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Recently some of my international MBA Students asked me about recommendations for recruiting in India. This set me about researching for dome resources to start them off.

How do you choose a consultant?
1. Start with a reputable firm in your market segment.

2. Like all services, it depends on your chemistry with the person, and a match between the firm’s skills, your skills and interest. The only way to find out, is to call and try.

Here are some recommendations, albeit not comprehensive.

ABC Consultants: Top Recruitment Services Company in India
https://www.abcconsultants.in/

Career Net

Randstad

Accord Group

Talent Mappers

Software:
3leads

Job Portals
https://www.naukri.com/

Other international firms like Adecco, Kelly Services, Manpower, Michael Page will also have offices in India.

Companies in India

Comments
How were your interactions with consultants in these firms?

Are there any, you can recommend to help me update this list?

Thank you for your feedback.

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With an internal career platform where AI proactively recommends jobs to you based on skills, tenure, project work, rankings. No doubt, IBM will soon be trying to sell this career platform to other companies.

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Photo: Taken at a old postal town on the Nakasendo trail.

Employee centric or Big Brother?

MYCA—IBM’s internal career platform called My Career Advisor—no longer acts as a self serve system; instead the AI proactively recommends jobs to you based on skills, tenure, project work, rankings, and so on.

Does 95% accuracy mean self fulfilling prophecy?

Accurate by whose predictions? I will be quite hesitant to work in a company where my career is decided by a robot.

Sensing this, the AI no doubt will weed me out. Well, IBM is not going to be on my favourite list of great place to work.

If I want to keep my job in IBM (hypothetically), I will certainly say that I love whatever is happening. Employee engagement survey scores have seen an increase of 20% in IBM. Does one assume anonymity or alignment? The same AI that gives out the survey can now detect the unmotivated with greater accuracy. Is there a conflict of interest? What is HR’s role?

Will I want to buy this HR solutions which IBM may try to sell my company? Hmm, why not. It certainly is a powerful machine from a profit/ cost perspective.

I recently heard this exchange on a TED talk about machines and replacing workers.

Henry Ford was hosting the Union chief Walter Reuther at his Ford car assembly line.

Henry Ford II: Walter, how will you get those robots to pay your union dues?

Walter Reuther in reply: Henry, how will you get them to buy your cars?

Whether this exchange took place, Ford in his HR practice understood the need to motivate and stablise his workforce with a decent salary because it is a circular economy.

Employees who leave your company may be potential clients, customers or your adversary. Understand the ecosystem.

IBM’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy Is Fantastic, But AI Also Cut 30% Of Its HR Workforce

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danpontefract/2019/04/06/ibms-artificial-intelligence-strategy-is-fantastic-but-ai-also-cut-30-of-its-hr-workforce/

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Photo credit: himself in Tokyo, 2 April 2019

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What cause sakura to blossom?
Change in temperature. Ironically, the shock provokes the plant to give out its best bloosoms.

Citrus growers too understand this science of winterisation. Without the sudden drop and rise in temperature, there will be no lemons and oranges which need warm summers and mild winters.

Winterisation is to be feared and appreciated.

Why do we fear change? Should we?
Farmers know that plants need preconditioning and acclimatisation to the change or extreme shock will kill it.

In this season of exteme winds of AI, blockchain and machine learning, are you helping your employees acclimatise to the new environment.

Farmers sometimes water the soil of citrus plants during winter to help them tide over.

Your efforts will be rewarded. With beautiful blooms in Spring.

I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;
For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.
I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have gladly paid.
                                                                      Jessie Belle Rittenhouse (1869-1948)

Millennials or Generation Y (Born After 1980)

With Gen Y, full time work is no longer the only source of income, identity nor influence like it was for Boomers. Nor is workplace, the only way to connect with a community. Rather, this generation feels connected with a global community through technology and may get their income through the Gig economy.

Brought up in small nuclear families, sometimes without adult supervision because both parents have to work, Gen Y can be very independent and savvy with technology.

They value ownership and expressions of their creativity and individuality. Explosion of the internet has also given them power such as own social media channels and influencers.

What companies can do

• Career wise, this group is unlikely to be as loyal as Boomers. With a shrinking workforce, they have no problems moving from one organization to another for higher salary and better perks.

•Beyond monetary incentives, Gen Z can be motivated by skills training, mentoring, feedback.

•Gen Z are generally value leadership style that are more feelers than thinkers. Organisational Culture such as collaborative environment, is extremely important for Millennials

•Flexible schedules as rewards, time off to embrace outside interests, and embracing the latest technology to communicate are also important for Gen Y.

•Millennials also thrive with structure, stability, continued learning opportunities, and immediate feedback. Structured path and career planning

• Millennials like to be heard. Factor in one-to-one communication. [Lisa Orrell]

Gen Z (born after 1995)

•Starting to enter the workplace.

•Larger than baby boomers or Millennials. •Motivated by social rewards, mentorship, and constant feedback.

•Want to be do meaningful and be given responsibility.

•Demand flexible schedules.

•Experiential rewards and badges earned in gaming and opportunities for personal growth.

•Expect structure, clear directions, and transparency.

•Majority prefer face-to-face communication.

• They see the world as a connected global marketplace and likely to see short stints overseas as part of their career development and work in a multicultural workplace.

In one workplace survey, research group Millennial Branding found 53 percent of Gen Z respondents prefer face-to-face communication over tech tools like email (16 percent) and messaging (11 percent).

What companies can do

To attract Gen Z, companies need to move beyond traditional recruitment methods and move into gamification, social media, especially with video, pictures and interaction on application process via blogs, Linkedin or Instagram.

Companies may want to provide more information during orientation, internships and job rotation or structured career paths. One company provided clear indications to Gen Z on

  • Where they will start
  • The short-term goals they’re supposed to meet
  • The skills they’ll acquire
  • Where they’ll end up in a year

The company also trains in sound-bites and offers short-term quarterly recognition in terms of rewards, not that different from the bonus points in computer games.

It also provides increased responsibilities half-way through its eight-to-12 month training program, knowing today’s young people will jump to a new employer for a better opportunity.

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An must-have is for leaders to pick up career coaching skills and more face-time with Gen Z to agree on goals and outcomes. While Coaching has become an essential leadership skill, companies can consider Peer coaching. Baby Boomers and Gen X may be roped in to provide mentoring for Gen Z teams. But gone are the days of command and control.

Have a friend at work? And why it matters.

Culture differences in HR

Retaining Gen X at the workplace

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Photo: woven slippers I spotted on the Nakasendo Trail, Japan November 2018

Gen X (1965 and 1980)

For Gen X, work is not only a source of income, but where many get their identity, influence and connectedness with a community.

Gen X are currently at the peak of their careers taking over leadership of the company or waiting in the wings. They have experienced huge swings in economic boom and bust, witnessed retrenchment, burnout and technology disruption.

Challenges in retaining  Gen X is that they are not a homogenous group. There are at least 4 groups with their unique characteristics:

(i) Waiting to take over leadership from Baby Boomers

(ii) Those who distrust company lifelong employment yet have expertise and able to work independently with minimal supervision. This group is more entrepreneurial with desire more control over their time and goals. Some will move on to become start-up founders.

(iii) Another untapped group are highly educated spouses, primarily women who have taken time off to look after young children and now ready to return to the workforce.

(iv) Need time off to look after young children or aging parents.

What companies can do

(i) Provide mentorship from Baby Boomers, bonus to recognise their contributions and leadership assignments to stretch them. Give them opportunities to mentor Gen Y and Z.

(ii) Provide consulting opportunities in the firm and maintain open door in case any want to return should ventures fail

(iii) Provide training and connect them to support groups to re-orientate and build confidence and skills. Flexible schedules and telecommuting or part-time work.

(iv) Allow time off and open door to return in future. Keep them connected to a support group and provide a sense of belonging (Maslow) to the workplace.

Recruiting and retaining Gen Y and Gen Z

How to retain Baby Boomers