch margins. White paper, black ink. Consistent spacing between lines, columns aligned, your name and contact information on every page. If you can, look at it in both Google Docs and Word, and then attach it to an email and open it as a preview. Formatting can get garbled when moving across platforms. Saving it as a PDF is a good way to go.

 

Mistake 4: Confidential information. 

 

I once received a resume from an applicant working at a top-three consulting firm. This firm had a strict confidentiality policy: client names were never to be shared. On the resume, the candidate wrote: “Consulted to a major software company in Redmond, Washington.” Rejected! There’s an inherent conflict between your employer’s needs (keep business secrets confidential) and your needs (show how awesome I am so I can get a better job). So candidates often find ways to honor the letter of their confidentiality agreements but not the spirit. It’s a mistake. While this candidate didn’t mention Microsoft specifically, any reviewer knew that’s what he meant. In a very rough audit, we found that at least 5-10% of resumes reveal confidential information. Which tells me, as an employer, that I should never hire those candidates … unless I want my own trade secrets emailed to my competitors.

The New York Times test is helpful here: if you wouldn’t want to see it on the home page of the NYT with your name attached (or if your boss wouldn’t!), don’t put it on your resume.

 

Mistake 5: Lies. 

 

This breaks my heart. Putting a lie on your resume is never, ever, ever, worth it. Everyone, up to and including CEOs, gets fired for this. (Google “CEO fired for lying on resume” and see.) People lie about their degrees (three credits shy of a college degree is not a degree), GPAs (I’ve seen hundreds of people “accidentally” round their GPAs up, but never have I seen one accidentally rounded down — never), and where they went to school (sorry, but employers don’t view a degree granted online for “life experience” as the same as UCLA or Seton Hall). People lie about how long they were at companies, how big their teams were, and their sales results, always goofing in their favor.

There are three big problems with lying: (1) You can easily get busted. The Internet, reference checks, and people who worked at your company in the past can all reveal your fraud. (2) Lies follow you forever. Fib on your resume and 15 years later get a big promotion and are discovered? Fired. And try explaining that in your next interview. (3) Our Moms taught us better. Seriously.

So this is how to mess up your resume. Don’t do it! Hiring managers are looking for the best people they can find, but the majority of us all but guarantee that we’ll get rejected.

The good news is that — precisely because most resumes have these kinds of mistakes — avoiding them makes you stand out.

In a future post, I’ll expand beyond what not to do, and cover the things you *should* be doing to make your resume stand out from the stack.

Note: This article was first published on LinkedIn here.

Eight Team Collaboration Myths Busted

Team collaboration is highly confused concept in today’s corporate world.

We easily exchange and use it for TEAM-WORK.

I have observed every one of them across organizations I have worked with – big or small.

So what are the Eight Team Collaboration myths that I strongly believe influence the attitudes of team members?

Here goes my list:

1. Collaboration Comes Naturally to Everyone.

Leaders feel that once the right tools are in place, everyone can collaborate. Collaboration is medium for achieving shared goals without any leader to resolve the conflicts. Hence set clear guidelines of shared goals, hone skills to influence and creatively bargain with each other.

2. More the Merrier.

Since the professionals have competing responsibilities and limited capacity to participate. With more number of people involved, it becomes increasingly difficult to bring everyone on common ground for decision making and conflict resolution, deterring the goal.

3. Team Building Requires Time Away from Regular Work Routines.

A team building excursion or gala lunch is not necessary to conjure collaboration. In fact, it is during work, stress and deadlines that team collaboration is most richly experienced.

4. Team Collaboration Depends upon the Leaders.

Leaders provide leadership – mission, vision, values, roadmap and the lot. They uphold and exemplify company standards but they do not drive team collaboration. Their role is to facilitate and equip teams for optimal performance.

5. Team members must like one another to collaborate.

Not really. Some of the best professionals I know don’t like their team members on a personal front. That does not deter them from working with the individuals to deliver on goals. It’s not about “liking” but about having high regard for each contributor.

6. Harmony achieves great results.

Harmony isn’t the best bed for innovative or disruptive ideas. Debate and dissent are more likely to deliver the best from teams. A genuinely collaborative team will fight it out when ideas and strategies differ but will either convince or accept to focus on a common agenda.

7. New employees bring innovation and fresh ideas to the floor.

They do. But it’s also true that the longer a team stays together, the more productive it is. Call it familiarity or comfort; these teams are well set in their expectations from each other and individual roles to deliver without too many glitches.

8. Collaboration means Video-conference, Meetings and Chat.

Tools and technology help in making collaboration easier but the right integration, hand-holding, clear processes and metrics are required to make it a success. Right tools play very small role in end result.

About Author:

Kinjal Vora, (@vora_kinjal) Marketing Evangelist at Teamgum & Drona Mobile. Bringing engagement and collaboration tools to professionals around the world. Teamgum is a platform for team members to present their thoughts, knowledge, and learning to each other; open topics for debate and discussion; exhibit professionalism and accountability; and create a truly synergistic environment for team collaboration. Teamgum is a simplest link discovery, sharing and collaboration tool for professionals via browser extension and mobile app.

Do Organizations Really Need An HR Department?

Sometimes the only thing worse than having an HR department is not having one.

With a sudden boom in the HR software industry it has become a lot easier to automate or outsource people related processes such as attendance, payroll and benefits.

So the big question is Can We Do Away with the HR Department and can the managers take up the HR role in the organization?

This article on the Wall Street Journal caught my attention and I thought of asking you and what is your take on the subject. Another thread on LinkedIn which takes a dig on this subject is a perfect read.

In 2012, U.S. employers had a median of 1.54 HR professionals for every 100 employees, up slightly from a low of 1.24 in the recession year of 2009, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. They earn a median annualized wage of about $51,000, government statistics show.

Think of the financial and strategic risks when you consider eliminating certain portions from the HR Department.

If we study the trends of last 5-12 years, many transactional jobs such as payroll, attendance management, recruitment, on boarding and benefits are already being outsourced by companies. Sometimes it does makes sense when you can have an outsourced expert who can do these jobs faster, better and cheaper, isn’t it?

As of now we see that HR has a core role to play in any organization, but how do we justify the existence of this role in the longer run?

Can non-HR Managers be trained to make HR related decisions pertaining to employees?

Can they keep pace with the ever changing legal and statutory laws? Or can we outsource them as well?

Some companies are planning to decide on doing away with the HR departments. Will this trend grow in the coming times?

Let me hear what you think in the comments section below.

Should I Tell My Colleague About His Body Odor?

Hello Amit,

Thanks for sending regular emails on the HR subject and enlightening me like always.

I am sharing with you a problem, however I do not know how to convey it to the person concerned.

Please help. I have a colleague of mine in our team with a very strong body odor. He has a great sense of style and dressing. By just looking at him you can’t even make out that he will not be conscious of his body odor. He is well qualified but seriously I would not want to be even in the same room when we are told to work together. How should I tell him so that I am not going to hurt his male ego?

Jessica

 ——————————————————————————————————————————————————

Hi,

I have always believed and experienced one thing in life.

People will accept and appreciate your inputs, if they feel that your feedback is for their own good and that you truly care for them.

You ought to sound “GENUINE” so that things work on the positive side.

I think your colleague is not ignorant on his body odour, it’s just that he himself might not know about it.

What I can make out from your mail is that you really want to help him so I see no way of you hurting his male ego.

Communicating effectively is a vital point here. 

According to me there can be 2 approaches here.

personl hygiene

You can go up to him and can tell “My dear friend you stink. Use a deo or people might stop talking to you. 

OR

You you may suggest him that “My dear friend, as I am working with you for sometime now, I am a bit concerned and would like to suggest you to use a deodorant for hygiene and personal health. My intentions are to help you as I think this will help you in your career and would also increase your efficiency at workplace. Hope you don’t mind on my inputs as I see this will help you in the long term

Which approach you think will be more effective?

Second one….RIGHT?

On the first go it may come as a surprise to him, as there are some people for whom personal hygiene doesn’t matter that much. There are people who make it to adulthood without understanding which parts of their bodies need a good soaping regularly. Even though there are quite a number of deodorants in the market these days ranging from strong to mild (depending upon your stink capacity, people however ignore this basic hygiene aspect and consider it a bad investment.

So if your colleague is one of those guys, on the cheaper side ask him to wash his clothes regularly. So, if you guys share a good rapport, you need to explain to him in a polite manner that this may prove bad for his career. A bit of soap, some deodorant and laundry detergent would help him resolve this issue.

Further, if this thing is pointed out by a senior person, it could result in embarrassment for him. Make him understand that your discussion around this topic is for his own benefit and not that you would like to insult him. Your sense of genuineness will play a big role in this communication. I know being a female it would be challenging to convey such a thing but you never know your help may shape his career in the long run.

Further, I would ask you to suggest him to see a doctor as his stinking thing can be based on some medical problem, hence recommend him to bring it up as soon as this problem doesn’t become obvious to all. Secondly, if you feel that you would not be able to deal with it address it to your HR as a hygiene issue and let them take it up with him.

What do you think on my approach on this subject? These things sometimes becomes sensitive if taken wrongly by an individual. Let me have your views on this………please reply in the comments section below.

Top Five Emerging Trends in Human Resource Management

How has the HR services evolved in recent times? What are the future drivers in the HR industry?  How will HR create a better user experience? Why do HR exists in any organization?

In the recent edition of “People Matters“, Vikram Choudhury writes on the HR Industry story and the Disruptions for Growth. I present to you the major bullet points of the story. For complete and detailed reading, grab your copy today.

From a mere “transactional” role, the HR department is expected to rise and become a better service provider. Businesses are becoming mature and hence expectations and delivery from the HR department is growing tremendously. In my current post, I would like to touch upon the Top Five Trends in Human Resource Management that will emerge as a “GAME CHANGER” for those in HR.

1. Recruitment Services

  • Demand shifting to outcome based expectations
  • Consolidation is on the cards
  • Quality and timelines will be key to survival
  • Failing to adapt can prove to be fatal
  • Time to invest in Talent

Opportunities:

  • Positive hiring outlook in companies
  • Staffing and temporary recruitment
  • Managed Services

Threats:

2. Learning and Development Services

  • Learning budgets have shrunk in organizations
  • High demand for leadership development
  • Evolution of the partnership model
  • The emphasis on quality will rise

Opportunities:

  • Leadership development
  • Technical and supervisory skills
  • Gamified learning

Threats:

  • Uncertain political and economic market conditions
  • Slowdown in learning budgets
  • Changing demand patterns

3. HR Technology

  • Tech segment to mature faster than other segments
  • The increasing influence of cloud and analytics
  • Social technologies continues to grow
  • Technology companies to focus on the SME space
  • Traditional business models may become ineffective

Opportunities:

  • Cloud-based technologies
  • Analytics
  • Socially integrated products

Threats:

  • Dynamic demand landscape
  • Finding key talent
  • Low awareness of consumer market

4. HR Consulting

  • Companies should build base for future growth
  • Technology is changing nature of demand
  • Time to develop specific expertise
  • Engagement and productivity will be key

Opportunities:

  • Global expertise
  • Specific HR services
  • Skill and operations consulting

Threats:

  • Low margins
  • Low discretionary spending of consumers
  • Talent availability

5. HR Outsourcing

  • Service providers have to build value-added services
  • RPO will come in a big way
  • Opportunities from HR’s changing role

Opportunities:

Threats:

  • Talent availability
  • Low consumer maturity
  • Expectations of global standards

 With challenges comes a time of great opportunities. Good times lies ahead for the HR industry. There is a significant advantage for companies who have deeper knowledge of market conditions. Customizing product offering based on local conditions will help companies have competitive advantage in the market.

Do you think of other areas which can prove vital for the HR industry? Are there any other vital challenges that you can think of? Do share your inputs in the comments section.